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Jada Pinkett Smith,
"The Brothers" traces the journey of four African-American men as they take on love, sex, friendship and two of life's most terrifying prospects honesty and commitment. Smart, successful and sexy, Jackson Smith, Brian Palmer, Derrick West and Terry White are "The Brothers" lifelong friends banded together to weather love's innate terrors and occasional triumphs in this brazenly comic yet painfully true exploration of the battle between the sexes. Amidst the career track, basketball and bar hopping, "The Brothers" love women, as many as possible, but shocking revelation tests the foursome's friendship and changes their dating habits forever. Written by
Distracting film with some good moments but generally a frustratingly uneven tone
Four professional young black men have a strong friendship that has lasted through relationships and work even if sometimes it just means getting together for hoops and then drinks at the club. Jackson has commitment issues, Derrick is married, Brian is out for bodies only while Terry is respected for his sexual exploits. So when Terry announces his engagement to new girlfriend BeBe it is met with a mixed reception cynicism, disbelief and happiness. As Terry prepares for his wedding, the others are having their own relationship issues that will brings changes to all of their lives.
It is rare to find a film about a group of black men where the only clear sight of a gun is in a white woman's purse and is met with a black man asking it to be removed from his house. Such is the overwhelming force of gangsterisms, guns and machoisms in black culture that I felt I was almost duty bound to see a film that tries something different. However "different" is no guarantee of quality and indeed this film is frustratingly uneven and inconsistent. The basic plot offers a good chance to get inside the heads of four men (regardless of colour) and at times it manages to do this in interesting ways as well as providing some genuinely funny and reasonably realistic banter. However for every moment that is like this there seems to be two where it'll head off into sentimentalism, soap opera drama or outright dumb plot device. It is a shame because generally the film is distracting mush that isn't too sentimental but is still basic to the point where it washed over me it was only these bad moments that stuck in my throat for one reason or another. The conclusion is suitably mushy and is a fine summary of the film unconvincing, mushy, unlikely, melodramatic but still reasonably fun forgettable stuff.
The cast are mixed but mostly match the level of the material by being predictable and a bit unimaginative. Chestnut is probably the best of the cast and makes for a nice leading man good looks, a bit of charm and the ability to say his lines naturally all help. Hughley is funny and, although he doesn't make a convincing character and is a bit of a caricature but is still fun and his scenes have energy. Bellamy and Moore are somewhat non-events, with the latter very wooden and failing to make an impression on me. The females are generally young and attractive but lack the material served up to the men (which itself isn't that great). Union is sexy but her character doesn't convince and she doesn't know what to do with it. Jones works well with Hughley but Ali, Dalian, Lewis and others generally just hang around with basic lines and no characters to speak of Ali in particular gets nothing to work with and seems to be there just to draw a laugh from hearing the innocent young Fresh Prince star talking about her "pu**y".
Overall then a distracting and reasonably amusing film that has some good moments but annoys in the ease with which it just slips into sentimental melodrama etc. The performances are mixed and none of them really help lift the material to something that could have been amusing and interesting. Forgettable fluff that isn't bad but just generally isn't that good.
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