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Joyce Van Patten,
Ben is a failed children's folk singer and less-than-extraordinary weekend dad. Deeply cynical, Ben's sole pleasure in life is derived from chess games with his Senegalese roommate Ibou. When Ibou is suddenly struck ill and an insensitive municipal employee exacerbates the emergency situation, Ben's pessimistic world view seems unequivocally confirmed. But when Ibou's sister Khadi takes his place in their apartment, what starts as an awkward living arrangement becomes something more, and Ben finds that cynicism may be all a matter of perspective. Written by
In the opening scene the actor bringing everyone drinks is drinking from his cup while he holds another cup (for his friend) in the same hand. This would spilled the contents of that cup on his face; if there was anything in it. See more »
'WONDERFUL World' comes in a long line of movies about the rejuvenating powers of black people. In fact, it's views of race are similar to France's The Intouchables, the winner of the Best Foreign Film at the Oscars this year, and many, many more flicks of this nature.
Another beef I have with the movie is its date of release. It's reaching Malaysian shores after three years, and disguised as an 'international movie' to give it an aura of respectability.
In 'Wonderful World', writer-director Joshua Goldin puts Ben Singer (Matthew Broderick) at the lowest possible moment in his life and then drags him out the pit with the help of Ibu (Michael K. Williams) and his sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan). Ben is shown taking an elevator going down, metaphorically saying that his life is going downhill.
Ben used to harbour hopes of making it big as a children's musician, but a record company let him down and he's now a proofreader in a law firm. His pessimistic view of life does not make him popular among his colleagues, who shun him and don't call him to after-office events.
His ex-wife Eliza (Ally Walker) married a wealthy guy. When asked if she's happy with her good life now, she says that she didn't enjoy seeing life through his eyes, but she's now happy with what she sees. His daughter, Sandra (Jodelle Ferland), 11, is bored with him and even avoids him.
His only decent contact with the world is his Senegalese roommate Ibu, who beats him at chess and offers deep thoughts of the world. Viewers get a whiff of what's to come.
One thing leads to another and the diabetic Ibu is hospitalised when he falls into a coma. His sister comes from Senegal to take care of him. She also warms Ben's toes in bed at night.
Ben suddenly finds a higher purpose in life. Khadi lights candles to encourage spirits to look over her sick brother, she cooks down-to-earth food and even teaches Ben's daughter to dance with without a care in the world.
If Ben suddenly begins to believe in life, viewers will find it hard to believe that Khadi could fall for Ben. Perhaps there's something to be said about opposites attract, as the vivacious Khadi is poles apart from the miserable Ben.
Broderick's hangdog face and expression are competent, but the movie saddles him with boring dialogue.
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