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Marcus seems to have the perfect marriage, but a surprise visit from his long-absent sister-in-law, Louise, threatens to disrupt his serene home. Louise brings along her adopted daughter, who professes her love for Marcus's son. The news forces Marcus to share his own long-buried secret in this film adaptation of Donald Gray's stage play - a secret that may destroy his family. Written by
I watched this play/film on BET. I have to admit that I was greatly disappointed. While I understand what the writer was trying to do with all of the "unexpected" surprises and twists, those unexpected surprises pretty much killed this play/film and sent it on a downward spiral that it couldn't recover from.
There was an attempt at humor, but it was lacking - to say the least. The characters and the "after all hell has broken loose let's turn to Jesus to make it alright" was black play typical. The storyline didn't really flow nor did it climax. It seemed that the playwright took a series of random situations and pieced them together with songs.
Certain events were left unfinished, i.e., Louise being thrown out of the house. Other events weren't fully developed. For example; I could see that Margaret was being set up to have some some sort of medical issue based upon how slowly she was walking and her "I'm tired" line during the scene where Erica revealed she was pregnant. Near the end of the play/film Margaret passes out, the next scene opens with all of the family gathered in her hospital room and Maragret's line is, "I'm fine." Really?
Some events had me asking why. If Senator Gordon was really concerned about his image, why in the world would he have Cletous answering the phone at his office. We all know that in real life, this sort of thing is non-existent. This was a large stretch of the imagination. Also, when Margaret asked the Reverend to help her pray for her family and he prays, "Lord lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil..." This snippet of the Lord's Prayer was not good fit at all. An earnest prayer should have been written for the Reverend. If there were questions about what to pray, consult a real life pastor.
I enjoyed Christoper Williams' singing "TKO" and his own "Promises". Both songs were tastefully done. The first time through; the high-pitched vocals of Steve Vaughn showed his skill as a singer, however after the first two minutes; it became annoying. As for Shirley Murdock, her singing was a clear case of overkill. All of the rifts and runs took away from the essence of the songs and became more of a distraction. I wish that singers would understand that in most cases; less is more. I am all for the producer letting the recording artists/singers have professional liberty. But when the song is vocally being torn apart, the producer needs to step up and pull in the reigns and do what is best so that the integrity of the play/film can be maintained.
As previously stated, the "unexpected" surprises and twists sent this play/film on a downward spiral that it couldn't recover from. This downward spiral adversely affected the ending. The ending was obviously unfinished. It was one of those, "oops we're out of time, so let's throw in a song and call it done" kind of endings. While Vanessa Bell's "Peace Be Still" was a good choice in songs -given the situation-the ending also had a lot of unanswered questions and left me saying, "Ok...?"
As a woman of color, I believe in supporting those from my community. But I must admit that I have grown weary of the same old story lines. As a people, there is more to our lives than the gold-diggers, dopers and secret pregnancies. I understand that yes these things do happen and are a very real part of life, however, I would like for once to be able to attend a play where the playwright steps out of the box and takes the much needed time to come up with a good creative story line and an ending that is not so predictable.
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