This family has issues! When mean and surly Bud Slocumb keels over at breakfast, his family gathers for the wake and funeral: long-suffering widow Raynelle, unemployed son Junior who's cheating on his wife Charisse, son Ray Bud who holds a job and has a loving wife, Lucille, but struggles with alcoholism and with their difficulty having children. There's younger daughter Delightful, who constantly eats; religious Aunt Marguerite and her wayward son Royce; and, there's Juanita, their wealthy cousin's wife. They all descend on the town of Lula, struggle to say something nice about Bud, and face the challenge of sorting out their relationships with the living. Written by
Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A Fox previously starred together in Set It Off (1996). Although they play family relatives in this movie they play close friends in Set It Off. See more »
When Jumior goes to get Charice a Pepsi he goes to the Lula Liquor store but he sees the Sorry we're closed sign, so he leaves. Later Raybud is seen in front of the same Lula Liquor store and it's open for business and the door is open. See more »
Charisse, honey, where is Junior?
I don't know, ask Bernice Talbot.
Girl, you so funny. You want some gum?
No thank you.
I always crave a pack of sweet gum before weddings and funerals. I think it's something about the rhythm of it that sort of lulls me, helps my mind wander. You wanna know what I think about when my mind wanders?
Well I'm sure you gon tell me.
I think about my life. How at the end of each day I tuck my precious boy into bed. Turn off the lights in my $80,000 ...
[...] See more »
Written by Kirk Franklin
Performed by Tamar Braxton and One Nation Crew
Produced by Kirk Franklin for Fo Yo Soul Productions/B-Rite Music
Tamar Braxton appears courtesy of DreamWorks Records
One Nation Crew appears courtesy of B-Rite Music See more »
Warm, wistful, human, laugh-out-loud funny movie about family, love, dreams
What a delightful movie! It's about family, and love, and dreams, and how we get along in this world -- especially with our nearest and not-always-dearest. It's warm and wistful and laugh-out-loud funny!
As for Goldberg's part, though promotions may have given her high billing, in fact her part is minuscule. But even if she'd been absent, this cast did more than enough to entertain.
LL Cool J did a fine job in the lead, only his name betraying his rap origins. He was joined by a host of other talented actors, including a favorite of mine, Loretta Devine, as a classic "momma." Another performance I particularly enjoyed was Cedric the Entertainer's role of the Reverend.
But everybody was good! Great ensemble acting -- _everyone_ was just right, including even the bit players, and they all blended into a very believable whole. The dialogue was witty, capturing exactly the character types, but down-to-earth without resorting to cheap crudity.
I kept thinking, "This would make an excellent play for community theater!" Great character types, great major roles, lots of smaller and non-speaking parts, easy to set. Then the credits showed that it had been adapted from David Dean Bottrell's play "Dearly Departed." It made me long to 'tread the boards' again -- join a great cast like that and take part in the play's warmth, truth and wry good humor.
The funeral of a hard-to-love father brings together his extended family, with their various relational wrinkles, all of which are plausibly solved by the end.
The story is kind, forgiving of human foibles, and in good taste throughout. The 'bathroom humor' mentioned in another review is a very light, one-time thing -- gas due to indigestion -- that is also a necessary plot device. I don't see how it could have been handled any better another way.
My satellite service will be showing this film all month, and I plan to watch it a couple more times. And beyond its humor, because of its warm heart and human hope I intend to buy the video.
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