Not Easily Broken

Directed by Bill Duke and based on a T.D. Jakes novel, Not Easily Broken features Muscular heartthrob Morris Chestnut, who plays Dave Johnson, a former high school athlete who works construction and can’t please his wife, Clarice (Taraji P. Henson, so good in Benjamin Button). Their marriage is strained by Clarice’s materialistic ambitions and Dave’s unfulfilled desire to have kids. Clarice, who sells real estate, is jealous of the time Dave spends with “his boys,” which include not only his buddies, but also the Little League team he lovingly coaches. The Johnsons have forgotten the words of the Bishop (Albert Hall), who married them and told them they were bound by three unbreakable cords, the third of which is God. The Almighty steps in with a car accident that seriously injures Clarice and prompts her mean, meddlesome mom (Jennifer Lewis) to move in and drive the couple apart. When many black-oriented films still patronize audiences with noisy pratfalls, a spiritual drama isn’t a bad thing. The movie is thoughtful and sympathetic, with many moments of emotional power. HH 1/2
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