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Running Time:
125 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for some sexual references

Additional Info:
DVD Features: 8 extended music numbers; 7 extended scenes; Theatrical trailer.

The Fighting Temptations
The familiar premise has Darrin Hill (Gooding), a New York City advertising executive, called home to Georgia when his aunt passes away, leaving him $150,000 worth of stock…that he can collect on one condition. He must resurrect the gospel choir at her local church and lead them to the Gospel Explosion contest. So he recruits a bunch of local misfits; some singing barbers, some eccentrics including a a keyboard-playing alcoholic white guy, some prisoners from the local lock-up, and Lilly (Beyonce Knowles), the girl he promised to marry before he left Georgia twenty years earlier, and who is now a single mom who's shunned by the entire hypocritical community. Gooding names this motley bunch the Fighting Temptations. Director Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) hasn't had a hit movie since then, and sadly this is another forgettable one to add to his resume. The comedy is full of pauses, but the laughs hardly ever fill them. Mike Epps seems to be having a lot of fun in the role of Cuba's sleazy sidekick; and his monologue on the varieties of Southern booty is both hilarious and strangely out of place. All the events are commented upon by Miles (Steve Harvey), who runs the local radio station. There are a lot of musical numbers, some of which are really great, particularly the barbershop quartet performing an off-the-cuff “Loves Me Like a Rock” with scissors and razors as their instruments. There's some gospel, R & B, and even some rap. Beyoncé Knowles is serene, relaxed and confident and she can sing like an angel, but she was a lot more fun as Foxy Cleopatra in Goldmember. The movie shambles amiably toward the inevitable gospel contest, but the outcome is never in doubt. The biggest disappointment here is Academy Award winner Gooding who was so good in Jerry Maguire and As Good As It Gets but he's continued on a downward spiral since then with such dogs as Rat Race, Snow Dogs and Boat Trip. Hopefully his career will turn around soon.

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