Thursday, January 8, 2009

Broken, but easily fixed

Can This Marriage Be Saved? Dave (Morris Chestnut) and Clarice (Taraji P. Henson) have been married forever; yet the things that they do not know about one another could fill up a small house. That is the basic problem in their marriage. They have grown apart over the years, rather than together. How many marriages are the same way? 

Not Easily Broken is based on the novel of the same name by T. D. Jakes about an upper class African American couple who find that their marriage has fallen into disrepair right before their eyes. Neither one of them seem to be able to acknowledge the truth of the matter. They have gotten used to acting like nothing is wrong until they are involved in a near-fatal car crash and Clarice (Henson) is seriously injured. As David (Chestnut) fails miserably at his attempts to take care of his wife; he finally admits that he no longer feels needed. Her lack of neediness and her inability to trust him with her fears is at the core of their problems. Suddenly; the wonderful life that they have built is no longer enough. The house, the cars and the material possessions are no longer fulfilling because they both realize that they have lost that loving feeling between them. Clarice is a woman who makes you want to actually slap her. Her self-centered persona is portrayed so realistically that she could be someone that you know. And although the Johnsons belong to a church that they attend regularly; they don’t seem to be spirit-filled believers. They aren’t the type that lean on God for guidance; at least not until they find themselves deep in trouble which is the case with most people. While Clarice is caught up with keeping up with the Joneses and climbing the ladder of success in the real estate business; Dave is a down to earth man who is more interested in coaching a little league baseball team in the community than making money. His humble position as the owner of a small  business is enough for him and that bothers Clarice. On the other hand; her disinterest in having children is a thorn in Dave’s side. You wonder what brought these two together in the first instance. Before the accident, Clarice is busy climbing the corporate ladder and keeping up with everyone else while David is content with running his janitorial business and helping out in the community. The accident should have drawn them closer, but instead it pushes them further apart. David finds himself spending more time with Clarice's physical therapist (a single mom) and mentoring her son (Maeve Quinlin & Cannon Jay). In the process, he becomes attracted to her and a father figure to the young boy. He learns more about himself, and what it feels like to spend time with people who care about him and share similar beliefs and dreams. Clarice notices the difference in David and begins to wonder if he's having an affair. After a tragic accident, she confronts David and forces an answer. What follows gives the movie more drama than seen in most drama laced movies. While I enjoyed it, some of the issues seemed glazed over and Clarice's character worked my nerves to no end. I really felt nothing for her, and though I knew David was being led down a road of temptation, I wanted him to find some type of happiness and it didn't seem that Clarice was capable. Her selfish demeanor will turn off many viewers, but others will find her realistic and a portrayal of a woman balancing her career and marriage. On the flip side, Director Bill Duke did a wonderful job of showing David's side of things and there are some very moving areas in Not Easily Broken that will resonate with the viewer. The resolution was satisfying, though predictable, and sends a message that what God puts together cannot be easily broken. I saw myself in this movie (although I won't tell which character) and maybe we can all find a piece of ourselves, no matter how small in this movie as well. I enjoyed this very much and I highly recommend it. A strong 4 on my "Go See" scale.

1 comment:

nstarks70 said...

I saw this movie last night and thought that it was a great story that was very well acted. It is a great movie for any couple to see and single folks will enjoy it as well.