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The Brothers (2001)
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
Jackson Smith (Morris Chestnut) has some issues and he knows it. That's why he is talking to a therapist. His main issue is his fear of commitment. He is a successful doctor on the brink of turning 29 and he knows that once he hits 30 he can no longer blame his fear on youth. He wants a woman in his life, but not at the sacrifice of his independence. His independence it one of the things he holds most dear to his life. He is equally protective of his mother and sister, as well as, his friendship with his 3 best friends. Jackson and his friends meet a couple of times on the court and at a local bar to hang out and discuss their lives... okay to discuss women and sex.
Brian Palmer (Bill Bellamy) is an attorney who has very few scruples. He has no respect for women, yet he can't figure out why no woman wants to put up with him for any length of time. He also can't understand why he was thrown in jail for contempt by the judge he used to sleep with (he called her a bitch), he can't figure out why he is being stalked (it's never clear what he did, but his friends are of the opinion that he deserved it.) and he has decided that he is through with black women and starts to date a white woman. The bottom line is Brian refuses to responsibility for his actions that cause his problems.
Terry White (Shemar Moore) has just dropped the bombshell that he has become engaged to his girlfriend of 2 months. Everyone but Brian is supportive. Brian thinks that Terry is doing it for the wrong reasons and when Terry justifies his decision, Brian just might be right.
The voice of reason and instigation is Derrick West. ( D.L. Hughley) He is the only one in the group who is married. He tries to help the other brothers put things in perspective and he tries to get them to see that it's not just the women who need to step up to the plate. When he isn't trying to dispense wisdom, he is cracking on all them and instigating stuff. Meanwhile, he is having serious intimacy problems at home. (By far the funniest parts of the movie)
Just when Jackson thinks he may just give up, he finds the girl of his dreams - Denise Johnson (Gabrielle Union). Denise is a photographer and comes into his life like a muse. Bringing wisdom and serenity to Jackson's life. All is going well when an ugly secret pops up from Denise's past and Jackson must now decide if he is willing to really love her unconditionally.
This was a very good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a little difficult to watch because The Brothers told the harsh truth about women, as they perceived all women to be. Yes I know some of the women they were talking about, but not all of us are like that. But ultimately, that is beside the point. This was their truth and their story to tell.
Honestly, the cast had a few weak links. Susan Dalian as Bebe Fales, Terry's fiance, under whelmed me. There was zero chemistry between them. I was also unimpressed with Julie Benz as Jesse Caldwell, Brian's Caucasian girlfriend. Her character was not given the chance to develop and hence seemed out of place.
There were plot points that were glossed over that I would have liked to seen fleshed out. How did they all meet? What do they all do? Why do they have the views of women that they do? I would have liked to have seen some background on how they came to their opinions. It could have been flashbacks or it could have been, "remember when I was dating so and so? Man, that girl was nuts" or something like that.
Special shout-out to Jenifer Lewis. One of my favorite Divas in the world. She was a breath of fresh air as Jackson's mom. I didn't agree with her pining away for someone who seemed to be no-good, but I loved her interaction with the women in the movie.
Gabrielle Union was well cast, but her character was a bit too earthy for my tastes. I'm not even sure if earthy is the correct word, but it was almost like listening to Ghandi.
Brothas and Sistas make sure you see this movie.
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