Movie Review: ‘Not Easily Broken’Published by Clay Cane on Friday, January 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm.
Review: “Not Easily Broken” is being promoted as a love story from a man’s point of view, which it certainly is. But, in its stride to be a reversal of gender roles, it sometimes comes across as demonizing women for their successes. If only women weren’t this independent… if only women would listen to their man more… if only women could be Donna Reed. Just like chick flicks are fantasies for women, “Not Easily Broken” is a fantasy for men.
Even though “Not Easily Broken” gets the side eye from an emotional perspective, the story is told well. Yes, the flick is not too original and the terribly trite dialogue is sometimes painful, but the movie works and only excels because of the cast. Taraji P. Henson, back in her first role since “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is passionate with a comical edge as the independent wife. There is not a line that feels forced, even if the writing is not stellar.
Morris Chestnut gives a soft and controlled performance as the emotionally tortured husband. Chestnut, who also co-wrote the script, narrates the film, which, again, translates well to the male audience.
Then, there is the always immaculate, passionate and soulful Jenifer Lewis. Lewis could read the words in a phone book and make you feel it. The Hollywood veteran saves the entire film—when she popped on the screen, you automatically perk up.
Like most of these films, the woman who was once strong and powerful in the first half, eventually breaks down to being a weeping, shrinking violet. You decide if that is what you want to see…
Overall, “Not Easily Broken” is a solid film. If it’s just to see Jenifer Lewis’ performance—it is worth checking out.
“Not Easily Broken” is in theaters today.