On Friday night a couple of friends and I went to check out "Not Easily Broken". My mom had already seen it and enjoyed it, but I was still on the fence. I did not enjoy "The Family That Preys" and I was worried that NEB would be along the same lines: vilifying successful Black women who choose to have a career. NEB is about a couple, Clarice and Dave, who get married with the best intentions but get bogged down by the stress of life. Early in the movie they establish that Clarice is focused on her career and keeping up with the Joneses in terms of material possessions. This is the point where I start to get worried that this is "The Family That Preys"-Part II. I was not expecting the accident twist. I was HIGHLY annoyed and offended by Jennifer Lewis's character, the meddling, nosy, loud-mouth, disrepectful mother-in-law. I wish I could have reached through the screen and slapped her a few times. Her behavior was horrible, and her daughter was busy taking all her cues from her mother, which contributed to the breakdown in her marriage.
I love Wood Harris, but I hated his performance in this movie. He and his character seemed so unnecessary to the story. He's too good of an actor to be regulated to a secodary, flat character with no development or definition. I did like Neicy Nash the few times she was on screen, and I appreciated that she did not have a flower in her hair.
I won't give away the entire plot, but I will say that I was much more satisfied and less pissed off with this film, compared to TFTP. With the former, I walked away feeling like "damn, why am I the bad guy just cause I want to have a career?" NEB took a different approach. Clarice was able to be honest with herself and realize just how much damage she had done by listening to her bitter ass mama and allowing her to be a part of her marriage. I've said before, when you grow up without seeing examples of how to make a marriage work, you are essentially starting from scratch, and knowing what NOT to do isn't the same as knowing what TO do. Clarice realized that she had been screwing up, and she figured out that loving her husband and being with him was more important than ending up like her bitter man-hating ass mama.
I also appreciated that this film was not as preachy and holier-than-thou as TP's films. I believe that a message can be delivered without coming off as preachy, and this film delivered that.
Of course we had a happy ending...nice in the movies but often doesn't happen in real life. But it was nice to see it all come together at the end.
Overall, it was worth my $10. Don't think I will add it to my movie collection though.