Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, Not Easily Broken

TriStar Pictures/Screen Gems

Review in a Hurry: A good Christian man named Dave (Morris Chestnut) finds his marriage sorely tested when his shallow, materialistic wife, Clarice (Taraji P. Henson), has her leg broken in a car accident, and invites her overbearing mother (Jenifer Lewis) to move in with them. Your patience may be tested just as much.

The Bigger Picture: Chestnut seems like a nice guy and an appealing enough actor, yet every time his name appears on any movie poster, you just know it's going to be something pretty boring. This is no exception. The latest adaptation of a book by popular author T.D. Jakes, Not Easily Broken would make a decent parable for use in a church sermon, but does not deserve your hard-earned money to be seen in an overly padded movie format.

As a performer, Bill Duke will forever be memorable for his scene in Predator where he's shaving without cream, and the razor snaps off in his hand as soon as the alien hunter appears. At least he has that going for him; in directing this movie, he hasn't created any memorable images to compete.

Storywise, the movie starts off as shrill sexism—noble husband gets constantly henpecked by a nagging, caricaturish, mean wife and finger-pointing mother-in-law but just sits there and takes it. The film develops into hideousness when an incident that would be a life-ruining tragedy in reality simply serves as a marital wake-up call here.

Other than that, things move along competently and unsurprisingly. Barbershop's Kevin Hart adds some much-needed comic relief, but there's nothing here to surprise, or even really make anyone think. Strictly for audiences who need only to hear a positive, pro-family moral by movie's end: you'll get it, and nothing else.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Considering the particular segment of the market this movie is aiming for, be very glad that the sassy mother-in-law is played by an actual woman, and not Bill Duke in drag.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.