The Fighting Temptations

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A New York advertising exec (Gooding) returns to the sticks to shepherd a no-hope gospel choir through a national tournament, ostensibly in honour of his aunt's will, but really because he needs the prize money. The girl he left behind (Knowles) is, of course, his star singer. From practically the first frame, it's clear 'You Can Go Home Again'. Leaving the plot to take care of itself, Lynn takes an Altman-like approach to the material, unstinting in his commitment to Deep South conventions, but rooting the usual battle of the generations in the contrast between 'traditional' gospel and 'urban' HipHop cultures. Off-key character performances provide the bulk of the laughs. After his long run of 'family' films, Gooding is too likeable to convince as a high roller, making his callousness all the more reprehensible. Knowles herself has chosen the wrong film to make her 'serious actress' move and struggles to shed what music journalist Simon Reynolds has called her 'shark-eyed' quality. But neither under-performing star can capsize this very entertaining comedy.

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Screenwriter: Saladin K Patterson, Elizabeth Hunter
Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr
Beyoncé Knowles
Mikle Epps
Steve Harvey
LaTanya Richardson
Nigel Washington
Chloe Bailey
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