I don’t normally watch BET or Black entertainment mainly because at times, I don’t relate to it. I mean, sure, I love watching Black comedies like “The Nutty Professor,” but this movie isn’t a comedy. It’s a drama. Despite having an all-Black cast, I found myself relating to the story. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m a “preacher’s nephew,” which isn’t as bad as being the “preacher’s kid.” But I understand the pressure and the stereotype. Perhaps it’s the story of redemption and mistakes–we’ve all made mistakes. Whatever the case, you don’t have to be Black to appreciate this kind of movie. You’ll like the message of the movie.
What I Expected
I didn’t expect much since the film had a low-budget. But I did think it was funny, that after reading stuff off the official movie website, that the character’s names signified something. For example, Angie would probably come from “Angel.” She’s innocent and pure. Then the bad guy in the movie is named “Devlin,” which suspiciously sounds like “Devil.” And then there’s Desiree, or “Desire,” who places a seductress.
What It’s About
LeToya Luckett (who was previously part of Destiny’s Child) plays Angie King, daughter of a preacher in Georgia. She’s tired of being in a Christian bubble and wants to discover life for herself, so she leaves and joins a traveling show in hopes of getting a record contract. But life doesn’t turn out to be what she expected.
The singing – I was ready to get my Gospel on. In some scenes, I felt like I was there, singing along in the Black church. There were a lot of singers, aside from LeToya and Tank, there was Trey Songz, Tammy Townsend, and Kierra ‘Kiki’ Sheard.
The hypocrisy – I think it’s a good reminder that Christians are imperfect. They are just as broken, which is why there’s redemption.
The plot – It’s a female version of “The Prodigal Son.” There are just a lot of scenes where I found myself saying “No, don’t choose that.” You feel sorry for Angie, but it’s her fault for choosing certain things–life is your choice.
The stereotype of being a PK – if you’re a Christian, you pretty much know what I mean.
Melodrama – There were some scenes that definitely needed a lot of drama. But there were other scenes are just had too much, over-the-top drama.
Repetition – The traveling show that Angie is part of is also a female version of “The Prodigal Son.” As a result, the story parallels in a way. I didn’t like that because I felt we were being beaten over the head with the concept. Stories like this one just needs to be its own story–not a story within a story. The concept of the Prodigal Daughter needs to be subtle.
Character time – I thought that Sharif Atkin’s character should have received more on-screen time. If he’s supposed to be that knight-in-shining-armor, he wasn’t given the opportunity to act like it that much. There are also other supporting actors that should have gotten more on-screen time, like Rae’ven Larrymore Kelly’s character and Kiki Sheard’s character.
Lack of an ultimate showdown – I wanted a stronger turning point, an ultimate showdown that gets you to say, “Yah, and take THAT.”
I’d give it 3 stars out of 5 for the storyline and it’s willingness to explore some Christian stereotypes. I think LeToya did a remarkable job playing the character when she only had 4 days to research on the character. She was originally supposed to play “Desiree,” the seductress. I’m not a fan of Tank (who plays Devlin) or his acting. In my opinion, there wasn’t much acting–isn’t he a playa in real life anyway? And for a low budget film, I think it was more than what I expected. There were moments where I felt teary-eyed because I saw myself making the mistakes (even if they weren’t the same mistakes the main character made).
And for nostalgia’s sake, I love Essence Atkin’s supporting character role. I remember Essence from “Smart Guy.”