Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr and Beyonce Knowles
Director: Jonathan Lynn
THERE is something infectious about gospel music. The rhythms, the harmonies and the enthusiasm with which it is performed, usually see us singing, clapping or tapping along.
The gospel music in The Fighting Temptations, as good as it is, however, is not strong enough to save this film.
Darren Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr) is a suave, New York advertising executive who, long ago, left behind the small Georgia town in which he grew up.
That is until he gets the call – on the phone that is – to say that he has been left a large amount of money in his aunt’s estate.
He goes back home to collect his inheritance and then discovers a caveat in the will. Darren gets the money if he can get the local Baptist choir to win the statewide gospel eisteddfod.
Darren discovers that this task is harder than it looks and will involve all his marketing skills, as well as revisiting his chequered small town past.
As pleasant as The Fighting Temptations sounds, it is about half an hour too long for the small-scale drama on the screen.
Director Jonathan Lynn should have been much more ruthless with the material. The ending of the story is so obvious, the humour so canned and the characters so overdrawn that the music is the best feature of the film.
So, fight the temptation to see this film, save your money and buy the soundtrack instead.