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Overall Rating

Awesome: 31.91%
Worth A Look: 8.51%
Average: 2.13%
Pretty Bad: 14.89%
Total Crap42.55%

3 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Fighting Temptations, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"We can put a man on the moon, but we can't get Cuba out of Hollywood."
1 stars

Think of the worst thing you can possibly imagine. Then add Cuba Gooding Jr. to the mix. Does his presence make "the worst thing you can possibly imagine" better...or worse?

I'm not sure if it's Cuba Gooding who chooses his own scripts, but my guess is this: he keeps every script he's ever been sent and he spreads them out all over the floor of his house. Whichever script his cat craps on first is the movie he opts to star in next.

Yeah, yeah, pretty harsh and seemingly brutal, eh? Unfair? Let's look at the evidence...although it's pretty irritating that I have to do this each and every time Cuba shows up with his unique brand of cineplex suckitude.

Since his Oscar win for 1996's Jerry Maguire, Cuba has subjected the world to a string of cinematic atrocities so profound that it simply boggles the mind of anyone not named (or employed by) Cuba Gooding Jr. Sit through any three of these titles (Chill Factor, Instinct, Men of Honor, Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Snow Dogs, Boat Trip) and I guarantee you'll start a petition to get Cuba's Oscar revoked immediately. What's most sobering (and horrifying if you're a movie critic) is this: not only does Cuba have an alarming knack for starring in awful movies...but he's consistently the worst thing in each one! When he's not keening and shucking and jiving and behaving altogether spastically, Cuba kicks into full-on "dramatic mode" and the results are unquestionably more amusing.

Simply put: not a Cuba fan.

So this new one stars Cuba Gooding and whatever pop star it is who's particularly photogenic these days . For those of you interested in what it's about...take a deep breath:

Cuba's old Southern auntie drops dead and in her will she leaves him...the stewardship of a church choir. And there's more. Her will also stipulates that Cuba gets a big bagful of money if he can coach the church choir into the state championships.

Here's an experiment: go ask a loved one if they'd like to go see a movie and then rattle off the above plot synopsis of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s The Fighting Temptations. Count how many open-mouthed gapes you earn.

That such an expansive piece of cinematic flotsam could come courtesy of director Jonathan (My Cousin Vinny, Clue, Greedy, Trial and Error) Lynn is truly disappointing. By my reckoning, The Fighting Temptations is the only awful movie he's delivered to date. But it's awful on a rather large scale.

Precisely how many ways can a movie suck on a consistent basis? Comedy bits that were considered old-school back in Truman's era, a stunningly obnoxious lead character who infects every single scene, a collection of supporting caricatures so banal and generic they defy logic, muddled musical sequences that only serve as a respite to the mind-numbing narrative, a host of treacly little 'messages' that aptly illustrate the base and maudlin nature of the hack screenplay, a series of plot contrivances that all but scream their contempt for an audience's intelligence...

Bah. I give up. Faceless lowest-common-denominator product like The Fighting Temptations exist because they turn a profit. Apparently there's some sort of worldwide plague out there that causes people to crave the exact same schpiel over and over and over. This explains how the glorified TV movie called Double Jeopardy and the stunningly awful race comedy Bringing Down the House each made a depressingly massive amount of money.

A few years back some clever screenwriter pitched the following concept: "It's Doc Hollywood meets Sister Act...only we sell it to the urban market!" And now the flick finally flops into view. Do yourself a favor and never see it.

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originally posted: 09/19/03 15:03:17
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User Comments

8/16/06 Eric Rountree Funny, and great music! 4 stars
11/01/05 damilola the film is chasis 5 stars
8/04/05 love stupid story, dialogs and Beyonce just can't act!!! 2 stars
7/21/05 Christa Thomas this film was great 5 stars
7/02/05 David Romero That is a supernice movie 5 stars
2/25/05 Dan I am White, it doesn't matter what race you are Roberta. I liked the movie too. 5 stars
12/03/04 Roberta wearwood I luv the fighting temptations maybe because i am black it is one of my favourite films. 5 stars
8/03/04 psychotic black dwarf Most clever part is the title. Erik C: do BBQ & Watermelon get to play w/ Barbie & Apple? 3 stars
5/23/04 bianca very good 5 stars
5/15/04 jennifer great,off-da-chain,keep up the good work 5 stars
5/07/04 wylene This was a very entertaining movie. The storyline was accurate about southern hospitality 4 stars
4/22/04 Herenessa Figthing Temptation was so the bom, i really loved it and gave it a 100/100 5 stars
4/07/04 Jenise Norvell excellent movie, enjoyed the music 5 stars
3/25/04 shirlene anderson this is my favorite movie. 5 stars
2/05/04 Shoshoni Brooks The movie was greater than great. I just loved it. 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Bottom-of-the-barrel "comedy"; Gooding looks constipated. 1 stars
10/28/03 Mari this movie seriously sucked not a cuba or beyonce fan at all 1 stars
10/24/03 mialaya beyonce needs to sit her "bonnie and clyde " self down cuz she is not a good actress at all 1 stars
10/17/03 anthony freeman i loved the movie it was so funny and the music was great 5 stars
10/08/03 Baby`j i thought the movie was good its better then most movie out now..and zane looked soo good.. 5 stars
10/05/03 reginamersier excellent actor cuba played his roll very well 4 stars
9/30/03 suicide is painless the only fighting temptation left was the razor blade to the jugular 1 stars
9/27/03 Terrance Rogers I just wanted 2 see it because Beyonce' and Mike epps but it was alright nonthin 2 die 4 4 stars
9/26/03 Deborah Reynolds Beyonce is worse than terrible...Cuba seemed embarrassed. Waste of time! Got my $$$ back! 1 stars
9/24/03 mertistine bass-simmons GREAT, FUNNY andwell worth the time and money spent . 5 stars
9/23/03 Angry Black Man Beyonce as a lounge singer! The horror, the horror!! 1 stars
9/22/03 The F-Bomb so gay, not even beyonce's ass could save it 1 stars
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  19-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004



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