The path of true love never runs smoothly. Just ask Dave and — Clarice Johnson. After many years of marriage, their affection for each other is being severely tested by life. Following a car accident that temporarily sideli... more »nes Clarice, the couple must come to grips with physical temptations, financial pressures and emotional challenges that threaten their love for each other. Ultimately, they must determine whether or not their vows are easily broken in this soul-stirring film based on the inspirational best-selling novel by T.D. Jakes.« less
"T.D. Jakes previous novel Women Thou Art Loosed was adapted into animpressive film, five years and his follow up film Not Easily Broken isjust as good. Directed by the underrated Bill Duke whose previous work includes Hoodlum and Deep Cover, Not Easily Broken tells the story of a couple (Morris Chestnut & Taraji P. Henson) whose marriage is crisis.After a car accident, injurers Henson's character things only get worseand their marriage but more importantly their faith is tested. I watchedthe film with my wife. It was a treat to discuss the film with her onthe way out of the theater to our car. And during the ride home we cameto understand a little more about each other. The acting considering the religious material is first rate, Morris Chestnut displays the sameleading man charm he always does and fresh off her Oscar Worthy turn in Benjamin Button, Henson does wonders. Jenifer Lewis steals every sceneshe's in as the mother-in-law, and Kevin Hart provides tons of comicrelief as a life long friend to Chestnut's character. Not Easily Brokenis the kind of film that most critics will tear apart. It could be therelack of familiarity for most critics when it comes to the gospel genre.Take for example the similar marriage in crisis themed film Revolutionary Road which is currently in release and stars Kate Winslet& Leonardo Dicarpo. Winslet just won a Golden Globe for her role in Road, while critics roasted Henson's performance in Not Easily Broken.While Winslet's character differs slightly from Henson's in Not Easily Broken both give performances that any women single or married canrelate to. While Not Easily Broken does have an overlapping religioustheme, anyone no matter what your religious beliefs willing to givethis film a chance will be pleasantly surprised."
Not Easily Dismissed
Eric Wilson | Nashville, TN United States | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of Taraji P. Henson ("Hustle & Flow," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), I was curious to see what she would bring to her role as a wife dealing with a struggling marriage. My own involvement in "Fireproof," as the one who wrote the novel based on the screenplay, gave me appreciation for this important subject, and yet I'd heard little about this film. My expectations for the overall story were low.
What a nice surprise! Without being crass or gratuitous, the script allows these characters to portray real problems in believable ways. Soon after the rosy opening, in which they tie the knot with the bishop's wise words barely sinking in, they find their marriage crumbling beneath financial pressures, different goals, and a drought of physical intimacy. Dave wants a child, while Clarice is career-minded and wanting to build a comfortable lifestyle--even if it means "faking it till you make it." Dave compensates by coaching Little League, an activity that Clarice fails to understand and which allows the mother-in-law to push her way into the home.
With things already rocky, a tragic accident leaves Clarice in physical therapy and feeling bitter. Her therapist, an attractive white female, turns the head of Dave's male friends, and the bond that he builds with her becomes threatening to Clarice and to their hopes of ever rebuilding the love they once had for each other.
The acting is superb, particularly on the part of Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, and the lady who plays the mother-in-law. There's some nice comic relief, and there are a number of powerful scenes that don't always end with nice tidy resolutions. The message is one of hope and encouragement, but it doesn't feel too preachy or glib. It's a satisfying and worthy tale on a number of levels, and not one to be easily dismissed."
Predictable, but worth watching....
T. Kenard | Canton, Ohio | 04/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"And I only say 'predictable' because after seeing the trailers/commercials, you see the movie is one of those 'doesn't miss what she has until it's gone' type of things. Chestnut plays a husband who has fallen on hard times in his career & only longs to have children, while his wife, Henson, plays a corp.ladder-climbing woman who can't tolerate anything less than the 'all that 'life-style & has no time for children. But instead of trying to work on the relationship w/her hubby, she uses him for her whipping post, only compounded when her 'mother from hell' arrives (J. Lewis is ALWAYS amazing in her roles - this fit her perfectly!)& they kinda mother-daughter tag team him until he snaps under the weight. THEN when Henson suspects hubby of leaning toward someone else who'll give him the time of day, she FINALLY sees the bitchiness of her & her mother's ways (Duh!), she goes after her man & begs forgiveness. I like 'relationship' movies w/a message, so this was all good. Nothing wrong w/food for thought....."
Message from T.D. Jakes
Hillari Hunter | Chicago, IL United States | 07/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The couple in this movie appear to have a good marriage. The husband has his own business, and he's a volunteer coach for a little league team. His wife is in real estate, and she's moving up the career ladder. But the husband wants kids, and the wife feels children would get in the way. Plus, she is resentful of the time he spends with the little league team. The husband also doesn't seem to take his wife's feelings into consideration. After a car accident, their marriage experiences cracks that threaten to pull them apart.
It did seem to me that too much emphasis was put on the wife having to compromise. Overall, the subtle Christian message about keeping marriages strong is good. However, the script should have put more emphasis on the husband making bigger efforts to meet his wife halfway."
Trent Perkins | Seattle, WA USA | 09/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is well done! It is not preachy, but it does deal with a lot of tough issues to include tragedy, broken relationships, faithfulness when there seems to be no reason for it, the importance of giving of yourself, and even death. The acting is good, the direction is good, the story line is excellent and not completely predictable. If you are in a tough place in life, or you know someone who is, you may find this movie to be very encouraging. Highly recommended!"