Films Review September


Whoopi Goldberg heads up a wonderful cast in this black ensemble film about an unexpected family reunion. Goldberg stars as Raynelle, whose husband Woodrow has just died of a stroke. Raynelle doesn’t seem to upset. Their marriage wasn’t filled with much love. The funeral is the setting for the family reunion, which reunites various branches of her family. L L Cool J, absolutely the best rapper working in films, is smashing as Ray, who has to deal with his dislike of funerals and his wife’s latest miscarriage. Director Doug McHenry works through the broad strokes of the script to deliver a warm, funny and occasionally honest drama about how funerals can bring out the best and worst in family. The ensemble include the always funny Loretta Devine as a woman desperate for her son to get a life, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox and Toni Braxton. (Fox)


A rock and roll soundtrack fuels the action in this rousing medieval adventure about a peasant squire who impersonates a knight in order to compete in jousting tournaments. When his master dies, William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) finishes his bout and wins. Pumped up by the experience, Thatcher convinces his friends and writer Geoff Chaucer to help him continue the charade with the hopes of eventually beating the legendary Black Prince. Along the way Thatcher tries to win the hand of a fair maiden (Shannyn Sossamon) and an evil count (Rufus Sewell). Writer-director Brian Helgeland (“Payback”) does an admirable job of blending past and present, creating a hybrid that should entertain most comers. (Columbia-TriStar)


Harmless piece of whimsy about a talent booker for a New York talk show whose unique view on male/female relationships forces her to reexamine her own life. Ashley Judd is sweet and funny as Jane, the booker whose bad luck with men leads her to develop a theory: men are like bulls, women are like cows. Don’t ask me to explain. Her theory is put to the test when she falls for the show’s new executive producer (Greg Kinnear), jumping into a relationship despite all the warning signs. He looks secure compared to hunky coworker Eddie (Hugh Jackman), who seems to use and lose women on a daily basis. When Jane’s relationship with the producer goes South, she is forced by circumstance to move in with Eddie. Can two opposites come together? Of course they can, but not before they overcome the usual romantic comedy roadblocks. The cast is much better than the material. (Fox)

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