Soul Food

on September 26, 1997 by Jon Alon Walz
Print
   Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, one of the most successful music producers and songwriters of the decade, has made his first foray into producing for the big screen--and now has, unfortunately, a big, shiny dud to go alongside his shelves and shelves of Grammys.
   With young writer/director George Tillman Jr. at the helm, "Soul Food" is the bland and passionless story of Mother Joe and her huge, extended Chicago family, which is always in conflict but manages to stay together under the sheer weight of her personality--not to mention her cooking: huge Sunday brunches complete with cornbread, greens, black-eyed peas, fresh fruit pies....
   Teri ("Hoodlum's" Vanessa L. Williams) is a rich, successful older daughter, married to a nice, albeit artistically frustrated, philanderer (Michael Beach). Teri hates her youngest sister Bird ("love jones'" Nia Long). Bird's husband, Lem ("High School High's" Mekhi Phifer), is an ex-con with a heart of gold who is an embarrassment to the family--although no one admits it to anyone's face. And young Ahmad (Brandon Hammond) is the son of Mother Joe's middle daughter, and is truly his grandmother's grandson. After the death of Mother Joe, the family's problems go from bad to worse, and it is though the efforts of young Ahmad that an all-out war does not break loose among the members.
   "Soul Food's" disjointed narrative, which attempts to tell about eight stories simultaneously, resembles a season's worth of television more than a movie. It implodes under the weight of every family and race cliche in the book, and it lacks the focus and originality that made such African-American films as "Boyz in the Hood" and "love jones" so appealing. Starring Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long. Directed and written and by George Tillman Jr. Produced by Tracey E. Edmonds and Robert Teitel. A Fox release. Drama. Rated R for some strong sexuality and language. Running time: 114 min
Tags: Starring Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long. Directed and written and by George Tillman Jr. Produced by Tracey E. Edmonds, Robert Teitel, Fox, Drama
Print

read all Reviews »


0 Comments

No comments were posted.

What do you think?