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The Brothers

Director/Writer:Gary Hardwick
Screen Gems; R; 105 minutes
Release:3/01
Cast:Bill Bellamy, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union

According to the 2000 Census figures, Latinos roughly match African Americans as America's largest minority group. So it is only a matter of time before middle-class marriage comedies such as The Brothers arrive targeted at Hispanic moviegoers.The Brothers treads on the heels of recent films such as The Best Man and The Wood. They all focus on a group of black professionals (four in this case) entering their thirties. The buddies reunite (shooting hoops, in this case) to discuss the ins and outs of marriage versus their swinger lifestyles.

Shemar Moore plays the busy bachelor whose decision to tie the knot plunges the group into panic. The only married character is played by D.L. Hughley. He steals scenes bickering with his wife (Tamala Jones) about a particular sexual favor she refuses to perform. Their matrimony—boiled down to sexual stalemate—is what the others fear. Stubborn bachelor Jackson (Morris Chestnut) occupies the film's loose center. At his shrink's bequest, the eligible man opens up to a beautiful photographer (Gabrielle Union) with bright prospects and a knotty past. Marriage is a possibility, but they've both got baggage to unpack.

Sitcommy exposition works for and against the film. Characters get rounded out while cinema's non-TV possibilities lie unused. These complex individuals exist in a sunny world where the only difficulties are in dealing with the opposite sex. This is prime-time reality, a lightweight escape from the real one. Nevertheless, solid acting and strong chemistry keep The Brothers ahead of the pack.


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