Can I take a minute to address Taraji P. Henson?!
This fabulous and energetic actress has been on my radar since I first heard, “You been effing around, Jody?" lol I knew she could be ghetto, knew she could be vulnerable, knew she could play any age (Benjamin Button), but she pulls off bourgie, mean, and fragile in "Not Easily Broken". I don't see how she can go much longer without an Academy Award.
Not Easily Broken, based on T.D. Jakes' novel by the same name, is a realistic and gripping ride through a troubled marriage. There are a few rough spots in Not Easily Broken, but the actors so effortlessly bring the characters to life that the bad is barely noticeable.
Dave (Morris Chestnut) and Clarice’s (Taraji P. Henson) marriage finds itself on shaky ground 10 years in. Dave’s dreams of becoming a pro baseball player are dashed at the start of the marriage and he ends up owning a construction business. Dave and Clarice have a nice crib, but Clarice (and her mother) make sure Dave knows their lifestyle is due to Clarice’s fat real estate checks.
At one point she even pinches her fine man’s waist and tells him he might need to “hit the hoops”. (Can't say I haven't said the same thing to my husband!) Then, she doesn’t want kids yet because of her career. Of course, Dave wants kids and he substitutes fatherhood with ‘round-the-clock little league coaching.
Jennifer Lewis plays Mama Clark, Clarice’s mother. She does a fine job as the typical busy body mother-in-law and I wanted to slap her a few times myself. After Clarice has a bad car accident during a fight with Dave, Mama Clark moves in to help with her daughter's rehabilitation; things only go from bad to worse.
Between his mother-in-law and Clarice, Dave can’t catch a break and he's definitely not being heard. Naturally, he finds an understanding, friendly ear with his wife’s white physical therapist. I won’t ruin the rest of the movie for you, but suffice to say Ms. Clarice comes to her senses quicker than Fantasia can break a sweat.
Kevin Hart plays Dave’s friend, Tree. He bought the comic relief for sure.
Interesting, real-life, real situation, well written, superbly acted film.
I give it a B.
Just a throwback Taraji scene...