The Fighting Temptations movie:

A gospel-rap explosion on the silver screen

By Tomi Morris Johnson   tomij@wingcomltd.com

©2003 WingcomLtd. All Rights Reserved.

Movie Poster Image for The Fighting Temptations      A scene from 'The Fighting Temptations'

Paramount Pictures courtesy photos and poster

September 8, 2003, Atlanta, GA… “Never be ashamed to be who you are,” is the positive punch line from the new movie The Fighting Temptations, previewed at two Phipps Plaza movie theatres in Buckhead by approximately 300 guests and movie extras.

Strong choreography, exceptional music and realism are the stalwarts of each performance. “It’s like going to church on Sunday, but it’s not as boring,” said Ilea Johnson, a frequent movie-going student turned film critic from Daniell Middle School in Marietta.

Set for world release on September 19, the PG-13 rated Paramount film is emotionally riveting. It was shot last year in metro Atlanta and features Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Darrin Hill and singer/film star Beyoncé Knowles as Lilly. The choirs featured in the movie are populated by several gospel rappers, gospel great Shirley Caesar, and other superstar singers: from the stage play Purlie, Melba Moore; top-selling recording artist Montell Jordan; and 70’s soul crooners, The O'Jays.

The whole movie makes you laugh, but in a positive, non-stereotypic sort of way. Two outrageously funny men in the movie are Mike Epps who plays Lucius, Hill’s hilariously witty running partner; and Steve Harvey as Miles Smoke, a nutty radio dj character.

There are lots of cigarettes, alcohol and sexual innuendo in most scenes which add to the reality quotient that saints are sometime sinners.  “Even Mary Magdalene was a ho once,” was a line thrown out by Gooding which got a huge laugh from the audience. The movie is the debut attempt of screenwriter Elizabeth Hunter. It is directed by Jonathan Lynn.

The preview event was sponsored by Rich’s-Macy’s and 104.7, The Fish Christian Radio station. Melanie Few, an Atlanta native and president of Results, Inc., owns the entertainment agency hired by Paramount to promote the film.

The information in this article is the opinion of the author and, therefore, should not be construed as libelous.

©2003 WingcomLtd. All Rights Reserved.