Los Angeles Times - 09/19/2003
"...A rousing, warmhearted comedy, as infectious as the gospel music it celebrates. Cuba Gooding Jr. and pop superstar Beyonce Knowles lead a large, entertaining cast in a film abundant with feel-good pleasures..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/19/2003
"...[Knowles] comes across as warm and sympathetic..."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/26/2003
"...Full-throated and good-hearted, yet tart and sharp in all the right places..."
Variety - 09/15/2003
"...[With] rousing gospel numbers....Rich commingling of singers and character actors and a nice star turn by multi-Grammy winner Beyonce Knowles keep things rolling..."
As a young boy growing up in Montecarlo, Georgia, Darrin sings in the church choir alongside his mother (Faith Evans). He and his mom leave town after the choir discovers that she has been singing rhythm and blues in a local club. Twenty years later, Darrin (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a broke, junior-level advertising executive in New York City who has just been fired. Summoned back to Montecarlo when his only living relative dies, Darrin discovers that he stands to inherit her estate if he can revive the choir at his old church and win the annual Gospel Explosion. Against the odds, Darrin assembles a first-rate choir of talented quirky characters. He also recruits Lilly (Beyoncé Knowles), a jazz singer and single mother who just may steal his heart and help him find himself. Rich with impressive musical talent culled from the worlds of gospel, hip-hop, and R&B, the choir includes members of The O'Jays, as well as T-Bone, Melba Moore, Angie Stone, the Reverend Shirley Caesar, Zane, and Montell Jordan. Directed by Jonathan Lynn, the film also stars LaTanya Richardson, Steve Harvey, Wendell Pierce, Mike Epps, and Rue McClanahan.
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