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"THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS"
(2003) (Cuba Gooding, Jr., Beyoncé Knowles) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Heavy Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Mild Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Mild Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A big-city advertising executive takes over his childhood town's small choir and tries to get them ready for a big contest in order to earn his inheritance.
PLOT:
Darrin Fox (CUBA GOODING, JR.) is a New York City advertising executive who hasn't been back to his hometown of Monte Carlo, Georgia since he and his single mom were run out by prudes such as Paulina Pritchett (LaTANYA RICHARDSON).

Two events, however, send him back. One involves his perpetual lying that gets him fired. The other is word that his Aunt Sally (ANN NESBY) has passed away. Accordingly, he returns for the funeral where he meets Paulina's brother, Reverend Lewis (WENDELL PIERCE), local ladies man Lucius (MIKE EPPS), and the flamboyant deejay, Miles (STEVE HARVEY).

He also learns that his aunt listed his inheritance as $150,000 in stock. Yet, the stipulation is that he must take over the Beulah Baptist Church choir and get them ready for the Gospel Explosion competition in Columbus, GA to receive the money, much to his and Paulina's dismay.

Learning that he only has a ragtag group of singers, Darrin sets out to recruit his former childhood friend, Lilly (BEYONCÉ KNOWLES), to lead them. She's initially reluctant, but eventually agrees and they're soon signing up a number of other singers, even including prisoners Johnson (MONTELL JORDAN) and Briggs (T-BONE).

With just six weeks to go before the contest, Darrin works to get them into the competition just so that he can get his money, but soon finds himself falling for Lilly and his old hometown. With Paulina out to derail his efforts and the truth about Darrin threatening to be disclosed, he and his choir try to get ready for the contest.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or choir related material, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CUBA GOODING, JR. plays an advertising executive who uses some profanity, smokes, chronically lies to others and opportunistically takes control of a church choir so that he can earn his inheritance. He eventually has a change of heart and comes clean to everyone, including Lilly for whom he's fallen in love.
  • BEYONCÉ KNOWLES plays a singer and single mom who reluctantly joins Darrin's choir and falls for him, unaware of the truth about him.
  • MIKE EPPS plays an outspoken local who helps Darrin upon his arrival in town and proclaims to be a "booty" expert.
  • STEVE HARVEY plays the local deejay who smokes.
  • LaTANYA RICHARDSON plays the reverend's busy-body sister who has it in for Lilly and Darrin.
  • WENDELL PIERCE plays Paulina's brother, the local church's reverend.
  • MONTELL JORDAN and T-BONE play prisoners who join the choir.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present in several scenes, while a young couple is seen making out.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including a perpetual liar and a mean busybody), while some drink and/or smoke and some songs have drug-related lyrics. Some tense family material and slapstick style moments are also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a bottle of vodka in an advertising slide show presentation where Darrin talks about who consumes the most malt liquor and that the liquor company should target that population.
  • Darrin and his date have wine.
  • We see that beer and wine comprise most of what's in Darrin's fridge and then see the same for a character on TV.
  • Some people have drinks in a club.
  • A song has a lyric about being a crack fiend.
  • A teenager states that his mother's rules in her boarding house include no drinking, no smoking and no fornication.
  • People have drinks in a club, including Lucius. Darrin asks Lilly if he can buy her a real drink, but that never occurs.
  • People have drinks in a club where Darrin asks if he can buy Lilly a drink, but we then see that they're having sodas.
  • A radio announcer drinks from a bottle.
  • The new organist drinks from a bottle. He later states that he stopped drinking for the contest.
  • A performed rap number has a lyric about smoking marijuana, crack (cocaine) and guns.
  • We see more drawings of liquor bottles in an advertising slide show.
  • A comment is made about drunks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Paulina accuses Mary Ann of singing R&B "sex music" and states that fornication, gambling and drinking occur where she performs. She has such a bad attitude for most of the film, including stating that she's been waiting years for Sally to die so that she can take control of the choir. Later, she purposefully does not tell Darrin or the rest of the choir about the contest entry deadline until it's too late.
  • Darrin is a perpetual liar who lies about his past and present to most everyone.
  • Lucius makes an offhand remark about Darrin's dead aunt that she's about to be maggot food and views women as sexual objects.
  • Darrin takes a cell phone call in the middle of his aunt's funeral.
  • Some viewers may not appreciate 1) Miles stating that atheists may apply for the church choir or 2) the following:
  • Reacting to a few people's disapproval of Lilly (since she's a single mom), Darrin says that church is all about acceptance and that Jesus loved Mary Magdalene and then adds that "she was a ho" (whore, played for laughs). Later, we see an outdoor church sign that refers to Jesus as a "dead homie."
  • Various people have bad attitudes toward Lilly and call her son a "bastard baby."
  • Some prisoners throw food at the choir as they perform.
  • We learn that Darrin bribed various people to join the choir with his upcoming inheritance earnings.
  • A grandmother slaps at her grandson after he tells her to shut up.
  • Some disparaging remarks are made about professional sports and athletes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We see a dead woman in an open casket at a funeral (nothing gory, but it could be unsettling for those sensitive to such matters).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • After a person comments about a prison guard carrying a shotgun in church (which we see), the organist pulls out his handgun to show it.
  • A performed rap number has a lyric about smoking marijuana, crack (cocaine) and guns.
  • A prison guard holds a shotgun in the direction of some convicts.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Piss that away," "Don't hate the player, hate the game," "I'm in the freakin' Twilight Zone," "Have you lost your natural mind?" "Chicks" (women), "Kick ass," "Fool," "This is busted," "I can smell when a man is trying to use me and you stink," "Pissed off," "Pain in the butt," "Tramp," "Bastard baby," "Hard ass," "Hell no," "Whoop your ass," "Shut up," "You stupid jerk" and "Give 'em hell."
  • A woman wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Some prisoners have tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has a lyric about being a crack fiend.
  • Lilly sings the song "Fever" in a sensuous manner and runs her hand down along her clothed body while doing so.
  • A rapper uses the "s" word in a rap and also mentions something about a slug (bullet) in the lung.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 4 asses, 4 hells, 2 damns and 1 use of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Paulina accuses Mary Ann of singing R&B "sex music" and states that fornication, gambling and drinking occur where she performs. She then shows the cover of a recording that has the title "Do it to me again" and states that they all know what "it" means. Another woman sarcastically tells her that she's surprised Paulina remembers what "it" is.
  • A woman shows a little cleavage.
  • As Lucius goes on about "booty" (women and/or their rears) and how he's an expert on that, we see various quick shots of women (some in tight clothes, one in very short shorts). Darrin then says that "booty" (meaning beauty) lies in the eye of the beholder, and Lucius says it's going to be lying in his hand.
  • Lucius twice jokingly tells infants that he's their real daddy.
  • Lilly shows some cleavage.
  • When Lucius says that others state that Lilly is a sinner, Darrin eagerly asks what sort of sinner she might be.
  • A teenager states that his mother's rules in her boarding house include no drinking, no smoking and no fornication.
  • Lilly sings the song "Fever" in a sensuous manner and runs her hand down along her clothed body while doing so.
  • Lilly sarcastically finishes Darrin's thought about his aunt's dying wish being that Darrin and Lilly "hook up."
  • Lucius says he's not part of the choir since he still wants to sow his wild oats and then get himself a virgin and settle down.
  • When Darrin talks to Lilly about others' reaction to her being a single parent, he says it's not her fault, but then says that it's half her fault "since it takes two people to..." (but doesn't finish the thought).
  • A young woman does some passionate clothed kissing in the church with her boyfriend to pass her chewing gum from her mouth to his (we don't see the actual transfer).
  • Reacting to a few people's disapproval of Lilly (since she's a single mom), Darrin says that church is all about acceptance and that Jesus loved Mary Magdalene and then adds that "she was a ho" (whore, played for laughs).
  • When Lilly says that Dean (her son) was a gift from God, Paulina says that so is snow and rain, but that "we still have to wear our rubbers."
  • A young woman and her boyfriend make out in the last church pew (during a choir meeting).
  • Darrin and Lilly briefly kiss on two occasions (on the same night).
  • When an older choir member learns the truth about Darrin, she publicly states that she can't believe she was going to sleep with him.
  • The reverend comments on his sister's former husband's new wife who knows "how to make a man say amen."
  • SMOKING
  • Darrin has both lit and unlit cigars on various occasions, while Miles smokes several times, Lucius once and a miscellaneous person has an unlit cigar.
  • Darrin has an unlit cigar in his mouth, but the woman running the boarding house snaps it in two.
  • A teenager states that his mother's rules in her boarding house include no drinking, no smoking and no fornication.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Darrin gets news that his Aunt Sally died. We later learn that his mother died a few years earlier from a hit and run accident and that his father died in Vietnam.
  • We hear that a woman's husband left her a while ago.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Darrin is a perpetual liar who lies about his past and present to most everyone.
  • Lilly is a single mom.
  • Church choirs.
  • Life in small towns.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Played for slapstick, Paulina trips over another woman at a funeral, while Lucius accidentally runs into a doorjamb while walking with Darrin and another man (played for laughs).
  • Some prisoners throw food at the choir as they perform.
  • A grandmother slaps at her grandson after he tells her to shut up.



  • Reviewed August 5, 2003 / Posted September 19, 2003

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