Brothers, The

Rated 3.0 Writer/director Gary Hardwick follows the romantic follies of four African-American pals. One (Morris Chestnut) is commitment-phobic, another (D.L. Hughley) is having problems with his wife (Tamala Jones), a third (Shemar Moore) gets cold feet as marriage approaches, and the fourth (Bill Bellamy) has burned so many women he can’t even guess which one keeps vandalizing his car. Hardwick’s directorial style slides occasionally into sitcom shtick, but there are plenty of honest laughs, and he’s lucky to have a strong, appealing ensemble cast. As the central couple, Chestnut and Gabrielle Union gracefully carry the “author’s message” moments, while Hughley and Jones handle most of the comic relief. Marla Gibbs (TV’s Florence Jefferson) has an affecting scene as Hughley’s institutionalized mother.