Not Easily Broken

Rated 3.0

A young African-American couple (Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson) experiences strains in their marriage, made worse by her meddling mother (Jenifer Lewis) and his attraction to a physical therapist (Maeve Quinlan) hired to tend his wife’s injuries after an auto accident. Brian Bird’s script (from T.D. Jakes’ novel) plunges into broad soap opera early on, and Bill Duke’s direction is aimless and clumsy; he too often encourages his cast (especially Lewis) to overact while shoving the camera in their faces. The movie is saved from being substandard Tyler Perry material by the sincere performances of the two stars, both of whom are overdue for serious recognition. Chestnut in particular is long overdue; he is especially immune to Duke’s overemphatic direction and radiates a paradoxically cool intensity.