The Fighting Temptations

Rated 2.0 This alternately exhilarating and soggy musical-comedy rehashes the done-to-death Hollywood chestnut of a person having to do the improbable or seemingly impossible to collect an inheritance. Cuba Gooding Jr. emanates a sort of ebullient snake-oil-salesman sense of goodwill as a Manhattan advertising executive who gets fired for having faked his college credentials. He returns to his hometown of Beulah, Ga., after an elderly aunt dies, and finds he can inherit a chunk of cash if he can convert the local church choir into a contender at an upcoming Gospel Explosion competition. The film relies on some very broad and shallow pontifications on Christianity and its practitioners for thematic substance and laughs as Gooding goes outside the congregation to find some golden voices (including those of convicts) to rejuvenate the choir. Directed by Jonathan Lynn (The Whole Nine Yards).