Directed by: Charles Randolph-Wright
Starring: Ciara, Lynn Whitfield, Patti LaBelle, Juanita Bynum, Hill Harper, Billy Zane, Ben Vereen
Distributed by Fox Faith
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 95 minutes
Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Inspired by the hit off-Broadway play, this would have been better off staying as a play. This film absolutely no direction and just keep bouncing around from scene to scene aimlessly. Also Ciara might need to stick to singing or at least take some acting classes. This role should have been a piece of cake, especially playing a singer. The film is a drama but there is no real drama portrayed by its actors. The best part of the film is Billy Zane but he does not get enough screen time. Let me tell you, I would have chosen a different title like “Mama, I just wanted to turn this movie off half way through”.
Following the death of Reverend Dr. Kenneth Winter (Marvin Winans). We follow the rise and fall of the Winter family. Amara Winter, daughter, follows her rise to stardom and the issues that come with that. While rising to stardom she looks for the support from her mother Lillian Winter (Lynn Whitfield), who is trying to build a business in preaching and having her own issues and belief issues. Luke (Kevin Phillips), Amara’s younger brother, works as her photographer but dreams to become a photo journalist. The family works through the issues and remembers that family and faith is the most important.
The film tries to really back the emotions but there is something about it that just feels so fake. It is definitely clear why this was stuck on the shelf for almost three years after it was filmed. They must of had to really bribe the studio to release it. I think I would have rather enjoyed watching the Off-Broadway play and it would have been truer and more emotional than this lacking film. To top it all off there are no special features at all but I was just lucky I didn’t have to watch any more after it ended.