“Inspired by a true friendship,” but coming across as merely stale dramatic gruel, it affords its headliner minimal opportunity to flash his once-brilliant charisma, though its cozy sentimentality may help the film stir up decent theatrical attention when it debuts later this year.
Thanks to the amazing financial generosity of her recently deceased lover, Marie (Natascha Mc Elhone) is gifted in 1971 with her own personal chef, Mr.
Refused a proper backstory, and blessed with a benevolent, even-keeled disposition (“Even his weeping was graceful,” admires Charlotte) to match his bountiful natural gifts, Mr.
Church comes across as the hoariest of “magical negro” stereotypes, and his duty caring for Caucasian women in need makes his tale something of a complementary side dish to director Bruce Beresford’s “Driving Miss Daisy.” The man’s preternaturally warm, poised composure is only shattered by select instants when he uncharacteristically rages about his privacy, and in casting Mr.
Church’s running joke, a box of Apple Jacks cereal) in one sitting, consuming so much phony, retrograde schmaltz proves a stomach-churning endeavor. Church’s climactic pronouncement, “I’m just a man,” may be laugh-out-loud disingenuous, Charlotte is a slightly more credible fiction, if only because Robertson occasionally infuses her protagonist with subtle emotional nuance.
That’s most apparent when Charlotte is dropped off after the prom by hunky date Owen (Xavier Samuel) and, on her mother’s doorstep, she doesn’t receive a goodnight kiss — a moment that the actress nimbly expresses as a lightning-quick procession of excitement, disappointment, embarrassment and fear.
Executive producers, Yu Wei-Chung, Fredy Bush, Dennis Pelino, Brad Kaplan, David Tish, Lawrence Kopeikin, David Anspaugh. Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Sharone Mier; editor, David Beatty; music, Mark Isham; music supervisor, Linda Cohen; production designer, Joseph T.
Co-producers, Scott Karol, Stephanie Caleb, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, David Hopwood, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones. Garrity; art director, Eric Jeon; set decorator, Lisa Son; costume designer, Karyn Wagner; sound (DTS/SDDS/Dolby Digital), Steve Cantamessa; supervising sound editor, Robert L.
From critically acclaimed features and cult classics to knee-slapping comedies and box office blowouts, he’s done it all.
One (legally recognized) marriage, four baby mamas, and eight kids later, Eddie Murphy is none worse for the wear.
As most baldly evidenced by his refusal to tell a joke at last year’s “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary celebration, Eddie Murphy has largely set aside any on-screen comedic inclinations. Church,” his first cinematic project in four years, he delivers not a single mirthful one-liner as the title character, a compassionate cook who becomes the surrogate paterfamilias to a girl and her terminally ill mother.
Church as a figure of polar-opposite extremes, the film skips over the tangled, messy emotional stuff that defines actual human beings, thereby relegating him to an aw-shucks saintly vehicle for Murphy’s benign grins, concerned glances and boozy grousing.
Guided by nostalgic-storybook narration from Charlotte, shot by Beresford through a hazy filter of film grain and enveloping celestial light and smothered by composer Mark Isham in tender, treacly tones, “Mr.
Church” recounts Charlotte’s coming-of-age odyssey alongside Mr.