In the gospel musical-comedy The Fighting Temptations, Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a reluctant choir director. When he inevitably rises to the task, though, he doesn’t really direct the choir so much as spazz along in its wake, jumping and shouting and waving his arms like he’s accepting a whole case of Best Supporting Actor Oscars. Gooding, we see in some credit cookies, can be an exuberant, even dexterous dancer. But we don’t see that in the movie; we only see Cuba the strained comedian, grasping for soul. The movie’s poster advises “Don’t fight the feeling!” -- and I couldn’t: I couldn’t fend off the feeling that Gooding is the weakest link in his own vehicle. Orlando Jones, on the other hand, has yet to receive an Oscar, but I couldn’t help but think the movie would’ve been significantly better with him in the choir-director role.
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