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Deliver Us from Eva

By Bret McCabe | Posted

When their parents died, eldest sista Eva (Gabrielle Union) took control over younger siblings Kareenah (Essence Atkins), Bethany (Robinne Lee), and Jacqui (Meagan Good), ruling with an iron fist. Problem is, the girls are full-grown women now, and Eva's fist busts their menfolks' balls. So the guys hire smoother operator Ray (LL Cool J, billed as James Todd Smith in the credits) to tame Eva's shrew right out of the picture. This gender warfare barrels down the usual romantic comedy dead end, but it doesn't crash nosily, merely unfortunately. Writer/director Gary Hardwick repeats mistakes he made in The Brothers by introducing promising characters and quickly simplifying with booty-call gags, even though his cast is capable of much more. Luckily, LL and Union save the flick from rote idiocy. Union's fast-talking, church-choir-leading, no-bullshit Eva is a capital-"B" bee-yotch, but she's cool with that. She doesn't need to get her groove back--her guy's just gotta be man enough to handle her heat. And though the one-dimensional playboy-makes-good arc is tired, LL's affable, sparkling charisma turns Ray into a surprisingly engaging character, proving once again why he's the cool James that ladies love.

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