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Not Easily Broken

The Advocate


Not Easily Broken

Reviewed by Thomas Phillips

"...a powerful movie with a compelling story...could possibly work wonders if used as a tool during marriage counseling."

Not Easily Broken is, sadly, an all-too-relevant film about the breakdown of a marriage. The film opens with the wedding ceremony of Dave Johnson (portrayed by Morris Chestnut from The Perfect Holiday and Confidence), to his new bride, Clarice Clark (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Smokin’ Aces). With the start of a new life together; obtainable dreams before them, and the hope of a Happily-Ever-After alongside, it isn’t long before the honeymoon ends and reality of marriage sets in.

Although the Bishop who performed the ceremony promised that life was going to try to knock them down, and that it’s hard to keep the good in a good marriage when bad things happen, he also advised keeping God as the third person in their relationship would be key to surviving as a couple.

Dave’s dreams of playing pro ball come to a crippling end when he sustains a knee injury sliding into third base and is forced to work as a blue-collar guy in a start up remodeling venture. Clarice, however, always dreamed of becoming a real estate rainmaker. Quickly, her dream takes shape, and she climbs the ladder at her firm to top sales agent.

Becoming too career focused, Clarice loses sight of her husband, her marriage, and their once shared dreams of happiness. Living far above their means, Clarice puts added stress on life when her main concern revolves around appearances, worrying about how others perceive them. Despite Dave’s interest in starting a family, Clarice is more worried about making money, closing the deal, and continuing to aspire in her job. Unfortunately, the “intimate” part of the relationship is also on hold while she continues to dedicate her life to real estate.

It’s only after Dave and Clarice are in a terrible car wreck, and Clarice is forced to step away from work and concentrate on regaining use and strength in a mangled limb, that she finally sees the real possibility of losing her husband and her marriage forever.

Finances (or lack thereof, to be more precise), personal ambition, and separate goals and dreams will undoubtedly pull and tear and attempt to destroy any and all marital foundations. And if fed by one, or both in a marriage, will succeed.

Compelling and impacting, Not Easily Broken contains a very forthright and honest look at elements that oftentimes will cause the erosion of a once happy marriage. The make-up of a husband and a wife is much different today than it was decades ago. Roles of man and woman are confused, blurred, corrupted, even.

Not Easily Broken includes a cast of talented actors who perform well in this highly believable, probable and perhaps all-too accurate scenario. For most of the film I despised both Clarice and her mother, Mary ‘Mama’ Clark (portrayed by Jennifer Lewis of Meet the Browns and Who’s Your Caddy?). Needless to say, this only means that they did their job very well. Comic relief, used to diffuse the continuity of a film covering heavy topics, was wonderfully provided by Tree (portrayed by Kevin Hart of Extreme Movie and Superhero Movie). With well delivered lines, the humor found in his scenes helped soften some of the edge and despair that swirled around the story like a foreboding and threatening twister.

While Not Easily Broken focuses mainly on the story of marriage, it also touches on topics of parenting, fatherhood, death and loss. Not to mention, pain, fear, faith, hope and love.

Not Easily Broken is a powerful movie with a compelling story, and one that stirred in me emotions that oftentimes brought tears. Marriage is sacred. Unfortunately, it’s currently far too easy nowadays for couples to quit, give up, and walk away from vows they once made before God. Not Easily Broken, apart from being simply a movie, could possibly work wonders if used as a tool during marriage counseling. But that’s just my humble opinion.

DVD Release Date: January 9, 2009
Screen Gems & T.D. Jakes Ministries
Director: Bill Duke
Run Time: 99 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements

Watch the trailer:


Phillip Tomasso IIIThomas Phillips grew up with a reading disability. He did everything possible not to read. It wasn’t until he was in seventh grade that he finally read a book cover to cover. Now a voracious reader and prolific writer, Phillips uses his accomplishments as a motivational backdrop for speaking at school assemblies. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Phillips has worked as a freelance journalist and currently works full time as an employment law paralegal. When he isn’t writing, Phillips plays guitar, is active at his church, coaches his children’s Little League teams, co-leads Ink Spots and Coffee Grounds—a creative writing group, and plots his next story. The Molech Prophecy is his first published Christian novel. Visit him online at his Shoutlife page & Myspace page.