NOT EASILY BROKEN
Put God First in Your Marriage
Release Date: January 09, 2009
Starring: Morris Chestnut, Taraji P.
Henson, Maeve Quinlan, Cannon
Jay, Jennifer Lewis, and Troy
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 99 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
Director: Bill Duke
Executive Producer: Steven Brown and Morris
Producer: Clint Culpepper, T.D. Jakes,
Aaron Norris and Curtis
Writer: Brian Bird
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
The movie opens in 1995 with Dan Johnson getting married to Clarice Clark. The ceremony includes a rope with three strands and a pastor’s admonition to make God the third strand in the marriage so it will be “not easily broken.”
The movie shifts forward to where Dan’s hopes of baseball stardom were dashed by an injury, and Clarice has become the leading salesperson in a real estate firm. Dan has a small remodeling business, enjoys coaching a little league team with some of his buddies and longs to have children of his own. Clarice is consumed with her career and doesn’t want it slowed down by children.
The obvious problems in the marriage are only magnified when Clarice is seriously injured in an auto accident that occurred as the couple was arguing. Clarice’s mother moves into their home to tenderly care for her daughter and viciously criticize Dan. Her bitterness chased off her own husband, and she looks for every opportunity to chase off Dan.
A physical therapist, Julie, is hired to help Clarice recover from her leg injuries. A much more pleasant person to be around than Clarice, she winds up becoming friends with Dan when he invites her son to join the little league team he coaches. This sets up the classic marriage-killing mix of a bitter, complaining wife and a pleasant, admiring other woman (the same can be true when a wife has a bitter husband and a pleasant admirer).
Without God in a marriage, many get broken right at this point. With God in His proper place in a marriage, bitterness is not allowed to grow. Happily, even when God is left out of a marriage, He can heal bitterness and save a marriage if the couple can turn their lives over to Him. It’s a blessing to see a major distributor release a movie that so clearly shows how bringing God, and biblical principles like forgiveness, into relationships leads to healing and restoration.
The movie is profoundly Christian but does not come across as preachy. Producer, Pastor T.D. Jakes, explained he is going after more than just a church audience. MOVIEGUIDE® would give it a +4 for the message alone but must give it a -1 (caution) rating simply because we don’t want readers spotting a family-friendly rating and thinking this is clean enough to bring little children to watch. The movie deals with the lives of people raised in a society where obscenities and violence are the norm. Jakes told MOVIEGUIDE®, “If you have men in the hood playing basketball and they say, ‘Gosh, darn, you’re not a nice person,’ people won’t take your movie seriously.” Even so, many good Christians will be turned off by the movie’s foul language, which is too prevalent.
T.D. Jakes and Sony Pictures should be congratulated, however, for making a movie with a very strong Christian message where marital healing occurs. The two have a deal to make more movies after this. Please pray that there will be many more movies that glorify God and show that He has the answers to our problems, but with less foul language.
NOT EASILY BROKEN is a wonderful movie about the importance of putting God first in a marriage relationship, but it does include worldly struggles and too much foul language in getting to its inspiring conclusion. MOVIEGUIDE® would commend this movie for the whole family, but must give a caution for children due to the foul language and mature themes.