The Fighting Temptations - 4
The Fighting Temptations is a 2003 American musical comedy film directed by Jonathan...
The Fighting Temptations - 4
The Fighting Temptations is a 2003 American musical comedy film directed by Jonathan Lynn, written by Elizabeth Hunter and Saladin K. Patterson, and distributed by Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. The main plot revolves around Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who travels to his hometown of Monte Carlo, Georgia as he attempts to revive a church choir in order to enter a gospel competition with the help of a beautiful lounge singer, Lilly (Beyoncé Knowles), with whom he falls in love. Through the choir's music, Darrin brings the church community back together all the while seeking a relationship with Lilly.
The film is notable for its soundtrack and ensemble cast. The film received mixed reviews upon release.
In 1980, a young boy named Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his mother, MaryAnn (Faith Evans), are run out of their hometown after MaryAnn is soon discovered to be singing secular music when she sings in a church choir. After being confronted about this by the self-righteous Paulina Pritchett (LaTanya Richardson), MaryAnn is forced to choose between singing professionally or remaining in the choir. MaryAnn and Darrin are last seen on a bus saying goodbye to their beloved Aunt Sally (Ann Nesby), as they sadly wave to each other.
In 2003, Darrin has grown up to become a successful advertising executive in New York City with a bad habit of lying. His secretary and only true friend, Rosa Lopez (Lourdes Benedicto), does a good job at keeping his credit problems under control. However, Darrin has achieved so much under false pretenses, having faked his college degree and high school diploma and lied about being the son of a congressman. Eventually, his lies soon catch up with him and get him in trouble with his paranoid boss (Dakin Matthews) resulting in Darrin‘s termination. After being tracked down by a private investigator, Darrin finds out that Aunt Sally has died.
Darrin returns to his hometown and upon arrival, he finds new friendships in Paulina’s grandson Jimmy B. (Mitchah Williams) and Lucious (Mike Epps), the town's happy-go-lucky, womanizing cab driver (who also has a fear of the Lord, and an unhealthy obsession with women’s buttocks). After Aunt Sally's funeral Darrin soon learns from the Reverend (Wendell Pierce) that Aunt Sally had stated in her will that he must direct the church choir and enter the annual "Gospel Explosion" competition and win the prize money of $10,000 and in doing so, will inherit Aunt Sally's stock in the company that produces the show which is currently worth $150,000.
Upon taking charge of the once-powerful choir, Darrin discovers that it has fallen into decline over the years, with only a handful of members remaining.
After several setbacks, Darrin eventually recruits many new members, most of which he does so by promising half of the competition's prize money to them (though he has no intention of paying anyone). He also reconnects with his childhood friend and crush Lilly (Beyoncé), who has faced ostracization from the townspeople similar to MaryAnn's, due to her being an R&B nightclub singer, and having a son, Dean (Darrell Vanterpool), out of wedlock. Lilly, at first, refuses to join the choir as she is both disgusted by Darrin's romantic advances and because she doesn't want to put up with the townpeople's criticism of her, but with some assurance from Darrin, she ultimately relents and becomes the new lead singer of the choir, causing Paulina to quit in retaliation.
Several weeks later, Paulina reveals that Darrin forgot to enter the choir into the auditions on time. Luckily, the audition judge, Luther Washington Faizon Love, who is also the town's prison warden, lets them perform in a show for his prisoners when their booked act cancels. Thanks to Lilly's beautiful looks and voice, the choir performs well and Washington lets them into the competition. Washington also lets Darrin borrow three convicts who can sing. The three convicts are Bee-Z Briggs, Lightfoot, and Mr. Johnson (T-Bone, Chris Cole, and Montell Jordan). After weeks of success, the choir has become more popular, as more people have joined both it and the church. Lilly starts to trust Darrin and develops romantic feelings for him as well. However, Paulina takes a message for Darrin in a phone call from Rosa and learns of his past troubles, and intends on exposing him the first chance she gets. The next afternoon at a church barbecue, Paulina deliberately reveals Darrin's secrets with a polite demeanor, in order to make herself look innocent. Lilly, furious and heartbroken about this, tells Darrin that she doesn't care what he does; she was only using him because he was using her, and the people whom he promised money to begin to panic.
Since Lilly wants nothing to do with him, Darrin decides to quit and returns to New York, where he has been offered his job back. However, when Darrin goes back and gets a new condo and a promotion, he comes to realize that none of these things mean anything without Lilly and the choir. Darrin quits his job and returns to Monte Carlo to reconcile with Lilly. The two then recruit Lucious and the Reverend and all of them rush down to the Gospel Explosion to join the choir for the performance.
When Darrin and Lilly arrive, Paulina tries to keep them out, citing that Darrin forfeited his inheritance when he left Monte Carlo. However, Reverend Lewis finally stands up to Paulina and calls her out for being a selfish, conniving, hypocritical individual. He then reveals to the choir that her husband, whom she previously had claimed was deceased, is alive and remarried to a better woman. Lilly scolds Paulina for insulting Sally's will and wishes, which gave Darrin the choir. They manage to convince the others to vote Paulina out of the choir, giving Darrin his position as director back.
Before their performance begins, Darrin tells Lilly that she inspired him to name the choir The Fighting Temptations.
After an outstanding performance, the choir wins the competition, but before ending his acceptance speech, Darrin starts a proper relationship with Lilly by surprising her with an unexpected marriage proposal, to which she accepts. Eighteen months later, the two are shown to be happily married with a baby of their own.