Have you ever watched a movie and wondered why such a good movie never saw the light of day – especially with a 7.7 IMDb rating? Mr. Church had an estimated budget of $8 million, and didn’t even gross $1 million! That seems quite unbelievable, until you consider a couple of factors. Eddie Murphy who stars in the movie plays a totally out of character role in a dramatic portrayal of a man who is talented and selfless at the same time. He appears in the movie to have no vices apart from smoking. His foibles are exposed a little when well into the movie, but he recovers nicely and finishes impeccably.
Eddie is Mr. Church, and he is so smooth and credible in the performance, that he convinces you that he is in fact the person he plays. The movie shows the interrelationships of whites and blacks without once mentioning racial issues. In fact, the word “Black” to describe Mr. Church is only mentioned a couple of times early on in the movie, and the word “White” in racial terms is not mentioned at all.
There is no mention of racial terms and strife, no flagrant language, nudity, gratuitous sex or violence. No wonder it wasn’t a box office hit. The story is one of a warm relationship that develops over time as Mr. Church is contracted as a cook for a dying woman and her only daughter. The characters and relationships develop over a long period of time and through several phases of the daughter’s life. The movie will tug at your heartstrings, make you smile, and maybe even sigh. You will not be bored, and this viewer is not particularly inclined to enjoy dramas. At the end, you will wish it was not over.
Mr. Church is laced with some excellent jazz music, humor, pathos, and intrigue. The pacing is quite reasonable for a drama, and you will not want to miss a minute of it. Kudos to Eddie Murphy, the casting director, the screenwriter, the director, the editor and producer for assembling a movie that was virtually flawless, very credible, warm and family oriented. Unlike most every Hollywood production today, this viewer was unable to detect any political agenda in the movie. Mr. Church will warm the cockles of your heart if you ever have a chance to see it.
Viewer’s response to the movie:
I was hoping to just say thank you for recommending to “L” the Mr. Church movie. I do not care what the CRITICS say. It was a very moving and beautiful movie. I liked Eddie Murphy and the rest of the cast. They did a fantastic job.
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