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Deliver Us From Eva (Widescreen Edition) (2003)

A movie directed by Gary Hardwick

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Deliver Us from Eva; Decent Romantic Comedy Offering

  • Jun 1, 2004
Rating:
+1
Pros: Gabrielle Union, some good laughs.

Cons: Not exactly Shakespearean caliber.

The Bottom Line: When all was said and done and the credits rolled, I felt like the movie was time well spend in front of the tube.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Usually I am not overly fond of romantic comedies; I prefer films with action, with hardness, with a spot of erotica; a film with some heft. But something struck me about Deliver Us from Eva. Perhaps it was the presence of the very talented Gabrielle Union, or perhaps it was because the movie is based loosely on William Shakespeare’s timeless comedic play, Taming of the Shrew, albeit with a soulful, sassy twist reminiscent of the black romantic comedy films of the last decade.
The Plotline

Written by Gary Hardwick (The Brothers - 2001) who was a television writer before penning the lackluster romantic-comedy The Brothers, Deliver Us from Eva rolls thusly. Beautiful, passive-aggressive Eva Dandridge (Gabrielle Union, Bring It On – 2000, The Brothers – 2001, Cradle to Grave -2003, Bad Boys II -2003) is a constant hurricane force in the lives of her three attached sisters, in which meddles and controls with gleeful, spiteful abandon. Her sisters Kareenah (Essence Atkins, Love Song – 2000, Looking Through Lillian – 2002), Bethany (Robinne Lee, The Runaway – 2000, National Security – 2003, 13 Going On 30 – 2004) and Jacqui (Meagan Good, Eve’s Bayou – 1997, The Secret Life of Girls – 1999, Biker Boyz – 2003, You Got Served – 2004) don’t seem to mind the attention, because the women have always been a close-nit family unit depended upon Eva for guidance after their parents died when Eva was but 18.

The men in the three sisters lives—Tim (Mel Jackson, Soul Food – 1997, DAG – 2000), Darrell (Dartanyan Edmonds, Thin Line Between Love and Hate – 1996, Woo – 1998), and Mike (Duane Martin, White Men Can’t Jump – 1992, Scream 2 – 1997, Woo – 1998, The Groomsmen – 2001)—on the other hand, fiercely resent Eva’s habitual meddling in their private affairs. Her constant browbeating, shrill demeanor, icy insults, and total disregard for their place in the sister’s lives have left them desperate for relief from Eva. As one of the men quips, Eva is an "evil nasty sister that beats a brother down till he's dust." And oh yes, Eva is also an inspector for the L.A. department of Public Health, and is universally despised by the cities restaurateurs.

Tired, frustrated and realizing they may never be free of Eva’s influence on their lives, the men enter into a contract of sorts with a "master player" named Ray (LL Cool J, Wildcats – 1996, Woo – 1998, Any Given Sunday – 1999, Charlie’s Angels – 2000, S.W.A.T. – 2003), in which they will pay him $5,000 to date Eva so she devotes less time to them and their affairs. After a predicable chilly beginning the relationship grows feet. All goes smoothly until Ray falls in love with Eva and feels a need to confess all, much to the consternation of the three men.

My Impressions

While Deliver Us from Eva is not a movie I would have shelled out $7.00 to see on the big screen, it was perfect for a Saturday night full of ho-hum television and rolling thunderstorms which dumped enough rain in my backyard to float an aircraft carrier task group. Along the way to the finish I found myself laughing out loud; not those superficial polite, oh-that-was mildly-amusing kinds of laughs, but the deep hardy belly laughs that can bring water to the unsuspecting eye.

And though I felt true chemistry was somewhat lacking between Gabrielle Union and LL Cool J (whose name reportedly stand for Ladies Love Cool James), their courtship was fun to watch and slightly unpredictable. Ms. Union turns in a fine performance, while LL was just a bit too cool, and lacking in emotional luster. All of his lines were delivered in that same smooth cadence, even when speaking to his benefactors. There was no nuance, no range, and no part of his character that compelled me to care a wit about him.

Eva, as evil, mean-spirited, and manipulative as she was, found a soft spot in my heart; as portrayed by Ms. Union, I could feel her pain underneath the bravado, the longing for understanding, love and acceptance in the beautifully slightly upturned almond eyes of Ms. Union.

While not Oscar material Deliver Us from Eva is fun, and funny; not deep and preachy but light and airy requiring little reflective thought. And that’s okay, because on occasion the brain needs a rest. When all was said and done and the credits rolled, I felt like the movie was time well spend in front of the tube.


Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Deliver Us From Eva reviews
review by . March 23, 2009
I caught this movie on cable the other night never hearing about it before and I was pleasantly surprised by this well-made and highly entertaining film.     Three friends hire a Romeo (Cool Jay) type "player" to try to romance and dump the ultimate "dragon lady" (Eva) who manipulates their women and eat up and spits out men without a thought. The idea is that the Romeo will dump Eva making her leave and then they can have control over their women and their lives.     Not …
review by . January 18, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I caught this movie on cable the other night never hearing about it before and I was pleasantly surprised by this well-made and highly entertaining film.     Three friends hire a Romeo (Cool Jay) type "player" to try to romance and dump the ultimate "dragon lady" (Eva) who manipulates their women and eat up and spits out men without a thought. The idea is that the Romeo will dump Eva making her leave and then they can have control over their women and their lives.    Not …
review by . May 17, 2004
What more is there to say? The movie was GREAT. LL was wonderful, Gabrielle Union was fabulous, and the supporting cast was simply over the top. Loved the storyline---that of 4 sisters whose closeness and allegiance to the oldest (Gabrielle Union) drives their husbands/boyfriends crazy. So they employ Raymond (LL), resident mac daddy, to woo Eva and get her out of their hair. But the whole scheme backfires when Raymond develops genuine feelings for the sister from hell....and subsequently wants …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #194
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie

Wiki

At a time when theaters were clogged with insipid romantic comedies for a predominantly white audience,Deliver Us from Evaoffered a smart and sassy alternative. It's another variation of Shakespeare'sTaming of the Shrew, beginning when Ray (James Todd Smith, a.k.a. LL Cool J) accepts a $5,000 challenge to seduce Eva (Gabrielle Union), an alleged man-hater who dominates her three sisters and the men in their lives, who are desperate to be "delivered from Eva." It's a sitcom plot from start to finish, with no real surprises. What liftsEvafrom its potential doldrums is the sensible negotiations that emerge between the would-be lovers, and a sharp screenplay that allows Ray and Eva to arrive at a mutual understanding that's richer and more mature than most comedies would bother to allow. By giving its characters an opportunity to show their truly attractive colors, Eva is deliveredtous, claws retracted, and ready for love.--Jeff Shannon
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Details

Director: Gary Hardwick
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: February 7, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2003
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
First to Review
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