On a hot summer day in the town of Lula, family patriarch Woodrow “Bud” Slocumb keels over from a stroke. While his wife Raynelle (Whoopi Goldberg) makes arrangements, the family gathers to pay last respects. Among them is Ray Bud Slocumb (LL Cool J) who never got along with his father and hates funerals, and his wife Lucille (Vivica A. Fox) who keeps miscarrying and is trying to have a baby. The broke and out of work brother, Junior (Anthony Anderson) along with his wife, Charisse (Jsada Pinkett Smith), Marguerite (Loretta Devine), Woodrow’s scripture-spouting sister who’s upset with the way her adult son, Royce (Darius McCrary) is living his life. And a wealthy relative (Toni Braxton) also arrives on the scene. As Reverend Hooker (Cedric the Entertainer) consoles the family, they all reveal their differing opinions and family squabbles.
THE GOOD:…The story has it’s touching and bright moments like when Royce stands up and recites a Bible scripture for the funeral, or when the brothers put their differences aside and come together and then there’s Whoopi who gets to be Whoopi– I miss her. THE NOT-SO-GOOD:…Overall it seemed like a lot of arguing, fighting and drama to deal with on top of a funeral. Tense family moments related to strained marriages, the death of a family patriarch, miscarriage, and issues about smoking and drinking (one apparently having an alcoholism problem and another having one in the past) and jealousy of one another. The tense relationship issues tried to be funny but for the most part, family feuds just aren’t funny. There are African-American issues that will appeal to an audience who culturally understands and wants to explore them. There were just too many extremes that kept the story from being taken seriously.