Since 2014, maybe even before that, there has been a movie starring familiar Black actors dealing with someone crazy every September. No Good Deed started the trend and now When The Bough Breaks continues it. And just like the rest of those movies, unless you see it in a theater with folks giving commentary it is hardly worth viewing.
Maggots | Depiction Of Human And Animal Carcass | Implied Self Harm
For quite some time, Chef Laura Taylor (Regina Hall) and husband John Taylor Esq. (Morris Chestnut) have been trying to have a child. But now they are on their last viable embryo and after an extensive interview process, they think they have found the one. Well, Laura thought she found the one. The girl’s name is Anna (Jaz Sinclair) and she seems sweet, shy, and just adorable. Problem is, she and her fiancée Mike (Theo Rossi) are both hiding something. Which, if Laura isn’t careful, as well as John, may mean they won’t finally become a family.
Both Regina Hall and Jaz Sinclair are the only ones who really stand out and make this film to me. Hall, because I’m just so used to her being in comedies, does well in a dramatic role. Mind you, it wasn’t a Mo’Nique in Precious type of turn, but it does make you see that she can be more than a comedic actress. Then with Sinclair, honestly it is just nice to see a new face. Granted, we saw her in Paper Towns as Radar’s girlfriend, but she didn’t really get to shine in that film. In this one, though, she gets to show some range. Like she could easily play a love interest similar to how you see girls in many a young adult novel adaptation, or else she could potentially be a serious dramatic actress. I mean, as crazy as Anna can get, and we are told she is, Sinclair never feels over the top for some reason. She knows how to give the right kind of stare, coo her voice to the point of seeming like a femme fatale, and you can just as much imagine her cutting someone with a knife as she could with her eyes.
Like so many movies released nowadays, rather than the trailer simply enticing you, it pretty much reveals everything. Which was a bit of a bummer for this movie since it potentially could have been good. However, between the trailer and director Jon Cassar, sadly things are made too obvious. Take us constantly seeing Anna watching in the distance, taking away from the possibility of her surprising us with what she has known, seen, and sometimes they even reveal what she has done which if they didn’t, could have left us guessing. Especially when it comes to one situation dealing with Mike I don’t want to spoil.
But, in general, what upsets me the most about this film is Anna is set up so perfectly. She is sweet, poor, and has that look of someone you want to help and be there for. Making it where when we learn John has a private detective friend named Roland (Michael K. Williams), and he looks into Anna and learns a bunch of stuff, it makes you wish some things were moved around to put Anna on the defensive a bit. Especially considering how her relationship with Mike is.
I could go on and on about how things could have been better, but at the end of the day I’m in the audience and let me just advise you that unless you see this film at a theater where the audience usually provides commentary, it isn’t worth going to the movies to see. In fact, if you have been following the recent trend of movies similar to this, then it might not be worth you seeing at all. Yeah, Sinclair could be a potential up and coming talent, but this movie’s storyline and the stupidity of John when it comes to Anna honestly is so frustrating. To the point that I only got through watching it in theaters due to the comical comments the ladies behind me were making. If it wasn’t for their jokes, this may have become background noise for a Sunday morning nap. So with that said, unless you are the type who just likes supporting Black films, even if they aren’t worth throwing your dollars at, leave this one alone.