by Zack Roddy
The Younger’s are a 1950s family with big dreams. As an African American family living in a one-room apartment on Chicago’s south side, their dreams are often deferred by the painful reality of their everyday situation in life, and their hope is beginning to fade.
Lena (Phylicia Rashad), the family matriarch and backbone, works as a domestic for a white family, and dreams of quitting her job and buying a real home for her family. Walter Lee, Jr. (Sean Combs), is currently working as chauffeur and longs to prove his worth by owning his own business and making lots of money. His latest get rich quick scheme includes a desire to invest in a liquor store, which he believes will make him wealthy. His fatigued and newly pregnant wife, Ruth (Audra McDonald), shares in Lena’s desire to own a bigger home so that her son Travis (Justin Martin) can grow up in a proper household, and so there’s room for the new baby. And then there’s Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) Lena’s daughter and Walter Lee’s younger sister, a college student with dreams of becoming a doctor, and who longs to make a difference in the world and find her own identity. The opportunities arise for all of them when an insurance check worth $10,000 from the estate of Lena’s late husband comes in the mail one morning.
Based on Lorraine Hansberry’s award winning play, A Raisin in the Sun was directed by Kenny Leon with a teleplay by Paris Qualles. I hate to harp on a classic, but this movie was completely ridiculous. The acting was all over the place, especially on the part of its star, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who plays a character that is impossible to like. Combs goes throughout the entire movie, whining about how hard his life is, drinking, and whining some more, never taking into account the amount of suffering his family has to handle as well. It seemed as if five minutes in the film couldn’t go by without any of the characters bursting into tears or screaming at one another, which is unpleasant enough already, made worse by the fact that the movie is two hours and ten minutes long. All in all: avoid.