Movie Review: Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy

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Eddie Murphy is a comedian, right? He was the tough but cheeky police officer who taught the Beverly Hills police officers a thing or two. He was the voice of the goofy braying donkey in the “Shrek” movies, the obnoxious real estate agent lost in a haunted mansion (one of my favorite movies, by the way), and the famous Dr. Doolittle, among other roles. “Mr. Church” is not a comedy. So, the big question is can Eddie Murphy succeed in a really serious role? I suppose anything could happen. Let’s see as the story unfolds.

Mr. Church is a cook who is on a 6 month loan from his rich boss to his former mistress, Marie. Marie has one great treasure, her daughter, Charlotte. Unbeknownst to Charlotte her mother has end stage breast cancer with a prognosis of 6 months to live. Mr. Church is here to make her last 6 months as smooth as possible. Charlotte wanders into the kitchen one morning and is not pleased to find a strange black man in her house. He is preparing a feast and she is rude and disrespectful. She won’t touch a morsel and demands a bowl of Apple Jacks. She insists her mother get rid of him. Marie says she will and then does not. Much to Charlie’s dismay, Mr. Church stays. Charlie and Mr. Church have a tenuous relationship that develops into one of deep friendship because of books and food.

Mr. Church has only one rule: his private life is nobody’s business but his own. Charlie breaks the rule by asking him about his life. He bellows at her. This has never happened before and Charlie is shocked to tears. Mr. Church gives a terse apology before leaving for the night and returns the next morning as if nothing had happened.

Everyone has secrets. Mr. Church and his private life. Charlie’s mom doesn’t tell her about the cancer. Charlie is attending a private school as a charity case and doesn’t want the cute boy at school to find out. Life goes on and as with real life, everything changes. Or does it?

This movie is based on a true story. Daphne and I saw the movie on the day after its opening. There were only 6 of us in the whole theatre. That is sad because those who didn’t watch the movie missed out on an a wonderfully written film. Eddie Murphy was fabulous! He played the role with finesse and authenticity. Who knew? Though he played a complex character, and how complex we don’t find out ’til the last third of the movie, he surprised me with his talent. Charlie, played by Britt Robertson, also did a fantastic job. I kept thinking that she really looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Leave it to my Fan Girl, Daphne, to recognize Britt as the actress who played Angie in Stephen King’s “Under the Dome”.

Daphne and I really recommend that you see this movie, but make sure you bring a few handkerchiefs and some companions. This is a 4 hanky film as some parts are going to make you tear up. Be assured that this is not just a girly movie. Daphne and Mama Vicky give it a very high 2 thumbs up! “Mr. Church” gets 5 of 5 stars! Even though it didn’t open with a lot of fanfare and the house wasn’t packed, do yourself a favor and see this movie. You will love “Mr. Church”.

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