A Thin Line Between Love and Hate - *

Martin Lawrence directed, produced, wrote and starred in this limp rehash of Fatal Attraction. Lawrence plays Darnell, a ladies man who strives to own a piece of Chocolate City, the nightclub where he works. He’ll do anything to charm the ladies, while making commitments to none…that is, until Brandi (Lynn Whitfield) comes along. She’s beautiful, rich, and wants nothing to do with Darnell…a fact that encourages him all the more. But when Darnell finally makes a commitment to Brandi (and proceeds to break it), she turns out to be not quite the woman he originally thought. Martin Lawrence bites off a bit more than he can chew with his four roles in this haphazard comedy. As a result, nothing seems quite focused. The film never quite decides whether it is a cautionary tale, an out and out comedy, or simply a remake of the above mentioned Fatal Attraction. Martin’s comedy routines range from vulgar comedy to broad slapstick, but they never manage to be quite as funny as they should. The scripting is also poor, never quite giving definition to several secondary characters, such as Darnell’s neighbor, Mia (Regina King), or his best friend Tee (Bobby Brown). There might have been a good movie in this material, but A Thin Line Between Love and Hate never discovers it.

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