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.: Akeelah and the Bee

» Akeelah and the Bee.  [ **1/2 ] 
My guess is that critics love this film so much because it is heartwarming, uplifting, and family-friendly, and I love those things about it, too. Maybe, like me, they enjoy watching Angela Basset and Lawrence Fishburne work, or maybe they are just enchanted with lead actress Keke Palmer. Maybe, like me, they want every child who has ever dreamed of being someone special to see this film and start to believe that maybe they can do it.

But as a film, not only does it not transcend its genre, it falters in places. The subplots are weak, a few key events are arbitrary, and the film actually grows tedious around the middle. Take your kids to it and enjoy it yourself, but don't expect it to set a standard for its genre.

A perfect first vehicle for Starbucks, exactly the kind of thing well-to-do white people want to see, and at the same time, genuinely compassionate. [ 04.29.06 ]

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