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Deliver Us From Eva (March 4/03)

Deliver Us From Eva is a cliched and cheesy romantic comedy that's obvious from the word go, but remains kind of watchable due mostly to LL Cool J's surprisingly charming performance.

The film centers around a woman named Eva (Gabrielle Union), a tyrannical sort who's been controlling the lives of her sisters for years. The three men dating Eva's sisters are tired of it, and hire noted ladies man Ray (LL Cool J, billed as James Todd Smith) to make Eva fall in love with him - thus getting her off their respective backs.

It should come as no surprise that Eva and Ray eventually fall in love, nor should it seem shocking that Eva does learn of Ray's deception. Those kinds of silly plot devices are par for the course in films of this ilk, and the filmmakers have no problem exploiting elements they know have worked in the past. These aren't characters as much as they're charicatures, designed to further the plot in the most efficient (and predictable) manner possible. The simplistic approach to the material will no doubt please undiscriminating viewers, while those who've seen any romantic comedy will be consistently several steps ahead of the characters.

Still, the film isn't a complete wash - if only because of LL Cool J's captivating performance. His charismatic onscreen demeanor affords him the ability to make even the most uninspired material seem interesting, which is certainly the case here.

out of

© David Nusair