After Vanessa William's beloved role in "Ugly Betty," it comes as no surprise that Warner Brothers bought up an indie film ("And Then Came Love") starring none other than Vanessa Williams. It should also come to no surprise that the uninspired movie's sole purpose is to profit off of Vanessa Williams.
The plot: Single mother Julie (Vanessa Williams) begins to face a problem when her son Jake desires a father figure.
Wanting to know who the sperm donor is, Julie seeks him out. Soon after meeting him (Paul), the two become close and Paul even begins to bond with Jake. The story doesn't end there. Julie has a boyfriend who recently proposed to her, which complicates matters further.
If the story synopsis sounds familiar, that's because it is. "And Then Came Love" doesn't have an original bone in its body. Cliched plot points and characters clutter the movie. How many times can a person see a nagging mother wanting her to daughter to marry a man or a single mother trying to fill the void in her life? There's no question the film is identifiable to people across the globe, but since every word of the script feels phony, overdone, and forced, you never get the sense the characters are real. All you see is actors acting.
There is one exception. Kevin Daniels (who plays Paul) brings charisma and energy to his role. It's amusing that he has more chemistry with Jake in one scene than Williams does at all. The entire time, Vanessa Williams appeared to be counting the days until the end of the shoot so she could cash her check.
The widescreen video is better than expected for such a low quality production. I did not notice any video complications. Pretty solid all-around.
The Dolby Digital Stereo track is a turn off. Since the dialogue is dubbed over the original recording, not a single scene gives off a sense of realism. For instance, a scene between Paul and Julie in the bar feels empty because there isn't any background noise from fellow patrons, pool players, etc. The only sound is of a song playing over the scene to hide the absence of sound. Viewers also have the option to play the film in Portugese or play with English, Spanish, French, or Portugese subtitles.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 extras have been slapped onto this disk. There are 3 "And Then Came Love" featurettes titled "Behind The Scenes," "Making Choices," and "The Mommy Posse." The behind the scenes feature is exactly what it sounds like. We see interviews with the cast and crew talking about their favorite scenes and trying desperately to explain the film's shortcomings. Sorry, but there's no way to get around a script we've seen before. The making choices featurette centers on writer/producer Caytha Jantis acting like her material is unique. Does she even watch movies? The Mommy Posse is nothing more than an excuse for Caytha to show off her mother/softball team friends and giving them parts or jobs. Finally, there are 6 deleted scenes which are mostly extended scenes. The only notable scene was an extended cut in a bathroom where the scene switches back and forth to Vanessa Williams and her friend and a woman talking on a toilet. It was like something out of a Rob Schneider pic. Previews for "Roots" DVD, "Traci Townsend," "The List," "Spark," and "The Ellen Show" are also included.
"And Then Came Love" is a hackneyed dramedy that relies heavily on stereotypes instead of conveying a fresh point of view. You're better off watching a Lifetime movie. Skip it.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.