A modern-day prodigal son story with a twist. Patrick, a magazine writer, seems to have the "perfect life," until one day, there is a knock at the door. On the other side stands a secret that brings him face-to-face with the traditional southern family he hasn't seen in over 10 years.
When Sheldon (Rockmond Dunbar, Soul Food
) comes back to the small Georgia town he left ten years before, he discovers he has a son--and a whole lot of unresolved family secrets. Dirty Laundry
follows Sheldon as he struggles to sort out his relationship with his domineering mother (Loretta Devine, Kingdom Come
), his jealous brother (Maurice Jamal, who also wrote and directed), his snooty aunt (Jenifer Lewis, The Cookout
), and his naive lover Ryan (newcomer Joey Costello), who follows Sheldon from New York. Dirty Laundry
plays like a remake of Sordid Lives
as it might be directed by Tyler Perry. Southern caricatures abound, everyone's feuding with everyone else, gossip and good Christian values go hand in hand, and every church service features a dancing gospel choir. The characters are enjoyable and individual scenes play well, though the overall plot doesn't amount to much. Devine storms through the movie like a force of nature, Lewis musters her highest dudgeon, and Dunbar manages to be prickly but genial at the same time, which is no simple trick. A warm, friendly, dysfunctional family romp. --Bret Fetzer