A Thin Line Between Love And Hate Review

A Thin Line Between Love And Hate
A jilted businesswoman gets her own back on Martin Lawrence's womanising nightclub owner.

by Darren Bignell |
Published on
Release Date:

28 Jun 1996

Running Time:

108 minutes



Original Title:

A Thin Line Between Love And Hate

Having scored a fairly major hit in cahoots with fellow US TV star Will Smith in last year's Bad Boys, comedian Martin Lawrence strikes out alone with a comedy thriller that sees him donning the hats of writer, helmer, executive producer and, indeed, star.

In his role as charming ladies' man Darnell Wright, Lawrence manages popular nightclub Chocolate City, while organising the women in his life like chocolates in a box. Which suits him fine, until he sets his sights on Brandi Web (Whitfield), a cynical, glitzy businesswoman who eventually gives in to him, only to be discarded for the homely attractions of childhood friend Mia (Regina King). But Brandi doesn't take rejection kindly and sets about her revenge.

Although this is bravely described as the male side to the Waiting To Exhale coin, what follows is actually little more than an African/American Fatal Attraction, with a few laughs thrown in. And unfortunately, dark tension and bouts of manic comedy make uneasy bedfellows. Lawrence does his best, but it's a fairly hamfisted attempt at extolling the virtues of honest relationships and is only occasionally funny. The best moments come from Della Reese's turn as Darnell's ma, and Brown as his buddy/co-manager Tee.

On this evidence, if Lawrence aspires to the exposure enjoyed by Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in the 80s, he should stick with Will Smith.
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