This is a mostly pretty good movie, but it's also pretty overrated. The performances are terrific however, and are the best part of the film. The story is mostly good, albeit really depressing. Actually, it could have been a lot worse. This actually felt rather toned down compared ot what I was expecting. The writing is okay, but not great. Some of the direction is good, but there's too much slo-mo and shakey editing.
You'd think I'd give it a lower grade because of all that, but no. Like I said, the performances pretty much carry things. The cast is wonderful. Carey and Kravitz are really strong in serious dramatic roles that often aren't given to people like them. Mo'Nique, like everyone said, it amazing, and I'd love to see her do more serious films like this. For a first-timer, Sidibe knocks it out of the park. It's a really challenging role, but she's brilliant. Paula Patton is also quite strong,
In an odd way, I kind of want ot call this a bit of a blaxploitation film, but a different type of one. I'm afraid if I do though, that it will undermine the message of hope and perseverence on display. It's good, but really flawed. There's a bit of humor, which helps, and, as much as I liked it, I think I'd rather watch Angela's Ashes again, and that's saying something, especially since that was real, and this is not.
Sorry for rambling. See this at least once. The acting and emotional power are definitely not to be missed.