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Marriage Prep

Reviewed at Hollywood Black Film Festival, Feb. 27, 2000. Running time: 102 MIN.

Reviewed at Hollywood Black Film Festival, Feb. 27, 2000. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: Donahue Tuitt, Temple Parker, Skip Mullen, Darlene Rene, Thomas Lazare, Sonya Leslie, Joel Kindrick, Roe Williams, Baron Jay, Alicia Mallory.

Four engaged couples attend a Christian premarital boot camp in an amusing, occasionally tender indie with production values so amateurishly low that they virtually vitiate the film’s commercial possibilities.

The couples have to contend with issues of loyalty, truth and compatibility at the camp run by Cornelius and Charmaine Cleveland (an overly comedic Skip Mullen and Darlene Rene). Though the leaders boast a perfect track record, this group seems more recalcitrant than usual. As the Clevelands take them through exercises designed to enhance trust, elicit openness and deepen their faith in God, the men and women reveal various details about themselves and their remarkably disparate feelings about marriage. Writer-director Donahue Tuitt, who plays one of the would-be grooms, has given the piece an appealingly intimate feel, and he’s supported by a talented but largely inexperienced cast willing to take risks. But tech elements are bad, beginning with key continuity lapses and sound design so poor and static-filled that much of the dialogue simply goes unheard.

Marriage Prep

Production: A Lighted Pathway production. Produced by Donahue Tuitt. Executive producer, Rosalind Keith. Directed, written by Donahue Tuitt.

Crew: Camera, (color) Armand Gazarian; editor, Yousef Shehadeh; music, Ann Moore; music supervisor, Derrick Wade.

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