The Fighting Temptations (2003) Movie Script

- Thanks, Darrin.
- You're welcome.
- You wanna be my girlfriend?
- Sorry, I wanna marry Michael Jackson.
Darrin, Lilly, get in there and sit down.
- Bless you.
- There she goes again.
Wouldn't be a normal Sunday
if Faye didn't get slain in the Spirit.
- Mary Ann.
- Pastor.
He's growin' like a weed.
You must feed him fertiliser.
- He's the smartest in his class.
- There she is. Hold her, Reverend.
Standin' in the house of God,
all the while singin' the Devil's music.
- What's this all about?
- I found this at the store.
It's Mary Ann,
singin' that R & B sex music.
Mary Ann. Mary Ann!
What you gotta say about all this?
I got my chance to become a singer.
I didn't think it was wrong.
The church by-laws clearly state that
no member shall partake of fornication...
- Amen.
...gamblin' and drinkin',
all goin' on at that juke joint
where she sings.
Just take a look at this.
Do It To Me Again.
- We all know what "it" means.
- I'm surprised you remember what "it" is.
Why were you at the record store
lookin' through the Devil's music?
- I got the Lord on my side.
- Paulina, you need to hush.
- Tell her, honey.
- This girl ain't hurtin' nobody.
- Amen, sister Sally.
- Need I remind you of the church motto?
"Beware of brief delight
and lasting shame."
- Them kids are on that organ again.
- Stop stallin', Paul.
- You're supposed to handle this.
- I'm the pastor here.
- Do your job, boy, or I'll get Mama.
- You call me Reverend round here.
Now, Mary Ann, it's like this.
It's like she says.
You stop singin' that secular music
or you're gonna have to leave the choir.
- Right.
- I'm sorry. It's your pick.
Make up your mind, child.
Think about what you're doin', sister.
Wave goodbye to Aunt Sally.
Darrin, here's that market research.
There's something you should know...
Yes! I'm gonna blow 'em away.
I'm a player. I'm in the zone.
Corner office, huge window.
Take care of these credit card bills.
Use this one to pay off this one.
And do a balance transfer
from here to here for that one.
And cover this one with that one.
What were you tryin' to say earlier?
A private investigator is looking for you.
Why? Who's tryin' to find me?
- I'm double-checking.
- Does he know what I look like?
No. Chill. I told him you're not in,
so he's leaving a message.
- Tell him I'm out of town.
- I did.
Time to climb the corporate ladder.
This plan will increase the market shares
of Lincoln & Gerald liquors
by a whopping
eight per cent in two years.
- We hoped to see faster growth.
- We can give them double-digit growth.
As I said, it is the company position that
eight per cent growth should be the goal.
If there's a different opinion that'll lead
to better growth, we wanna hear it.
Let me ask you this. Which demographic
consumes the most malt liquor?
- Go ahead, you can say it.
- Black people?
There you go! Very good!
However, I noticed
you don't have a malt liquor division.
- I noticed that, too.
- I propose a new ad campaign
that maximises exposure
in the African-American market.
Place positive images of your product
where black people live.
You'll pass single-digit growth
faster than a pro athlete
can get his criminal charges dropped!
That is not thinking outside the box,
that's realising there is no box.
That's why we hired this company.
Where've you been hiding him?
- He's a junior executive.
- Get him on the team.
I mean, he was a junior executive.
- You've been promoted.
- Where'd you learn that thinking?
- Yale.
- I'm a Princeton man.
But I see we let one get away!
We'd better let him get started
on this interesting idea.
Thank you. Thank you.
- I'll be giving you a corner office.
- Thank you, sir.
This is France's finest.
I first encountered it
growing up in Monte Carlo.
- You're a New York boy.
- I lived there until I was 17.
I've never met a brother
who grew up in Europe before.
- Actually, I was born in South America.
- Where?
- Homevideo.
- That's in Peru, right?
- Venezuela. My father was in oil.
- You sound American.
I went to prep school here. At Andover.
Money was no object.
Mr Hill, I'm afraid your credit card
has been declined.
Right. That was not activated yet.
Try this one.
Mr Fairchild wants to see you
first thing in the morning.
Great. Great, great, great.
There is nothing in my refrigerator
but water. Water and wine.
This is the dining room. We don't spend
a lot of time in here, so it looks very nice.
It's not just a normal chandelier,
it's funky and fun.
- You wanted to see me, sir?
- Darrin.
What I have to say is very difficult.
We have a... situation.
A situation that involves deception
and an unbridled passion
to get what one wants at any cost.
- Company policy.
- No, no. Well, yes, of course it is.
But in this case, it's more personal.
Darrin, you're fired.
Fired? But why?
A representative of Lincoln & Gerald
has an annoying habit
of checking up on things.
It seems you were thrown out of Yale
when it was discovered you faked
your high school diploma from Andover.
Your deception has caught up with you.
But I've been doing such good work.
We cannot be represented
by people who tell lies.
We're in advertising.
You've caused the firm embarrassment
in front of important clients.
I have to let you go. You're smart,
but you broke the 11th commandment:
"Thou shalt not get caught."
- Now...
- Sir, you're making a big mistake.
I'm here for you.
I'm smart, I'm ambitious...
Have your things out of here
in half an hour.
I'm disappointed in you. I expected more
from a congressman's son.
- Darrin Hill?
- Yes.
You've been a tough one to track down.
This is for you.
What is it? A subpoena? A summons?
A ploy to distract me
while you repo my stuff?
Sure, those are fun, but no.
My aunt Sally died.
"We request your presence at the funeral
and reading of the will."
- The funeral's tomorrow.
- Ask your boss for time off.
You know you just cut a brother, right?
Hurts when you do that, man.
Come on, baby.
Make me happy. Cash advance.
Be a winner.
I thank you, Bank of Piscataway!
Kids ain't got no business
playin' a man's game.
Funny, that's the same thing someone
told me... two hours ago.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Can I get something to eat around here?
- Reed!
- Comin' right up.
Better make that to go.
- I need a taxi.
- Reed's only got two hands.
- Wait till he fixes your dinner.
- Right.
No signal.
Wait a minute.
You must be Darrin!
What's up?
- I'm Lucius, your welcome committee.
- How'd you know I was here?
Aunt Sally always bragged
she had a successful nephew.
Let me get your stuff, man. Come on.
Montecarlo used to be a one-horse town.
- Did the horse die?
- You'll see, you'll see.
We got everythin'
to offer that a big city does.
I'm happy to have
another player in town, man.
Reach over and pull this handle
from the inside.
- OK.
- Appreciate that.
So, you came by train.
I was tryin' to meet the bus.
I'm goin' to the Canaan Inn.
That's straight down this road,
about five minutes.
Yours won't open, mine won't stay shut.
But it opens.
Yes, it opens.
The next hour is brought to you
by Mitchell's Funeral Home,
where the caskets are so nice,
you'll wish you were dead.
Now the news. Like to give a shout out
to Darrin Hill, in town for Sally's funeral.
- Welcome home.
- That's news?
- Next, traffic.
- There is no traffic.
- There is no traffic.
- I could do this job.
- I wonder what the temperature is.
- The temperature is 85.
Boy, you got soft. This ain't nothin'
compared to July and August.
That's when you can fry an egg
on the sidewalk.
After this, I'm going back
to New York City,
with no eggs
frying on the sidewalk.
- Because it's cold?
- No, because it's civilisation.
There's too much urine on the sidewalk.
See? You don't know
what you're missin'.
The hotter it get, the less
the honeys start wearin'.
They gotta let that booty b...
Gotta let that booty breathe.
I know you got your Naomo Cambos
and your Holy Berrys,
all the models up there,
but for booty,
you got to come down south.
We booty experts, bootyologists.
- Booty is in the eye of the beholder.
- Booty gonna be in my hand.
Now your Louisiana booty, it gets its
buoyancy from its heavy seafood diet.
Your Alabama booty
is characterised by its density.
A quarter bouncing... ping!
As for your Mississippi booty,
consensus say the Indian genetic
contribution gives it its beautiful tone.
As for your Georgia booty,
the Georgia sun bakes and seals
all the booty juices into a slow roast!
- I see I'm dealing with a connoisseur.
- For sure, a booty connoisseur.
- Who's that?
- Lilly, please hurry up.
That's Lilly. Forget all that booty stuff.
She's in a spectrum of fineness
the energy is so potent in,
she got a suit against her
for reckless endangerment.
Sounds like a special kind of woman.
Holler at me later,
I'll hook you up with her.
This is where you're stayin'.
Thought they were puttin' me up
in a hotel.
It's a boardin' house. This the only place
that has room. Hey, Jimmy B!
- Hey, what's up, Smooth L?
- His grandmother own the place.
Darrin? Come on,
everybody's already at the funeral.
Get in.
Momma catch me
Put a whoopin' to my backside
- And even as a crack fiend...
- Man, that's inappropriate music.
This man's auntie's
about to be maggot food.
The funeral is beginnin' of Sally Walker.
Let us have a moment of silence
to pay our respect.
Sorry about that.
I guess I was celebratin' her life
a little late into the night.
Simon. Sarah. How you all doin' today?
- Aunt Sally's nephew, Darrin.
- Nice to meet you.
- Sorry about your aunt.
- We all loved Miss Sally.
She was little Nicholas's godmother.
Hey, little man.
You know I'm your daddy, right?
Don't hate the player. Hate the game.
I'm in the freakin' Twilight Zone.
Wake up!
Wake up!
Oh, Sally!
Why did it have to be her?
Oh, Lord! Oh, Lord!
Faye, couldn't you find someplace else
to be slain in the Spirit?
- Grandma, get up!
- She's your grandma?
Sally! Sally!
The nerve, showin' their faces
in the house of God.
Glad my departed husband
isn't here to witness this.
You can't keep people from a funeral.
They loved Sally.
They're a bunch of heathens.
I don't even know why she cared.
Move down.
Brothers and sisters,
we are gathered here today
to pay tribute to a great woman...
Sally Walker.
We will now be blessed
with a selection from the choir
and their lead singer,
Reverend Shirley Caesar.
I got a signal. It's a miracle!
- If that ain't Jesus callin', shut it off.
- Sorry. Go on.
My cellphone's been out of range.
Has Mr Fairchild changed his mind?
- What?
- They're repossessing your stuff.
Not my TV!
Nothing can replace Aunt Sally!
Not my TV, my Bose system...
Let it out, son, let it out.
Keep stalling the creditors.
I'll call you back.
- The church, it's in mourning
- Mourning
Glory to God
The church, it's in mourning
- Mournin'
- Oh, yeah, oh, yeah
- The church, it's in mourning
- Mourning
Good God Almighty, another soldier
A true-born soldier
Has gone home, gone home
Why, we're here today
For the home-going and the celebration
Of a wonderful woman
Aunt Sally
Everybody loved Aunt Sally
She took the young people
And kept them under her wings
And she cared for the elderly
I just wanna say listen
We might not have this chance
Swift move on, Aunt Sally
Swift move on, Aunt Sally
And take your rest
We loved you, Aunt Sally
But God loved you best
- Oh, yeah
- If you see my mother there
Tell my momma I'm on my way
I'm on my way
- Our hearts are in mourning
- Mourning
Glory to God
It's left our hearts in mourning
Good God Almighty, good God Almighty
- It's left our hearts in mourning
- Mournin'
Another soldier, a true-born soldier
A holy, good soldier
A heaven-bound soldier
- Yeah
- Yeah
Gone, gone, gone
Gone on home
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
- Hallelujah.
- Amen.
- Yeah
- Yeah
- Let the church say amen.
- Amen.
- Let the church say amen.
- Amen.
- Amen.
- Yes, yes, yes. Well, well, well.
At this time, we would like to give
Sally's family and loved ones
an opportunity to say
how much she meant to 'em.
It's only fitting to start with the person
that came the farthest way to be here.
- That's her great-nephew, Darrin.
- All right. Yeah.
- Oh, yeah, brother Darrin.
- Yes, my brother.
- Oh, yeah.
- All right, son.
Come on. Oh, yeah, amen.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Many of you don't remember me.
- The one that had the phone.
Yeah. But before that,
I was Aunt Sally's favourite nephew.
I thought we'd see forever,
but forever's gone away.
And it's so hard to say goodbye... yesterday.
- Boyz II Men.
- I got one amen, can I get another?
- Amen.
My mom passed away a few years ago,
in a hit-and-run accident
when I was still a teenager.
It's the talks I had with her
I cherish more than anything.
I remember her telling me...
...that it was Aunt Sally who took us in
when I was a baby,
after my father died in Vietnam.
- I'll always love her for that.
- Your mama dead, too?
He just said it.
Young man, so glad that you came
for your aunt's funeral.
She was always telling us how well
you were doin' up in New York,
with your important job.
- What was it?
- What was what?
Your job. She never mentioned
what it was.
I haven't seen you since you were
knee-high to a grasshopper.
Reverend, have you seen
this very pretty lady?
- Her name is Lilly?
- She ain't no lady.
Mother Cooley, sinners are welcome
in the house of the Lord.
- She's a sinner? What kind of sinner?
- Unrepentant.
- Really?
- I just come to offer my condolences
and let you know that to be absent from
the body is to be present with the Lord.
- She's in a far better place, OK?
- Yes, ma'am.
I gotta tell you, you and that choir,
you're pretty good.
Pretty good?
"To my neighbour and best friend, Faye,
I leave all my favourite recipes."
- Thank you, Sally.
- "Faye, dependin' on what I die from,
"you might wanna divide
the Crisco measurements by half."
Don't change that Chicken Supreme.
"And to Paulina Pritchett...
"I leave my collection of church hats
that she always complimented me on.
"She should really enjoy wearin' them,
unless she was lyin' to me,
"but criticisin' my taste behind my back."
I'll wear them every Sunday.
"And now for my only survivin' relative,
my great-nephew Darrin.
"To Darrin, I leave the box
containin' the letters his mother sent me
"after they left Montecarlo.
"Also the charge of returnin',
to continue the family tradition
"of directin'
the Beulah Baptist Church Choir."
Lt... It's her dyin' wish.
I was next in line to get the choir.
I been waitin' years for Sally to die.
God rest her soul.
- I'm not leadin' some small-town choir.
- Good.
"On the condition that Darrin
"gets the choir accepted into the
annual Gospel Explosion in Columbus,
"I also leave him my entire stock
in Georgia Telecom,
"currently worth $150,000."
I was kiddin'
about that small-town stuff.
- "And the church bus."
- How much that worth?
No way. I don't care what Sally's dyin'
wish was, we all know she was losin' it.
Besides, Paul, you have final say over
who leads the choir. It's in the by-laws.
I guess that would seem kinda odd,
to have someone with no musical
experience leadin' the choir.
I have plenty of musical experience.
Now, you all don't know this
and I didn't tell anyone, but...
I'm a music producer.
That's what I do for a living.
Sally mighta been on to somethin'.
What kind of producin' have you done?
Well, I've worked with P Diddy.
Dre, Darkchild, all of 'em.
The gangster stuff that's pollutin'
my grandson's mind.
I put an end to that
East Coast versus West Coast thing.
- I just made 'em all watch Roots.
- I think I read about that.
What is this Gospel Explosion?
Choirs from all over the southeast
come to Columbus, Georgia,
to compete for the best gospel
performance and a $10,000 cash prize.
Yeah, a prize that could pay for
some much needed church repairs
if a certain musical producer
could bring it home.
Paul Lewis, I wish Mama was alive
to see how you turn on family like this!
I intend on honourin'
Sally's dyin' wish.
Darrin, you have six weeks
until the Gospel Explosion.
Whatever you need,
we're at your disposal.
But you're gonna have to talk
to the church treasurer about logistics.
Let me guess, you're the treasurer.
Yes. Everything you need
is at my disposal.
Take it easy.
Paulina, can I get a ride to my room?
Darrin! Since you're gonna
be here longer now,
let me give you
the extended-stay rates.
- Great.
- $1.50 for every bar of soap you use,
$2 for any clean towel you require
and $1 a minute for all calls made.
You get one free 911 call.
I suggest you use it wisely.
Air conditioning? You're charging me
for air conditioning?
It gets 100 degrees at night!
- What is that?
- A Monte Cristo!
- It's a cigar.
- Obviously.
- Cuban?
- Of course.
- Cool.
- Hey!
- That cost me $20!
- This is a no-smokin' house.
It's a no-smokin', no-drinkin',
no-fornicatin', no point-of-livin' house.
- Why are we here?
- A little Southern delight.
The honeys in here
make them girls in Atlanta
look like somebody hit 'em
in the face with a sack of nickels.
There she is!
You're on your own. I see somebody
that owe me money. Hey, man!
I told you I was gonna get... Hey, babe.
- Tea with honey. Here you go, Lilly.
- Thank you.
You know how to connect
with your audience. That was hot.
I pick out the guy who's droolin'
the most and make him sweat.
It worked. Can I buy you a real drink?
I'm Darrin.
- You really don't remember me?
- That Lilly?
You kept askin' me to be your girlfriend.
- You kept sayin' no.
- I was gonna be Mrs Michael Jackson.
- How's that goin'?
- I'm not his type.
I can't believe you remember that.
I left when you were, what, five?
Man, we heard about you all the time.
Sally would tell us poor country folk how
well you and your mama were doing.
She was very special to all of us.
When I talked to her
just before she passed,
she said that she wanted me to come
back and be with her friends. Like you.
- You spoke with Sally that day?
- Yeah. She went on and on.
I suppose she hung up the phone and...
You know.
Her dying wish was for us to hook up?
God love her.
Sally was in a coma
two weeks before she died.
That's right. Must have been
a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, I'm back amongst all you
wonderful people who need consoling.
- How long are you in town?
- Just tonight.
How about being my girlfriend,
for old time's sake?
I've got a man. Dean is big and strong
and has a real big jealous streak.
Sometimes he watches from the back.
Excuse me, I got a show to do.
OK. Hey, knock 'em dead.
Your act is terrific.
Yours needs a lot of work.
Rosa, this is the only place
I get a signal.
More charges came in, more late fees.
You're up to 44 grand.
I just came into some money. I'll be able
to take care of it in just a few weeks.
- Make sure they can't find me.
- I'll do my best.
You're a doll. Kick ass.
When everyone gets here,
we'll begin rehearsals.
That number you did at the funeral
should get into any gospel competition.
That was Shirley Caesar, fool.
She hasn't gone to this church for years.
But since she loved Sally,
we let her and her choir sing.
- She's gone?
- She's gone.
- Where's our choir?
- You're lookin' at it.
This is it? Six measly people?
Five. I'm just here
'cause my wife's family are at my house.
Too late. You're in the choir.
Actually, there are two or three others.
Yeah, but they never show up.
Why do I have to be here?
When you goin' to get us
our first record contract?
I wanna get a Benz.
I didn't know we were gonna be famous.
Count me in.
Let's do... Amazing Grace.
Stop! Stop, stop. Please.
OK, let's not panic.
I'm open to suggestion.
If they do a Behind The Music on us,
it's best if we don't talk about
me tryin' to leave the group.
You know, it'll just make it look ugly.
- Hello there. I just had to see you again.
- Aren't you supposed to be gone?
Yes. But I was feeling bad about
our little misunderstanding last night.
No misunderstanding. Just using Aunt
Sally's memory to hit on me. That's low.
Can I at least buy you a drink?
Is that Dean?
No. OK, you can buy me a drink.
- You heard about Aunt Sally's will?
- No.
I'm to take care of the choir at Beulah.
Why did she put you in charge?
- I'm sorry, that came out wrong.
- That's OK, it was a shock to me, too.
It's a big job. I've cleared
my schedule for the next six weeks,
so I can focus on getting the choir
into the Gospel Explosion.
- No. I've been there and done that.
- Look, I'll take care of Paulina.
- I'd love to see that one.
- I'm the choir director.
- For six weeks.
- If she gets all Christian on you...
She is not a Christian.
My mama said hollerin' in a church
don't make you a Christian.
I can't let them look down
at me just because I...
Sing sexy songs for a living.
- Exactly. And because I...
- Dress like that.
- What's wrong with it?
- Just finishing your sentence.
- Because I...
- Cheat with hot choir directors?
- Stop...
- Finishing your sentences?
I know your kind. You came here
'cause you wanted something.
Tomorrow you'll want something else.
I can smell when a man is tryin'
to use me. And, mister, you stink.
OK. Is that how you feel about it? Fine.
This town is full of singers.
I don't need you, anyway.
Remember, everybody, Handy's Funeral
Home offers limousines for all occasions.
Why not get in one while you still livin'?
Now that we done paid the bills...
Ladies and gentlemen, sittin' directly
across from me I have Mr Darrin Hill,
all the way from New York City.
Tell the good people of Montecarlo
what bring you down here.
I'm responsible for rebuilding the choir
at Beulah Baptist Church.
I'm holding auditions tomorrow morning.
Anyone with any musical ability
can come by,
as long as they're fully committed
to God's work.
Auditions for the church choir
are still open.
Applicants need not be
fully committed to God's work,
but shouldn't be against it.
You gotta be kiddin' me!
Auditions for the Beulah Baptist
Church Choir. Atheists may now apply.
- Thanks for comin', Lucius.
- No problem. Where to?
You just need to print up more flyers.
Paulina says Jimmy B's printer
is running up her light bill.
Folks in the South believe
some crazy stuff.
When it's storming,
she doesn't even use the electricity.
You don't play with God.
- You don't sing, do you, Lucius?
- Do I sing? Yeah.
They say I sound like a black Al Jarreau.
- You're in the choir!
- Wait a minute. Pump your brakes!
I'm not joinin' the church
until I sown my wild oats.
Then I'm gonna get me a young virgin
and settle down.
Besides, Paulina's bad enough.
You done pissed her off.
Nobody want to be a part
of that mix made in hell.
The only way I can join is...
is if you payin'.
- The prize money? 50-50?
- Done deal.
- Are you Joseph?
- Yeah. Can I line you up, sir?
I came by to post flyers
for my choir auditions, if that's OK.
Sure. Seein' how you're new
in these parts,
it's gonna be hard
for you to attract people.
Most folks around here
don't trust an outsider.
It was years before I told anyone
I'm not from Mississippi.
Guy here needs his ears lowered.
Dean, my man!
Come on, I'll get the seat.
- That's Dean?
- He's big and jealous. So watch yourself.
I see you met
the big-time music producer.
- Music producer?
- Lilly has the best voice in town.
- I know.
- You don't have to wait with me.
No one else's mom waits for them.
- He'll be fine.
- OK. I'm gonna be next door, all right?
Dean, don't talk to strangers.
You want us to sing you a song
like we did last time?
- Yes, please.
- It'll cost ya.
- I'll give you 1,000 money.
- Deal.
I actually feel safer knowing
you're not in the same room with my son.
- To answer your next question...
- You're not married.
- Don't finish my sentences.
- That's why you're a sinner.
Stay far away from me.
No, no! I'm saying that's no reason
to treat you badly.
How dare they? It's not your fault.
It's a pity you don't have
a complete family, but...
Don't talk to me about family,
Mr Didn't-Call-Aunt-Sally-For-20-Years.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Sorry. I'm starting to see
how tough things are for you.
Boo-hoo for the poor
black mother without a man.
- Whatever shall I do?
- I didn't mean it that way.
Lilly, I'm sorry,
but your card's maxed out again.
Forgot to put my pay cheque in.
Thank you. Excuse me.
Hey, try this one.
- Sorry, Dr Hill, yours declined, too.
- Dr Hill? You a doctor?
No, that's just my music name.
Like Dr John, Dr Dre... Try this one.
- That's cleared.
- Course.
Sign here.
Thank you. That was nice.
You didn't have to do that.
I'm a nice guy! I usually get along better
with beautiful women.
I'll give you a cheque tomorrow.
Oh, um, cash. Cash.
Hey, Darrin.
Thanks for meetin' me here.
How's it goin' with the choir?
Still havin' trouble
recruiting new members.
Son, it's at times like these
I suggest listenin' to God's voice.
- Sorry, I'm not into the spooky stuff.
- Just open it up.
- And these people can sing?
- Oh, yes!
Please don't tell my sister.
I'd like you to welcome
the new members of our choir.
- When is this competition?
- In a few weeks.
And our new organist!
You touch my keyboard,
I kick your drunk ass.
Homer, to stand any chance
of getting into the Gospel Explosion,
we need all the help we can get.
These drunks comin' to the church
with hats on.
OK, everyone, please. OK.
Good. I'd like to...
I'd like to try a new song.
Tasha, can you get rid of
the gum, please?
OK. That was nasty.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
Homer, please. Scooter?
Wait. Wait, wait, wait. Stop. Wait.
- This is not working.
- You need to pick a lead singer.
You'd know that
if you knew what you were doin'.
Could I maybe try?
Bessie, would you like to try?
My dear departed husband said that
when I sing, it made him think of heaven.
Probably meant he wanted
to blow his brains out.
- Paulina, you've sung lead before?
- I have. It gave me great joy.
Good. It'll hurt that much more
when I find someone else.
Dean, baby, don't hurt yourself.
Let the boy be. He's already wearin'
more protection than I had in the war.
Hey! You're the pain in the butt
from the barbershop.
Dean must've heard that somewhere.
- Hi there. I'm Lilly's grandfather.
- Hello, sir.
I been waitin' for a nice young man
to whisk Lilly away.
- Somebody did that, remember?
- She shouldn't be wasting her life
takin' care of an old man.
No, she should have a life of her own.
Cool! Sammy Sosa!
- What do you say?
- He said, "Cool."
- Dean?
- Thank you.
- Grandaddy, I got a Sammy Sosa!
- Changed your mind about the choir?
- 'Cause you gave Dean a toy?
- No. Yes.
- Why is this so important to you?
- It's what Aunt Sally wanted me to do.
I keep getting an image of her helping
my mom out when I was little.
And because it was her last wish.
And because...
Because you're getting $150,000.
I thought I'd finish your sentence.
That is the truth, right?
Yeah. Yes.
Thanks for being honest. But I can't.
You mean
I just told the truth for nothing?
Thank you for the loan yesterday.
I know you want cash.
This truth stuff is highly overrated.
I don't care who started it.
You both should be ashamed.
Let's try it once more from the top.
- Hey! Thank you.
- I'm not doin' this for you.
- The truth is, I'm doin' this for Sally.
- Thank you, anyway.
Choir, I'd like you to meet our new
soloist, Lilly. What's your last name?
- Tramp.
- I knew this would happen.
No, no. Wait, please. Let me handle this.
Jesus loved Mary Magdalene.
She was a ho.
"Let him who is
without sin cast the first stone."
- Thank you for handling it.
- I don't mean it.
I'm just saying it for effect.
- It is your duty to help fallen women.
- I'm willin' to help. Hi.
It's about time we get
some young Baptist booty.
How come she have to keep
so many husbands
down at that sin-hole she workin' at?
- Would Aunt Sally have been so harsh?
- No.
She would have wanted Lilly
to stay in the choir. Unlike some people.
A respectable woman
would have a respectable job.
She should just go on home,
take care of that little bastard baby...
Leave my son out of this!
Dean is a gift from God.
So are snow and rain,
but we still have to wear our rubbers.
Sally said when life makes you have to
put up with mean and hateful people,
think of 'em as sandpaper.
They may scratch you, but eventually
you end up smooth and polished,
and the sandpaper,
it's just gonna be worn out and ugly.
Baby, you don't need my help.
If you sang as well as you fight,
you'd be the baddest choir in Georgia.
Lilly is a member of this choir
like everyone else.
- If you don't like it, you can just leave.
- That's my cue.
Y'all comin'?
I thought you were leaving.
The choir, yes, but I'll stay in this church
as long as I want.
Fine. Then we'll rehearse
with Lilly as our lead.
- Come on!
- That's mine!
Oh, man!
- The Lord is good.
- Hey, man, get off her!
- The Lord gonna bless you.
- Mr Clean?
- I always liked church.
- More action than in the barbershop.
OK. Ready?
Do I come in on the upbeat
or the downbeat?
- Suit yourself, you're the pro.
- Try the downbeat, honey.
I usually let The Neptunes
program all my upbeats.
Again from the top.
- Wait. Aren't you gonna arrange us?
- Right. Lilly, please, up.
Ladies, all three up.
Tasha? Tasha, please.
Please, yes, Bessie.
Alma, Miz Stringer. Cute.
OK. Young and foxy in the front
and weird and funky in the back.
But we love you. All right!
Ready? From the top.
Great! With a little more work,
we got a real shot at the Explosion.
After that, maybe even a record deal.
Then we'll tour on our own bus.
Tour? Like I'm gonna leave
my grandaddy behind by himself.
Thankfully, all my family's dead.
That wasn't half bad.
It saddens me that the deadline
for enterin' has passed.
- What?
- "All audition tapes
"to be submitted to Luther Washington
by..." yesterday afternoon.
- She had something goin' with that.
- Why didn't you say something?
You're the director now.
It's been posted for weeks.
- Where?
- On the ladies' room door.
I sure as heck never saw it.
I use that door every day.
- Check the girls' bathroom more often.
- All this work for nothing?
My best friend taught me
how to do the African boot dance.
- Whassat?
- I even stopped drinkin'.
- I know that's a good thing...
- Wait, listen.
Everybody, just go home and don't worry.
Taking care of problems is my specialty.
If I don't get a job, I'm a dead man. Yeah,
I used my credit card to fix a bus. Why?
It was reported
to a credit bureau in Atlanta.
- What does that mean?
- Felony, fraud. Just lay low.
- Stay away from law enforcement.
- Mr Washington will see you now.
Mr Hill, Lucius. As a Christian man,
I do believe in mercy,
but as a prison warden,
I'm strictly for the rules.
- Without rules, society breaks down.
- Sir, listen...
- Let me handle this.
- Did I say you can talk?
- Did I say you can talk?
- But I... I took assertivetendness...
I took assertiveness trainin'.
Look, Washington,
we're giving you a opportunity
to be a part of the Beulah Baptist
Gospel Choir business.
- Me an opportunity?
- You need BBGC.
- We're sellin', not buyin'.
- We're not sellin'.
We're... We're buyin', not sellin'. You got
30 seconds to make an offer, or else...
- We...
- Let me think about it. No.
- Please, man, we'll pay you!
- Listen, listen.
Sir, you don't understand the challenges
my choir and I have faced.
Just hear us sing.
We can be ready in a half hour.
No. And I'm puttin' my foot down.
It's a big N and a little O.
The entertainment for today cancelled.
You know what happened last time.
- You said a half an hour?
- Will you let us in to the Explosion?
- If you pass muster with my prisoners.
- Musters passed!
- We gotta do it to get into the Explosion.
- Darrin, Darrin! They all look so scary.
Look, we're here now,
so I'm gonna sing it.
Join in! Join in!
Hey now.
Everybody down!
So look, I guess that... the choir's
in the Gospel Explosion.
Don't tell anyone I gave you any slack.
I've a reputation as a hard-ass.
- You think we have a shot at winning?
- Hell, no.
You made it through the audition, but...
...I got prisoners that can sing better.
- Really?
Single file, now. Stay in line.
Guns in church. The abomination
that causes desolation.
Guns ain't allowed?
Somebody should've told me.
Hey, big guy, what's your name?
- Oh.
- My name is Johnson.
- What are you in for?
- Beatin' down somebody...
...for makin' fun of my high voice.
- Let's take it from the top.
Our felons first?
Up. Up, please. Up.
Mr Briggs, is there a problem?
It's one thing for the state to force us
to work in chain gangs,
but to make us sing in a choir?
That's cruel and unusual punishment.
- Mr Johnson?
- I used to be in a group.
When we used to sing
Down By The Riverside,
there's a part where I used to wail,
right at the end.
People really liked that.
Would you like me to do that for you?
- All right. What group did you sing with?
- It doesn't matter.
- They're dead now.
- Right.
Now, news time.
The Beulah Baptist Church choir
now includes some talented inmates
from our state prison system.
This could turn out to be
the breakout choir of the year.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
All that street-corner
barbershop harmony, that's cool, right.
We got some new hip-hop in
Montecarlo, Georgia, for you all tonight.
As long as they're praising God's name,
it's all right with me.
Congregation's gonna be
in for a surprise come Sunday.
- Let me know how it goes.
- I expect you to be there, too.
Reverend, I suppose
you noticed how the choir has grown?
I was sayin' how good they are.
I also suppose you plan on
enforcin' the by-laws
that says all members of the choir
must be baptised
and take Bible study classes?
- Paulina...
- You can't change that.
- It'll change everything.
- She has a point, Darrin.
If you change things,
they'll be different? Well, yeah.
I'm sorry, Darrin.
They'll have to abide by the church rules.
- I can't swim.
- Don't worry, Mr Johnson.
It's just a little sprinkle.
I won't do it.
We're broadcastin' live
from down by the riverside,
where three lost souls
are tryin' to find Jesus,
although I don't think
this is where he fell in.
I baptise you in the name of
the Father and the Son
and the Holy Ghost.
- It burns! It burns!
- It's just the waste from the refinery.
Well, guess that about does it.
Darrin, I don't remember
you being baptised. Do you, Paul?
Oh... Well, you know, I...
No, I don't.
I am not gettin' in that water. I am not
gettin' in there. Shit. Must be crazy.
- Praise the Lord.
- Hallelujah!
Thanks for coming with me.
I felt creepy comin' here by myself.
Just gotta get this box of letters.
He said it was in a trunk.
OK, open it up.
I didn't know Mama was writing these.
I always thought she lost contact
with everyone here.
"Dear Sally,
I think this will be my big year.
"We're settled into our apartment
and the rent is covered."
"Thanks" in parentheses.
"Doesn't Darrin look like
a future doctor or lawyer?" Ooh!
This was to you from Aunt Sally.
It says, "Return to sender".
- Because I moved around a lot. Look.
- Oh, my God!
Not that funny.
Dear Darrin, I'm worried about you,
all the different addresses,
the people lookin' for you.
You seem to be lyin' about who you are.
Why can't you accept who you are?
New York is so dangerous:
Criminals, crazy people and me,
if I have to come and whoop your ass.
Up there, acting like
you ain't got no home trainin'.
It's my fault. I never should have let
Paulina run your mom out.
I love you, Darrin.
I'm the only family you have.
And you're the only family I have.
- What does the letter say?
- There's something in my eye.
- What does the letter say?
- Stuff I should have known.
Let me see your eye.
Like, uh...
She looks kind of disapproving.
I can turn the picture down.
No. I should go home
and check on my Dean.
- OK.
- I should go.
Let me walk you home. It's on my way.
I love being back in the choir.
It's amazing how, over the years,
the music has moved people.
It makes people feel better
about themselves.
Sure. Gospel music moves people,
people lookin' to be moved
and haven't figured out
they're just old songs.
You're so cynical.
It gives people comfort.
That's why my grandaddy's
not scared of dyin'.
Simple, effective comforting.
Must be nice.
Simple isn't always wrong.
Fighting temptation makes you strong.
The trouble with that is
you might not get another chance.
O ye of little faith.
What advertisin' agency?
I'm afraid he's out.
But I'm family.
You can tell me everything
and I'll give him the message.
I'm on location live at
the Beulah Baptist Church barbecue.
Folks at Polk's Funeral Home
send best wishes
and best of luck
at the Gospel Explosion.
Polk's Funeral Home
make you look good when you're dead.
They guarantee you a open casket
funeral or the next one gonna be free.
Dean! Hey, what's up, Dean?
Go on, Lilly.
I want that one!
Congratulations to Bobby Johnson.
He won the rock-throwin' contest.
- You want chicken?
- Ribs.
Probably the one that broke
the window down at the radio station.
I ain't tryin' to put that out there,
but somebody broke it.
I ain't sayin' he did it,
but he sure can throw a rock.
Choir! Choir! Gather round.
I have great news!
Someone from New York
named Rosa called last night
- with great news about your job.
- She did?
- We got our record deal?
- He's not a record producer.
He's a junior level executive
at an advertisin' agency.
They're sorry they fired you
and they want you to come back.
They'll overlook you fakin' your
high school diploma and Yale degree.
They'll take care of
your credit card troubles,
so there's no evidence of fraud.
Isn't that great news?
- What is she talkin' about, Darrin?
- You know why they want you back?
The liquor company
can't find any other firm
- with ideas as good as yours.
- That's a good thing.
They're willin' to sign on as clients, but
only if you are in charge of their account.
So I say congratulations are in order!
Rosa said they need your answer as
soon as possible. I brought your phone.
Is it true, son?
These things she's sayin'...
- It's not as bad as it sounds.
- You're not leaving?
Boy, don't you know
once you go gospel, you can't go back?
Look at Sam Cooke. He left the church,
few years later...
- Shot dead.
- Otis Redding.
Left the church, plane crashed.
Whitney Houston and Aretha, Snoop,
they started in the church.
- You killed three people.
- What about the Explosion?
And that prize money
you was gonna split with me 50-50?
You promised him my half?
- I had a half in there somewhere.
- My half.
And I'm in the same church
with these people.
I thought they was
holy and sanctified.
They're waitin' for your answer.
I don't care what you do.
I was using you to get a record deal.
- Just like you were using me.
- Is that true?
Rosa. Yeah, I got your message.
Tell them I accept.
Tomorrow? I'll be there.
- So it's all about the money?
- Yes.
That's the reason
half of you joined the choir.
Why shouldn't I go?
What loyalty should I have?
Sure, I've been lying,
but that's nothing compared to what
this church did to me and mom.
You'll be forfeitin'
your inheritance money.
I don't need it now.
Just because he's quitting,
you don't have to give up.
- We're still going to the Explosion.
- Shut up, Grandma.
Don't you dare talk to me like that!
- Control yourself, Grandma!
- Come back!
I cannot believe
that I was gonna sleep with you.
There you go.
Home sweet home.
How about a cigar?
- How about a corner office? I'm serious.
- Of course. Of course!
Why can't they do it deep-fried,
like in the South?
OK, fine. I'll take the boneless,
skinless, baked chicken.
Yes. That's fine. Oh, can I get the
collard greens without the goat cheese?
Darrin. Darrin?
Darrin, we can't wait to hear your ideas.
I'm the one who got him back.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I've developed a mega campaign
that will triple our revenue
within one year.
Here are the current markets
targeted by your competitors.
- The metropolitan areas are saturated.
- It's an urban product.
Wrong. You're selling an urban image.
Thus the focus of my plan
is to change brand identity.
No more thugs and bums drinking 40s.
Instead, only young
successful urbanites.
Appeal to the little man
who dreams of making it.
Capitalise on people who dream of
a more glamorous life,
people who are easily influenced.
People here and here. And he...
And here.
The small-town barber.
The clerk at the local dry cleaner's.
The people that think that urban life
is where their dreams are.
Those are the people
that need your product.
- I like that.
- That's very interesting.
They need your lies,
your false images of success,
the poison that causes them to look for
fulfilment in material things.
Yes, if making money
is our number one goal,
it's the little people in little towns
that we should exploit.
After all, they're just a bunch
of country bumpkins anyway, right?
Way to go, Darrin.
Yes! Yes!
That's the way
we're all gonna make money.
Well done, Darrin!
Lilly, open up! It's me, Darrin.
- I knew you'd be here.
- How?
- It was on the radio in the back.
- Where is everybody?
On their way to Columbus,
the Gospel Explosion.
I didn't think they'd have left yet.
Why aren't you with them?
Paulina found out I gave you
the names of them singers.
- What happened?
- They went without me.
I'm afraid Lilly's not with them, either.
Nobody's seen her since you left.
I've been fine since you left.
Thanks for askin'.
- What are you doin' here?
- I came back. I should've never left.
Go away. I don't wanna see you.
Because I lied about
being a music producer?
- I'm sorry about that, too.
- I knew you weren't a producer.
You didn't know what a downbeat was,
the difference in keys and notes...
I get your point. If you knew all that,
why'd you get so mad?
I was angry with myself.
I don't know why I expected
different from you.
Yeah, I blamed you, too, at first.
I had to blame someone.
But when I got back to New York,
I felt I didn't have to lie any more,
the truth felt better.
- Why should I believe you now?
- Because I came back
so that the commitment I made
to the choir wouldn't be a lie.
Lilly, hate me.
Despise me, I deserve it.
But don't let the choir down. Please.
Come with me to the Explosion.
I can't. Paulina kicked me out
as soon as you left.
Without you,
that choir's a bunch of drunks,
babies, daddies and convicts.
Might as well be an NFL team.
"Though I go through the shadow
of the valley of death..."
- We really appreciate this.
- I'm happy you were home.
I wouldn't go to the Explosion
without Darrin bein' involved.
- Our friendship is all that matters.
- What?
- Back up a minute, man...
- You stupid jerk!
Get me right if I'm wrong,
you tryin' to skip out on payin' me?
- Lucius.
- Oh, we doin' this for the Lord. I forgot.
But in the Bible it says get your money,
man. In one of them scriptures.
Broadcastin' live from
down at the Gospel Explosion.
Soon, gonna be
The Five Blind Boys from Alabama.
Used to be six of 'em,
but one of 'em got healed.
He's the driver now. They need him,
they kept hitchhikin' the wrong way.
- Excuse me. Which choir are you with?
- The Beulah Baptist Gospel Choir
- of Montecarlo, Georgia.
- Gotcha. You'll be comin' on soon.
Paulina, some of these choirs
are pretty big.
- All right, boys, let's go.
- Get down.
We don't need those felons,
God is on our side.
This is a gospel competition.
He's on everybody's side.
- Now...
- We present to you...
...The Blind Boys Of Alabama.
Beulah Choir, Beulah Choir.
We need to make sure
that we're spiritually clean.
I've made a list of sins
that you need to be forgiven for.
- Startin' with you.
- Who?
- We made it!
- Hey, man!
- Darrin!
- Oh, Darrin! Oh!
Sorry I left. If you let me,
I'll make it up to you.
Starting with
leading you in the Explosion.
- Oh, yeah!
- Yeah!
Not so fast! He isn't leadin' this choir.
And she sure as hell... heck
isn't singin' in it.
Technically, it's still my choir.
Is it? You violated the Explosion rules
when you recruited choir members
by offerin' to pay them. So, if you don't
mind, my choir is about to perform.
- Can she do this?
- Paul, you know I'm right.
- Technically...
- Technically, that gives me the right
- to kick out who I want. Right, Paul?
- Now...
Now you and Miss Round-the-Way here
can leave. Tell 'em, Paul.
- Let's not go...
- When you went to New York,
you forfeited your rights.
Isn't that what the will says, Paul?
Paul? Don't worry, he agrees with me.
The will doesn't say anything about
a hypocritical old biddy
who's about to drive me crazy,
just like she did her husband!
I didn't drive James crazy,
God rest his soul.
And I'm tired of tellin' this lie
about you bein' a widow.
James lives in Patterson County, y'all.
With a fine young wife,
know how to make a man say, "Amen!"
When he at home
as well as in the church.
You can nit-pick about the technicalities
of Aunt Sally's will,
but what matters
is the spirit of her wishes.
Aunt Sally's dyin' wish was for
Darrin to lead this choir. End of story.
You think you can challenge me, boy?
Reverend Lewis,
do the by-laws say anything
about voting someone
out of the choir?
Yes, they do. As long as it's by
a majority of baptised choir members.
Paulina, thank you for making sure
all of us are baptised.
All in favour of kicking Paulina
out of the choir...
- Hey. You guys ready?
- For shizzle.
Let's knock 'em dead.
Darrin, you'll be leavin' soon. Is it OK if
the lawyers mail the inheritance cheque?
- Make it out to Beulah Baptist Church.
- Don't you wanna know how much it is?
I wanna give the church
a Sally Walker day-care centre.
- And a new roof.
- It's only worth $357.
You said the portfolio
was worth $150,000.
Georgia Telecom went belly-up
when you were up in New York.
We better win some money.
Give 'em hell. I mean that
in the most Christian way.
- Let's go.
- Wait.
- Hear how they announce us.
- Why?
- You inspired it.
- I did?
From the Beulah Baptist Church
in Montecarlo, Georgia...
Here are The Fighting Temptations!
- OK. Is everyone ready?
- Why do we have to wear these robes?
- Everyone has to wear the same thing.
- Ladies don't like Lucius in no robe.
- OK. Everyone takes their robe off.
- No.
Apparently, The Fighting Temptations
aren't quite ready.
All right. OK. All right. Listen, listen.
We hope to hear from The Fighting
Temptations before Judgement Day.
All right.
Oh, Homer's gonna start singin'!
Get out there.
Three, four!
And the winner is...
...The Fighting Temptations!
I just wanna say thank you.
I'm really proud of
my home town, Montecarlo!
One more thing. My mom told me not
to settle for anything less than the best.
If Lilly will have me, I can say
that I kept my promise.
Montecarlo! Montecarlo! Montecarlo!
Since God keeps blessin' us
with new souls,
we're soon gonna be startin' our
buildin' expansion project! Yes.
Now, let's be blessed by
our wonderful choir.