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Disappearing Acts (2000)
Rated R

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Wesley Snipes, and Regina Hall

Rating:
***
out of
*****

Zora (Sanaa Lathan) is a singer with big dreams. During the day, she works as a music teacher. When she moves into a brownstone apartment, she meets Franklin (Wesley Snipes), a worker doing renovation on the building. They strike up a quick friendship that eventually blossoms into romance.

Franklin has big dreams too. He wants to be a self-employed contractor. Unfortunately, he's held back by the fact that he dropped out of high school. He's got two children with a woman he's been separated from for four years but can't afford to divorce.

Zora keeps high society friends and Franklin is more at home with his friends at the bar. Neither of them was looking for love at this particular time in their lives but they found each other. Disappearing Acts chronicles the ups and downs in their relationship. They certainly encounter a lot of them but I guess it wouldn't be much of a movie without that kind of turbulence.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. In fact, I wasn't even planning on watching it. It followed another movie I'd just watched on HBO and I couldn't take my eyes off of it. The chemistry between Snipes and Lathan is the main reason it's so watchable. They are dynamic together and their love scenes are really intense. With some romantic films being based on couples with absolutely no chemistry -- Cold Mountain comes to mind -- Disappearing Acts' pairing is a relative breath of fresh air.

Admittedly, a lot of the drama that occurs is clichéd and predictable. Will Zora get a career in music? Will Franklin get his life together and be the man Zora needs him to be? You know the drill. Still, with the performances of Snipes and Lathan being as good as they are, it's hard to fault the film for being too formulaic. A solid rental.

Trivia: Q-Tip, former member of A Tribe Called Quest, appears as Zora's producer, Reg, under his real name of Kamaal Fareed. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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