Here is a rare example where style saves the content from failing. Despite a typical story, music that doesn’t pop as much as it should and some awkward moments, the film is still entertaining, mainly do to a fun whimsical style and the charm of its cast.
Mixing Prohibition-era jazz with hip-hop, this musical follows piano player Percival (Andre Benjamin, FOUR BROTHERS) as he begrudgingly works at the family mortuary with his father (Ben Vereen, ALL THAT JAZZ) and spends his nights playing the ivory at a speakeasy called the Church where his best friend, Rooster (Antwan A. Patton, ATL) works. After cold gangster Trumpy (Terrence Howard, HUSTLE & FLOW) murders Church owner Ace (Faizon Love, ELF) and gangster boss Spats (Ving Rhames, BABY BOY), Rooster inherits the speakeasy, but also inherits its debts, which Trumpy immediately wants to collect. While Rooster deals with Trumpy and his disgruntled wife Zora (Malinda Williams, TV’s SOUL FOOD), Percival starts a relationship with the pretty, but insecure, singer Angel Davenport (Paula Patton, DEJA VU). The all-star cast also includes Cicely Tyson, Macy Gray, Patti LaBelle and Bill Nunn.