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IN THE MIX

95 MINUTES | [BOSTON COMMON + FENWAY + FRESH POND + CIRCLE + SUBURBS]

In this hoped-to-be-star-making vehicle, pop icon Usher tangles with the mob, bridges racial barriers, falls in love, and even dances a bit as Darrell Williams, a hot New York City DJ with dreams of owning his own recording label. Old family ties, circumstance, and a failed hit lead to an occupational change; Darrell trades his turntables and baggy jeans for a fine Italian suit and a black Mercedes as the driver/bodyguard for a mob donís daughter (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Bad guys come after her, babes fawn over him, and of course he and Dolly fall for each other. Comic contrasts of rap and Sinatra, linguini and collard greens, and bling versus the wiseguy thing ensue. Usher and Chriqui spark a palpable chemistry and Chazz Palminteri gives thespian muscle to the concerned daddy don. Ron Underwood, who directed Tremors and City Slickers, knows how to make cockamamie shine and almost ó despite the convoluted and predictable plot ó works a miracle here; unfortunately, the mix lingers on long after the music has stopped.

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: December 2 - 8, 2005
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