Matthew Broderick Hides Behind Beard in Wonderful World
Ben Singer (Matthew Broderick), once the third-biggest kids' musician in the country, is now the number-one grump of an unnamed city that's played by Shreveport, Louisiana, where writer-director Joshua Goldin's feature debut was shot, and which also doubles, later in the film, as Dakar, Senegal. More impoverished than the budget is Wonderful World's script, a shopworn tale of redemption in which the constantly outraged, pot-puffing misanthrope learns that "magic is everywhere." Alienating his legal-proofreader co-workers and even his 11-year-old daughter, Sandra (Jodelle Ferland), with his bilious indignation, Ben softens in the company of his Senegalese roommate and chess partner, Ibu (Michael K. Williams), who soon exits the movie in a diabetic coma, though his work in the rehabilitation of Ben's soul will be quickly picked up by his sister, Khadi (Sanaa Lathan). It's heartbreaking to see Lathan, an underemployed actress whose talents were last put to good use in 2006's Something Else, in such a ridiculous, impossible role, falling into bed with repugnant Ben and teaching Sandra West African dance. And Broderick looks as if he wants to hide permanently behind his three-day growth.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...