Funny, schmaltzy, and, it must be said, preachy, NOT EASILY BROKEN isn't as easy to appreciate as you wish it could be. Though it sets out to be a heartwarming, life-affirming drama, its meandering script, leaden storytelling, and shifting tone undercut its potential. (It's a hilarious buddy movie one minute, a tragic drama the next.) A plotline involving a child's death seems to exist only as a device to prompt the leads to do the requisite "taking stock" of their lives and seems like too sharp a turn to make.
So thank goodness for Henson and Lewis, who, when together onscreen, elevate each other's acting game to Olympian levels. (A scene in which daughter confronts mother about her inability to trust men is particularly effective.) Chestnut does a decent, if run-of-the-mill, job balancing vulnerability with toughness, and his easy rapport with his buddies feels believable. (As Dave's friend Tree, Kevin Hart gets all the hilarious lines, and makes the most of them.) Not Easily Broken is the sum of its parts ... too bad there are just too many incompatible ones.