Evangeline (Gabrielle Union) is an inspector for the Los Angeles Health Department, which (although not her dream job) is perfectly suited for the bossy perfectionist. Eva doesn’t have any friends, except for her three younger sisters, Kareenah (Essence Atkins), Bethany (Robinne Lee), and Jacqui (Meagan Good) because her bristly personality and devotion to order often come across as hostile and pushy.
The men that her sisters are partnered with are absolutely exasperated with Eva meddling in their lives, constantly having an opinion on their relationships, her seeming omnipresence whenever there’s trouble, and the sisters whom she raised alone after the death of their parents (understandably) running to her with their problems and giving Eva the reverence of a maternal figure. That’s where Ray (LL Cool J/James Todd Smith) comes in.
In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Kareenah’s husband, Tim (Mel Jackson), Jacqui’s husband, Darrell (Dartanyan Edmonds), and Bethany’s boyfriend, Mike (Duane Martin) decide that in order to get Eva out of their lives, she needs to get one of her own, so they pay Ray, the “Master Player” who can deal with even the most “difficult” woman, to seduce her.
After giving it the old college try, Ray returns their money, claiming that Eva is too difficult, even for him. But when he and Eva cross paths again and he manages to get past her defenses, the two start anew. Ray’s forthright manner, attentiveness, and dependability allows Eva to finally relax and enjoy being taken care of for a change, rather than being everyone’s mom. Eva’s work ethic and respect for his work gives Ray renewed vigor and belief in his goals. Eva isn’t just bossy; she’s sweet, selfless, and thoughtful, something her sisters’ men never took the time to see.
Eva and Ray are a perfect match, with him passing all of her “tests” and he putting all of her doubts to bed, but complications arise as Eva and her sisters proclaim Ray to be the perfect man, which only highlights their discontent with their own men, and lead Tim, Darrell, and Mike to desperate measures to end the situation they created.
Both touching and hilarious, Deliver Us From Eva illustrates how the closeness of family can often be a romance-killer, why there’s no such thing as standards being too high (only those who consistently fail to meet them), and how there’s usually so much more to a person than what initially meets the eye.
I give this one 4.25 stars.