When I saw Deliver Us From Eva on sale at Big Lots for $1.88, I couldn’t pass it up. And what a good decision that was.
Deliver Us From Eva was everything I thought it would be: racist, sexist, and particularly homophobic (in this world, being a gay man is the same as being a woman, and a straight main being mistaken for a gay man is the most severe of insults).
So Eva (Gabrielle Union) is the eldest of 4 sisters who live in an undisclosed city (we found out in the behind the scenes special that it’s Los Angeles) who took over as family matriarch after their parents’ death when she was 18. Because of this, she’s unusually concerned about her sisters’ lives, including their respective romantic relationships. There’s also some kind of trust fund that she has control over, which is never really quite elaborated on, but is a main point of concern for the sisters’ husbands/boyfriends. To get Eva out of their business and to try to get access to the trust fund, the husbands/boyfriends hire Ray (LL Cool J – of course!) to go out with her, sleep with her, make her fall in love with him, then move away to a different city together, dump her in the city, and then move back without her. What a rational, non-sadistic way to deal with your significant other’s family.
Eva is evil because she stands up for herself, is 30-something and without a man, and is focused on her career. We’re supposed to empathize with the men, because how can a man be expected to get laid when they want and control their woman’s money with a strong-willed woman in their way? It gets weirder.
When the husbands/boyfriends catch wind that Eva has turned down a job in Chicago to stay with Ray, they kidnap him and chain him to the ceiling of a warehouse, then tell Eva and her sisters that Ray’s dead so that she’ll move to Chicago. Luckily, Ray escapes to make it in time for the funeral, where he spills the beans about getting paid to date Eva, and so she punches him the face and she and her sisters walk out.
The movie would have been okay if it ended here, but instead, after some reflection, Eva sees the goodness in what her sisters’ husbands/boyfriends did, and they all forgive the men for kidnapping and faking Ray’s death. Eva also gives them access to the trust fund, because she is now a real woman after being successfully put in her place by the men. And even though (or perhaps because?) Ray is now stalking Eva, she takes the job in Chicago.
But don’t worry! Ray follows her there and rides a horse into the lobby of the building she works in (because she loves horseback riding, so that makes sense). Ray tells her he won’t leave Chicago without her. Instead of barricading herself inside her office and calling the police, she gives in to his romantic ways and they ride into the city on horseback.
As a woman, it’s a little difficult to articulate how disgusting movies like this make me feel. The fact that movies like this get made and are successful is terrifying to me. It shows a certain amount of agreement on the fact that the one thing all women need is to be controlled by men and always, under any circumstances, put the man’s needs before her own. What a classic.
Men are cool, women are mean, and gay men are basically women. Those are the fantastic morals this movie establishes and stays true, too. It’s very difficult to find anything good about this, which made this a great Friday night movie with the gang.
I know it is said that LL Cool J is one of the greatest actors Americans have ever seen, but honestly, he didn’t really bring his A game with this. The best part of this film was watching the behind the scenes so the actors and director could tell me what I was supposed to think about the story and characters, because I definitely wasn’t sure while watching it.
This was a good watch with friends but I really can’t wait for Think Like A Man, which we’ll hopefully watch soon!