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January 04, 2010



"Wonderful World" is a faulty independent drama which adds up to less than the sum of its underdeveloped parts. Matthew Broderick is Ben Singer, a cynical divorced guy who can't even manage to cheer up when he has custody of his quirky daughter Sandra (Jodie Ferland).

Living with a roommate in a small apartment, Ben drives his tiny car to a dreary day job proofing legal briefs. Ben, it turns out, was once a successful singer/songwriter of children's folk songs, with at least one popular album under his belt. When his Senegalese roommate Ibu (Michael K. Williams) slips into a diabetic coma, Ben comes to the rescue and soon strikes up a romance with Ibu's visiting sister Khadi (well played by Sanaa Lathan).

Writer Joshua Goldin makes an inauspicious directorial debut with a malnourished script that never resonates because the author is seemingly afraid to express any ideas beyond its don't-worry-be-happy theme. Ben's vague sense of defeated idealism sparks to life briefly under the threat of hot romantic attraction, but the story refuses to catch fire.  

Rated R. 92 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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