A Thin Line Between Love and Hate would be completely forgettable if it wasn’t also the debut (and, only) film written and directed by star Martin Lawrence. Ah, yes lets remember back to a time, when in early 1996 Martin was considered a bigger movie star than Will Smith. That was before Lawrence’s disruptive behavior on-set and in his personal life torpedoed his once white-hot career streak. I digress. It’s clearly obvious that A Thin Line Between Live and Hate is a vanity project in the mold of Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang. However, unlike Murphy’s star vehicle, Hate is lacking anything remotely resembling wit or style. It isn’t exactly terrible – it’s just completely uninspired.
Darnell Right (Lawrence) considers himself a genuine ladies man. His moves are calculated and abrasive but he always gets what he wants. Namely, sexual conquests with little repercussions. This promiscuous lifestyle has worked so far but, when Brandi Web (Lynn Whitfield) comes into the story Darnell’s game begins to backfire. Brandi is not only rich and good-looking, she is also a femme fatale, who has already gotten away with murder.
Absent any laughs, suspense, or satirical thrust, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate is a soft-centered lame comedy.The lackadaisical plotting and sharp veering in tone make the screenwriters’ desperation palpable at times. When the script calls for a suave, tough, womanizer and the best we can come up with is the diminutive Martin Lawrence, it’s time to do some serious recasting. Compared To Murphy’s directorial debut Harlem Nights, Lawrence has aimed small and missed big.
Director: Martin Lawrence
Stars: Martin Lawrence, Lynn Whitfield, Bobby Brown