If there’s one thing that studio executives never get tired of greenlighting, it’s stories of privileged but emotionally damaged young white people who have their lives changed by the presence of older working-class black folk. Glancing up at the calendar, the year is 2016, a fact that’s kind of difficult to reconcile with this brand new trailer for Mr. Church. Directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) from an autobiographical screenplay by writer Susan McMartin (Another World, Two And A Half Men), Mr. Church is the story of a young woman (Britt Robertson) whose world is torn asunder when her mother (Natascha McElhone) falls ill. Luckily though, their wise, jazz-and-book-loving cook (Eddie Murphy) is there to take the impressionable child under his wing and teach and teach her about the world in his strict but loving way. Naturally, there’s at least once scene involving a porch swing.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival back in April, after which The A.V. Club’s Jesse Hassenger gave it a C-, noting Murphy’s “quiet, even gentle presence” in the titular role in the otherwise “sappy, homily-level movie.” Your mom will begin asking if you want to go see Mr. Church when it arrives in theaters on September 16.