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The Independent Critic

Marcus D. Spencer, Michael Grayson, Sherill Quinn, Felix Harry, Quania Jones, Dawayne Jordan, Jason King, Samili Watson
Marcus D. Spencer
Eduardo Castrillo, Marcus D. Spencer
82 Mins.
Touch the Heart Production Studios

 Movie Review: Who Needs It? 
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Known as "Big Spence," an identity bestowed upon him by none other than Will Smith when he appeared in the Smith-led The Pursuit of Happyness, Marcus D. Spencer is tackling the entertainment industry one project at a time with his ambitious and inspired Touch the Heart Productions. Who Needs It? is his latest effort, a collaboration with Eduardo Castrillo that is inspired by faith and grounded within the richness of humanity. 

In the film, Spencer is Dr. Keith B. Real, a therapist helping couples get to the bottom of their problems. These couples range from an interracial couple dealing with all the complexities of that dynamic to a couple dealing with the challenges of having a child from an ex and, of course, a couple dealing with financial issues. Who Needs It? is largely devoid of histrionics, the script by Spencer and Castrillo trusts the inherent compelling nature of the stories unfolding and avoids unnecessary distractions. At times, Who Needs It? feels like a Tyler Perry film if Perry would lean a little more into faith and dial down the histrionics a bit. 

The most powerful storyline in Who Needs It? rests in the hands of Michael Grayson's Malachi and Sherill Quinn's Sharon as an interracial couple weaving their way through a tapestry of relationship issues including not just the interracial dynamics but the complex dynamics of simply being human. Both Grayson and Quinn offer relatable and engaging performances as a couple both believable and with areas of strain and stress. This is not to say that the rest of the ensemble is weak, not at all. It's just that this particular relationship seems to get the narrative emphasis and I could watch an entire film with just this couple. 

Who Needs It? is for the most part a very human drama with comedic elements. It's a reminder that while our ethnicity may make us look different our humanity makes us the same. It seems to be a particularly potent message during this time when division seems to exist everywhere. 

The film also features strong performances from the likes of Felix Harry, Quania Jones, Dawayne Jordan, Jason King, and Samili Watson. While Who Needs It? features a relatively small ensemble, it's a mighty effective one. 

Lensing by Benjamin Dennis is relaxed and effective throughout. The original music by Mike Casey complements the narrative nicely without ever dominating. The production design by Janina Roberts feels immersive and natural. 

The award-winning Who Needs It? is a film inspired by faith yet also easily accessible for all with universal themes and everyday stories and challenges. Beautifully written by Spencer and Castrillo and directed with intelligence and compassion by Spencer, Who Needs It? is a film to check out if you get a chance.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic