What happens when a gay black man returns to the ass-backwards southern home that he’s tried so hard to put behind him? Dirty Laundry, that’s what!

This self-professed “serious comedy” is the winner of 2006’s American Black Film Festival Audience Award. It stars some of the finest names in entertainment: Cuba Gooding Jr. look-a-like Rockmond Dunbar, Loretta Devine (This Christmas) and the always-sassy vixen Jenifer Lewis. With such a talented roster of actors, it’s surprising that this film falls short of perfection.

Writer/director/producer/actor Maurice Jamal has as much trouble with his abilities as an auteur as he does with his stilted performance of Jerome the jealous sibling. The film lags and drags and resembles an amateur Hollywood acting class as opposed to an award-winning feature.

The one redeeming plotline is the father-son relationship that Dunbar’s character develops with his newly discovered son.

Grade: C

Dirty Laundry releases in select theaters Dec. 7.