A "Taming of the Shrew"-inspired romantic comedy about three buddies who are so in love with three sisters that they bribe a local Lothario to romance the girls' foxy but man-less, meddling hellcat of an older sibling, "Deliver Us From Eva" is thick with unfulfilled promise.

Where there could be well-developed characters, there are empty caricatures of bossy black women and whipped black men instead. Where there should be smart comedy, there's a silly, sit-comy kidnapping scenario.

In under-thumb husband/boyfriend roles that good actors like Morris Chestnut or Terrence Howard could have added real substance to, "Eva" has cue-card-quality non-name players -- Mel Jackson (whose eyebrows move as much as his lips with every line delivery) and Dartanyan Edmonds (playing the kind of corn-row-coifed brother whose vocabulary doesn't extend much beyond the word "daaaaamn!").

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