Disappearing Acts

HBO Dec. 9, 9 p.m. E.T.

Before Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale, there was her Disappearing Acts. Can ambitious singer Zora (Sanaa Lathan) find love with Franklin, the construction worker who fixed up her gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone? Since the soft-hearted hardhat is a statue-buff Wesley Snipes, well, three guesses. As money and personality troubles set in, however, it turns out Zora exhaled too soon. Like many renovations, Acts is most attractive on its glossy surface; too often the subtext crashes clumsily through the drywall. But the leads do hammer charismatic performances out of the material.

--By James Poniewozik

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