Set south of the Mason Dixon, the film tells the story of Lazurus (Samuel L Jackson), a recently divorced, angry but well meaning man and Rae (Christina Ricci), an abused, drug and alcohol fuelled, promiscuous young woman.
They inadvertently cross paths when she's beaten and left on the side of the road where Lazarus finds her. He decides to cure her of her wicked ways and proceeds to chain her to the radiator.
A somewhat ridiculous premise with many inconsistencies and loopholes in the plot but it's the powerful performances from the lead characters that elevate this well above it's decidedly B-movie premise.
While trying to show Rae the error of her ways, it is here that Lazarus, also a troubled man, starts to look at himself and ultimately both of them grow and begin to regain their self respect.
The film also boasts a fine ensemble cast, most notably John Cothran as the Preacher and Justin Timberlake, who again proves he can act.
The film is also complete with one of the finest soundtracks put onto film in recent years, Samuel L Jackson learned to play the guitar for the role and a fine job he does too.
Close to the end I though the director, Craig Brewer, had gone down the happy-ever-after route with the fairy tale ending, but no, he still shows us that the characters are flawed, and indeed, human.
A warm, honest and, at times, very funny film of virtue and redemption.