No matter what else happens in Soul Men, it's hard not to be moved by the posthumous performances of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, especially when they appear onscreen together, and more so when, in one scene, they leave a room together. At other times, however, Mac is at the top of his comedic game. He has the power to make us forget that anything is wrong in the world, including the fact that it has lost two of its best and brightest.

In Soul Men, Mac plays Floyd Henderson, one third of a legendary 1960s soul music trio. In the 1970s, the group's lead singer Marcus Hooks (played in flashbacks and photos by John Legend) embarked upon a solo career, leaving Floyd and his bandmate Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) in the lurch. They tried to continue alone, but quickly broke up due to "creative differences," i.e. they fought over a woman. Now Marcus has passed away and Floyd and Louis have been invited to perform in a tribute show at the Apollo. And since Louis doesn't fly, they must drive cross-country, which gives them plenty of time to fight and bicker. (Isaac Hayes appears relatively briefly, as himself, at the tribute.)