Kenny the Poet's movie at museum tonight

VALENTINE'S BREAK UP: The couple isn't married, but they're in counseling.

She curses nonstop, which is a huge aggravation for him. He's always late, and that irks her.

"We have these gripes with each other that neither one of us can stand," Kendrick Cross said about the characters in the film "Breaking Up is Hard to Do."

The couple breaks up, but like most dramatic comedies, you know how the movie ends: they live happily ever after.

Cross, who is known around here as Kenny the Poet, stars in the movie, his first lead role in a feature film. Demetria McKinney, who plays Janine on the TBS comedy "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," is his opposite. The film will be screened twice tonight at the Columbia Museum of Art.

If you saw the front of this section, you'd know that Tyler Perry is in town tonight and Saturday performing "Madea's Big Happy Family" at the Colonial Life Arena. "Breaking Up" has more connections to Perry. The movie's director, Tabari Sturdivant, works for Perry as does the movie's casting director.

And Cross, who graduated from Spring Valley High School, has acted on an episode of "House of Payne."

"Now I'm competing with him," Cross said of Perry.

Cross has also acted on shows such as "One Tree Hill," "Dawson's Creek" and "Army Wives."

"Most of those, I'd come in as a day player. I stayed a max three days," he said of his time on sets. "I'd always have speaking parts. Or the story is about me, and I don't show up until the end like I did on 'House of Payne'."

"Breaking Up," was shot in Atlanta - in 12 days. The film, which doesn't yet have distribution, is being submitted to festivals like the Cannes Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. Cross said the producers have spoken to Sony about distributing the movie.

The screenings are at 6 and 8 tonight. After the second show, a live band will play during the reception. If you don't have plans yet for Valentine's Day weekend, why not see a film that could inspire a relationship?

"It's a relationship film - or what it takes to keep a relationship together," Cross said. "We both have outside influences that are breaking us part.

"It reflects that love part, even though we go through hardships."

It had to be asked: Is Cross going to see Perry's show at the arena?

"We may do that Saturday," he said with a laugh. "We'll see. I'm going to be entertaining."

The museum of art is at Main and Hampton streets. $15 for the early show and $20 for the late movie; (678) 561-7638