Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Source: Catholic News Service
Anyone looking to spend a couple of delicious hours
with Madea in her fourth film outing, "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All
By Myself" (Lionsgate), will be disappointed.
Freddy Siglar, Kwesi Boakye, Tyler Perry and Hope Olaide Wilson star in a scene from the movie "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself."
"I Can Do Bad," a hard-driving, if entirely predictable,
morality play with music, is based on an older Perry play, the first in
which Perry's blustery, Falstaffian Maybelle "Madea" Simmons appears,
and only in a brief supporting role. So while her funny is still on the
money, including a gut-busting one-liner about O.J. Simpson and Michael
Vick, she's mostly on the sidelines.
The center here is April, a hard-drinking club singer played by
Taraji P. Henson, who finds herself with custody of her dead sister's
three children -- Jennifer (Hope Olaide Wilson), Manny (Kwesi Boakye)
and Byron (Frederick Siglar) -- after Madea discovers them breaking
into her house to steal a VHS player for food money. April has spent
her life caring only about herself, which is why she's willing to
settle for married boyfriend Randy (Brian White), since he helps pay
April's moral tug comes from Sandino (Adam Rodriguez), a
Mexican handyman who helps care for the children with Christian
selflessness; Marvin Winans as Pastor Brian of the nearby Zion Liberty
Baptist Church; and Gladys Knight as Wilma, a woman who can bring equal
verve to singing in both clubs and church without buckling under to
The eventual choice between Sandino and Randy and the pace of
April's awakening to the redemptive power of love so she can care for
the children provide what there is of dramatic tension, although, just
as in the play, the action stops when the songs come on.
It doesn't matter. You go to a film like this knowing exactly
what to expect, which includes cheering and applauding the good people
and heckling the villain. Perry packages all of this with warm,
inspiring music, particularly the title song.
The film contains implied adultery, a brief scene of sexual
menace, a fleeting glimpse of a male backside and a bit of crass
language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification
is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of
America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material
may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for the Office for Film &
Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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