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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself


Source: Catholic News Service

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."
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.

"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 her bills.
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 sin.

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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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

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