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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself

By

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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Benedict Joseph Labre: Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives. 
<p>He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world." </p><p>On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint. </p><p>He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.</p> American Catholic Blog Today offers limitless possibilities for holiness. Lean into His grace. The only thing keeping us from sainthood is ourselves.

 
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