Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Release Date: September 11th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking.
Directed by: Tyler Perry
JJ Rating: B+
April (Taraji P. Henson) is just barely going about life. Hindered by estrangement from those close to her as well as past issues, she isn’t pleasant to many people; especially herself. Then Madea (Tyler Perry) arrives with three kids at her doorstep saying they need family (in her own way), but April only sees them as someone else’s problem, not her own and just doesn’t want them. I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
Do unto others as was done unto you is the theme of April throughout most of this film. Funny is how it’s the real way to say the saying (do unto others as you want done unto you) that starts to change her for the better. The more I sit and think about it the more I like this movie. I use to find it irritating that Tyler Perry’s name is in the title…no I still find that annoying. But he’s branded his name therefore it has to be there so people know it’s one of his. But over the past year I’ve fallen in love with how Madea and Joe speak to themselves as well as to others. It’s just too funny. This go around, though, has less of them and more of the focus is on the main storyline. I almost didn’t get my fill of Madea and Joe until the end credits where they had outtakes, and then I was satisfied.
Henson plays a really manic character because she has so many things vying for her attention and she does know which is most important and right, but is afraid of going after it because of the difficulties that would have to go through. She does very well and is so enjoyable to watch. The frustration of being awaken while trying to get some sleep is most funny to me because I so understand how that feels. The time you really want sleep is the time you’re most needed by others. For some reason it works out that way and her reaction is something I’ve done myself, which makes it even funnier.
There is a lot of singing in this film. It’s on the brink of being an oversaturation of music that doesn’t keep the story moving along. That is one of the problems I have with the film that it focused too much on those songs than on the story, but it didn’t annoy me too much. Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige are in the film and they, of course, have singing parts. I think they both did a decent job acting. Adam Rodriguez is Sandino a guest in April’s house who fixes it up as payment to live there. He looks so different with all that hair and beard. I had no clue who he was until he came back clean shaven. Then I knew he was from one of the C.S.I.s and a very long time ago
One of the best scenes (serious ones) was a verbal battle between April and Randy in the bathroom. It’s a very charged scene that has a lot of power in it because Henson and White just feed off one another’s emotional energy. There’s a lot of attitude that falls out of Jennifer who is played very well by Hope Olaide Wilson. Everything that Meda says to her about her attitude is so true and one wants to just shake her anger out of her. She did a really good job. The scene with her and the two boys with Meda and Joe at the table was great. It was a scene that fused subtle caring with over powering frustration and agitation with biting sarcasm and wit.
When I see a Tyler Perry film it has a sense of Southern comfort to it. The strong tones in this one are powerful, but even with those I still feel comfortable watching it and enjoying it. I never feel as if I’m left out of any of the jokes or any part of the story. Even though I am not someone that is black or from the same neighborhoods as those in the story I still can relate and I still find the situations moving as well as funny. I believe that that’s a true testament to how great Tyler Perry is at doing these films and creating these characters.
Tyler Perry is a fantastic person to have in
I can Do Bad All By Myself has funny moments, but most of all it’s a dramatic story that shows even when we think that what we could offer isn’t good enough, it is almost always good enough for that one person. Everyone has one person that appreciates us and what we can offer. The problem is that, unlike in the film, not many people tell that to someone or to anyone that they appreciate them and what they do. Everyone wants to be appreciated and maybe if more people shared with those who they appreciate that they do, then it is possible that people will be less angry and more productive. So you best appreciate. Haha.