Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I Can Do Bad All by Myself
Tyler Perry’s movies have interested me for years. He has a remarkable ability to mix drama and comedy, along with a heavy dose of faith. He displays the entire human condition, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nowhere is that better displayed then in one of his recent films, I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Billed as a romantic musical comedy/drama, Perry writes, directs, and produces the film. He also plays his signature roles in the movie, Madea and Joe.
Perry has many critics who have criticized his portrayal of the African American community. But Perry contradicts this view by stating that he only portrays what he saw growing up. All of his characters are based on real people. Maybe that’s why his movies are so effective. We’re all a little different and sometimes weird, and we can relate to that. And that’s certainly true of his characters Madea and Joe.
Complicating matters is Brian, a local pastor (played by Marvin Wynans), who gets involved when he discovers the kids’ grandmother is missing. He sends over Sandino, played by Adam Rodriguez, to help April repair her home and keep an eye on the kids, while they look for their grandmother. From this point on, events spiral out of control. Will April get her life together? What happened to the grandmother? Will the kids need a more capable caretaker? Is there a romantic interest between Sandino and April? Where does the shady boyfriend fit in? Needless to say there are some strong themes in this film.
Perhaps, one of the best scenes in the movie is when Jennifer (played by Hope Olaide Wilson) asks Madea how to pray. Mades’s heart might be in the right place; however, she is short on her knowledge of Bible stories. What results is comedic genius. Perry knows how to have fun in his movies while, at the same time, offering a serious message. As I said, he pulls this off time after time in his movies. His audiences have come to expect this and eat it up. Sure, I Can Do Bad All by Myself might feel a bit contrived here and there; however, I feel the characters are genuine and interesting. You want to root for April. You have the sense that she is on a journey to discover the true meaning of life.
In the end, I Can Do Bad All by Myself is an entertaining, inspiring, uplifting, and redemptive film.