Sunday, September 20, 2009

Movie Review: I Can Do Bad By Myself

Tyler Perry is constantly criticized by the black bourgeoisie for his portrayals of our community on the big screen. I often ask myself what is it people find so offensive about him. I get that his films are not on the same level as Spielberg or Scorsese, but what's wrong with films with a clear Christian message, no nudity, and very little profanity?

In his latest ,Tyler touches on the story of April a hardened nightclub singer who is forced to take in her orphaned niece and nephews. Taraji Henson in another starmaking turn plays April and she cements herself as the actress to watch as far as Afro American leading ladies go. She has the uncanny knack of playing someone unlikeable and selfish, but yet sympathetic enough to make you care for her. Adam Rodriguez, who is best known for his work on CSI: Miami plays Sandino the handyman and boarder who falls for April and helps her to see the value in caring for family as well as him. Needless to say the chemistry between the two of them is one of the main reasons the film works.

Another I must say is the casting of the young actors who play April's kin. Hope Olaide Wilson is the standout as Jennifer, the sixteen year old who's lost a mother to drugs and is left to look after her two younger brothers (portrayed by Frederick Siglar and Kwesi Boakye). One has health issues and the other has special needs. Wilson is a strong young actress and held her own with Oscar nominee Henson in each scene they shared together.

Singers Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight did well in their supporting roles, as did Pastor Marvin Winans. The character of Madea was in the movie along with Uncle Joe briefly, but not long enough to tick off the viewers of Perry's films who find his antics as the pistol wielding grandma buffoonish and tired. I am personally not offended by Madea, but I felt the story did not need her. Taraji and co. did a perfect job all on their own and I for one vote this as Perry's best work so far!