A black woman scorned
Tyler Perry's popular play "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is made into a movie that is both entertaining and rich with complex characters.
By JASON GREY
It's a common critique that men cannot write complex roles for women, that women frequently fall into two categories, either "angel" of "whore." This criticism often goes double for male writers of color. Tyler Perry doesn't have to worry about that because his core female characters are strong, wise, and pass through all the complexities of human emotions. Frankly, in "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" he blows the issue out of the water because he plays a gun-toting, grudge holding, multi-criminal-offending grandmother, named Madea, himself.
"Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is the movie adaptation of Tyler Perry's 2000 play of the same name that was popular in America's urban theaters. It is the story of Helen McCarter (Kimberly Elise), whose life becomes a nightmare when her marriage falls apart. The question of whether or not her husband is fulfilled and she can live a happy marriage is completely discarded when she discovers that he has been having an affair and has fathered two children. Helen's life then spins out of control until she lands in the forgiving arms of her mother and grandmother. Under their guidance and maintaining a strong Christian faith she learns to stand on her own two feet, support herself, and find true love. But not before she runs the gamut of emotions that go along with her trauma and crosses the line into madness.
|DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN|
|Directed by: Darren Grant.|
Written by: Tyler Perry.
Adapted from the play by: Tyler Perry.
Cast: Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Tyler Perry, Shemar Moore, Lisa Marcos.
Cinematography: David Claessen.
Edited by: Terilyn A. Shropshire.
Related links: Official site
Initially, the film tries to present a fantasy world that falls apart. However, it does so clumsily and slightly unbelievably, but the writing and the actors' performances are so energetic that one forgives the imbalance. The film quickly finds its footing, and you enjoy the ride and are intrigued by Helen's highs and lows.|
It would be easy to dismiss "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" as a simple "chick flick"; however, the film runs deeper than that. The subplots of a criminal defense case, family drug addiction, and Helen's great-uncle Joe's lowbrow sexual humor allow the movie to keep from crossing into absolute chick-flickdom.
Of course, the main character is still a woman and much of the story is told from her point of view, so chick-flick it is, but that does not mean the movie is strictly relegated to a girls' night out. Regardless, I won't say that it's a great "date movie" either. A note to the ladies (and the fellas) if your guy doesn't need spectacular explosions or special effects and could sit through "Waiting to Exhale" then he should enjoy "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." It definitely goes down easier than "The Importance of Being Earnest". Another note to the female readers, my lady friend cried at least three times during the screening of this film. So come prepared with a small packet of tissues. That said, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is still very enjoyable.
|FEBRUARY 25, 2005|
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Reader comments on Diary of a Mad Black Woman:
man from Jonah, Dec 4, 2005
Diary from E.L., Mar 18, 2006
wow from kholby stevenson, May 8, 2006
ddddd from brandon, Jun 26, 2006
great from hannah wanjiku, Jun 29, 2006
hi from brandy, Aug 23, 2006
madea from jasmin, Oct 30, 2006
hey from danielle, Jun 10, 2007
hey from brandon, Oct 25, 2007
funny from cory jones, Feb 29, 2008
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