Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, Tyler Perry, Adam Rodriguez. Comedy/drama. Written & directed by Tyler Perry.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on Tyler Perry’s play, the screen version has to do with Perry’s alter ego, Madea, the quick-mouthed, pistol-packing, zaftig granny, intervening in the lives of three youngsters. She quickly becomes involved in the lives and problems of the youngsters’ grownups.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Mr. Perry does not screen his films for critics. Why should he? They usually find fault with his work, and his built-in fan base is loyal every opening day. But it’s a frustration for me as Mr. Perry is one of the few filmmakers who injects some spirituality into his films. He’s not afraid to show a character pray or show people attending church services. Of course, he never allows such themes to override crude humor, but at least he unapologetically states that we are spiritual as well as mental and physical beings.

While his ban on critics may seem logical (he is very wealthy and attendance is high), still, critiquing films is a part of the movie-releasing mix. Moviemaking is an artistic endeavor; therefore, it must be examined. While few filmmakers pay heed to the reviewer’s insights, these artists owe their audience the right to be informed.

Don’t let studios and moviemakers dictate to you what you will see or not. Wait until the reviews come out so you can get an idea of what the film is about and read the content (the reason for the rating), usually supplied by Christian reviewers. ‘Cause once they have your bucks, they win.

(Flash ahead one week.)

Okay, I’ve seen it. Bombastic and broad, Mr. Perry’s characteristic sameness is still evident. But it is moving at times, funny at others. Alas, occasionally that broadness I mentioned seems forced, with nearly every actor getting his chance to emote as if auditioning for a better movie.

I’m still frustrated. There’s a great filmmaker waiting to be unleashed from the writer/actor/producer/director that hides behind the Madea padding. The thing that always held Jerry Lewis back from greatness was his inability to let others carry some of the burden. Though Charlie Chaplin could put his name under several credits of a movie scroll, only a handful of successive filmmakers could dominate a film solo. And I suspect Chaplin had more help behind the camera than has been given credit.

That said, Jerry Lewis always made money for his studios. So does Tyler Perry. They make movies for their following, not their peers and certainly not for critics. Hard to argue with that.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Lionsgate

Summary
Crude Language: Some attitude and some crude behavior.
Obscene Language: Thirty or more expletives (damns and hells), but I caught no harsh language.
Profanity: Oh my God is uttered a few times and I may have caught one use of God’s name followed by a curse, but it was drowned out by background noise.
Violence: Media threatens the children with beatings several times, but while she is a proponent of tough love, she cares for the kids and everyone else; one bad guy makes lewd remarks towards a teen girl and later attempts to rape her before our hero steps in – during this fight, the baddie gets hit with a bat and punched and he deserves it; an electric appliance is thrown into a bathtub, but the victim escapes electrocution. Blood: Blood is seen on the villain’s face after justice is served.
Sexual Intercourse: A woman is having an affair with a married man; it is implied that they are having sex, but we do not see any sexual situations; the villain attempts to rape a teenage girl, but is interrupted by the good guy who dispatches justice with a ball bat.
Nudity: We see a nude male bottom as he jumps out of a bathtub.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Lots of drinking and smoking, but it is presented in a destructive light.
Other: None
Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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