Tyler Perry is back with his latest film I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
The film, which bears the title of Perry’s play stars Academy Award
nominated actress Taraji P. Henson in the lead role, Adam Rodriguez,
Brian White, Tyler Perry as Madea and newcomer Hope Olaide Wilson. The
film also features performances from Grammy Award winning singers
Gladys Knight, Mary J. Blige and along with Pastor Marvin Winans.
The storyline of I Can Do Bad All By Myself revolves around a young
woman named April (Henson), a nightclub performer whose past problems
have led her to become a stubborn, selfish, alcoholic. Due to circumstance, she feels the innate
need to depend on her married boyfriend (White). However when April
unexpectedly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned niece and nephews,
she must find it in herself to change her self-centered ways and open up her
heart. However April is not alone on her journey to change, which is
sparked when she meets Mexican immigrant Sandino (Rodriguez), who moves
into her home, and provides her with the love and friendship which
allows her to be more caring.
This film is considerably different from Perry’s previous films because of the musical numbers and performances in the film. They are used, not only
to uplift the audience, but to overtly aid April as she re-discovers who she is and examine her new life. In the film April’s no nonsense best friend Tanya is
portrayed by none other than Grammy Award winning singer Mary J.
Blige, who delivers the title track of the film. In
portraying Tanya, Blige formulates a friend that doubles as a mentor. She dishes out
blunt, straight to the point guidance. In press junkets, Blige has said that she drew upon her own life experiences to bring the
character to life in I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
Gladys Knight delivers another memorable performance as Wilma, a church going woman who had a close relationship
with April’s family. Ms. Knight balances her character in the film
through soulful gospel numbers as well as the motherly advice she
gives to April. Ms. Knight stated in interviews that the character was in tune with her real life persona.
Taraji P. Henson gives a great performance as usual in the film. In
portraying April, Henson goes from making the character a
misunderstood egotist to a being the viewers can identify with,
and learn to accept. Perry uses the character April to convey the
theme of learning to love ones self before fully being able to love
On another note, Perry’s beloved and maligned character Madea appears in this
film, however she has far less screen time than in previous films. Yet
the scenes with Madea serve it’s purpose in using Madea to teach
people about how to love and respect themselves.
But with every hero, and motherly figure there comes a villain, which
Brian White plays very convincing, as the non-likeable Randy. From the
minute Randy steps on screen the audience is made to dislike his
character, and it seems as if the character never changes but gets
worse as the film progresses.
I Can Do Bad All By Myself is recommended for the positive theme of family, how resolution is portrayed and the evolution of various characters.