Release Date: March 11, 2014
Director: Tyler Perry
Writer: Tyler Perry
Cast: Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Amy Smart, Zulay Henao, Cocoa Brown, Ryan Eggold, Tyler Perry, William Levy, Terry Crews, Katherine Shepler, Cassie Brennan, Massai Z. Dorsey, Vanessa Velasco, DeVion Harris, Eddie Cibrian, Marlene Forte, Sean Carrigan, Carmen Argenziano, Brandon Olive, Ashley LeConte Campbell
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 111 minutes
Production Company: LIonsgate, Tyler Perry Company
Genre: Comedy, Drama
By now you should know what type of film you’re walking into when Tyler Perry name is attached. Once the director of popular stage plays a little over a decade ago, he’s been ripping and running across movie screens with his simplistic narratives for a while now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because everything doesn’t have to be so complex. Yet and still I still expect some form of quality when I do go to the theater. This isn’t a Tyler Perry bash session if you may think. I actually have a lot of respect for Mr. Perry, and find some of his films quite entertaining. He’s a very hard working man with a passion for storytelling, has over a dozen titles under his directorial belt, and also a few successful TV shows. Though some of his work are hit and miss and I’m sad to say in my opinion this one is a miss.
While there are a few scenes I actually did enjoy containing substance and depth, I can’t say that about the majority. My main problem are two main features of any picture if you want it to be a smash hit and that’s the characters and dialogue. Being a single mom (or single parent) can be extremely difficult, and everyone knows this. So off top you have a winner where a large percent of the population can relate to. To get the audience to relate to the characters you have to fill them with life and not just stale air from the sewers. None of the characters had any weight to them and it’s even more distracting with horrible acting by Amy Smart’s character Emily. Her emotions of going through a struggle was ridiculous and will not be excused. One reason the characters had nothing going for them was Mr. Perry’s writing and the amount of women he had to divide screen time with. Instead of 5 single moms it should’ve been 3. This would’ve given each women more background and reasons for sympathy if I knew more of where they came from. They complain about all the hardship but it seems it stems from their own ignorant decisions in life for which I don’t feel sorry for. Another bad element was the dialogue because there wasn’t any. It literally felt like they were on the screen with the camera rolling, and had the writers on the other end of the set trying to finish their lines. At times nothing was being said except for how difficult life can be. Then I’m supposed to laugh at the caricature love interest thrown in the mix that looks like they belong in a circus. If you’re going to make couples with our single moms please make them believable. Don’t throw in over muscular men (Terry Crews who I’m a fan of) stalking his interest (who in the real world would have been thrown out by the manager) who carries around a bench press in the bed of his truck for promotion. Cocoa Brown’s character clearly doesn’t like the character throughout (and we’re never given a reason why). I mean he’s only in shape, hansom, has a career, compliments you, brings you flowers, and so on, but you don’t want him. Yet you complain about all the hardships of being single but continue to stay single. Shoot me in the foot someone. Even the initial first impressions are elementary. Adults meeting as groups at the movies is always a great first date, or randomly mowing your lawn then casually going over to your neighbor’s house (a stranger) and start to crack jokes on pounding wood. Not to mention the main title scene of the 5 mothers drinking wine on the patio. That was the worst in the whole film, with how Mr. Perry tried to tie things all together throwing the title of the film in our faces. “Lets start a single moms club” It’s only been done since the beginning of time but they act like they discovered a new solar system. It just all seems so unrealistic to me. As I stated earlier I actually have enjoyed some of Tyler Perry’s past work. The Family that Preys is probably my favorite. I feel that if he actually tries he can produce quality entertainment because he has before. In my opinion I think he should cut his work load in half and focus more on quality than quantity. It seems like every other month he’s throwing out another film on top of the multiple TV shows he currently has running. I feel this makes his characters and story too simplistic for me to take seriously. But hey if the fans keeps coming back for more and the money keeps pouring in keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll just have to say his work just isn’t for me. That’s perfectly fine as long as he’s happy, and frankly who should care what I say, because this is just my opinion.