(Reality) Check Please! – A Movie Review

Image credit: indiewire.com

Image credit: indiewire.com

Where’s Madea when you need her?

I read somewhere that Tyler Perry does not allow his films to be previewed. But for “The Single Moms Club”, it would have been too late anyway.

What he really should have done, as my sister-in-law said, was to confer with mothers like us and obtain the reality check that this film needed. Because the spirit of the no-nonsense cantankerous female character that Perry sometimes plays, was sorely needed here to knock some sense into a few of the characters.

I don’t want to make this a black/white thing here, and I realize that Perry is trying to broaden his audience, but being a single mother of any persuasion is no excuse. That being said, some of the behaviours that some of the children in this movie were allowed to get away with had me saying, “Child, please!”

Which mother do you know – single or not – who’s going to have her child tell her that she (the mother) is ruining her life? When all she’s trying to do is provide those clothes she’s wearing and the food she’s obviously eating. I know a kid needs love and attention too – but that’s beside the point.

I’ve seen kids slam doors on parents before – but only in the movies – because that thought would not have ever crossed my mind when I was younger. Slam whose door? In whose house? Anyway, Perry uses this to demonstrate the child’s frustration, but I waited in vain to see how Nia Long’s character, May, acted the fool on her son’s behind. A sigh of exasperation is all I got.

And when he leaves the babysitter’s house, (as we later learn because he received a phone call from his father), without telling anybody, then comes back home the next day, walking into the house like he’s the one paying the bills, we’re supposed to believe that his mother’s tears aren’t quickly replaced by her resolve to make sure that he didn’t lose the care of his brain ever again.

I don’t know how Tyler Perry’s character (TK), wasn’t seeing a different side of her as he attempted to peel her off her son as he tried to save the boy’s life. But when we see her waiting for the son while he waits for hours for his father to show up only to be disappointed again, and we realize that she does this every time – it’s no wonder he thinks that he can talk to her any way he likes.

Thankfully, Lytia, the character played by Cocoa Brown is a truer representation of the kind of parent who was your mother and not your friend, but as my viewing partner said, her son still had way too much sass for someone whose mother swore that “standing on his neck” was a sure way to bring a disobedient child in line.

The ‘Hillary’ character played by Amy Smart, was a complete waste of time. She was newly divorced, but it didn’t appear to me that she worked anywhere, so even with three children how is it that she was so unaware about the milestones that were taking place in her older daughter’s life? With the way she was going, she was likely to miss her baby’s first words and steps before she realized that the damsel in distress thing is just not going to work when you have some kids to mind.

Terry Crews’ character provided much needed comic relief, but maybe I’m still seeing “White Chicks” in the rearview mirror. He, along with four other guys in the movie ensure that these single moms all get their guys in the end. Although I can already see that some of them ain’t gonna last.

I like the fact that Tyler Perry attempted to get a diverse crew of women for this movie because we don’t all have to be from the same social groups and walks of life to be friends. But I’m not sure what May really wrote about in her book, because the social situations seemed a bit forced to me. But I’m nitpicking.

We’ve become accustomed to the social commentary in Perry movies, and this one was no exception. From welfare mothers to the drug culture to crime to workaholic mothers to irresponsible parenting to wanting more for your children than you had for yourself – it ran the gamut.

Hillary’s daughter tells her own mother that she doesn’t really know her and decides that it was time that they introduced themselves. And Lytia’s son tells her that she should trust that later in life he will remember what she will probably be telling him for years to come. Which is all that I can hope for my children too.

Some have complained that Perry tends to hit you over the head with his messages, so this time, a little child will lead you to them.

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