Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) Review

Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman poster
Director: Darren Grant
Stars: Steve HarrisTamara TaylorTyler PerryKimberly Elise
Genre: Melodrama, Comedy

I knew I'd hate this movie before I watched it, so why did I still watch it? I don't know, I guess I just felt like hating something.

Technically this isn't directed by Tyler Perry but it's still the first Tyler Perry movie. He wrote and produced it, he starred in it, and it is the first screen appearance of Perry's most well-known character, Madea.

Okay, plot, here we go: Woman lives with rich husband in the biggest mansion I've ever seen. Husband is asshole. Husband kicks here out of her house despite 18 year marriage. Wife, with nowhere to go, finds herself at her grandmother's house (whom is just Tyler Perry dressed up as an old woman). Then she meets generic great guy who is near poverty but still looks like a sexy model. They fall in love. But then her husband (who kicked her out) comes back into the picture when he gets shot and she takes care of him. Some drama for awhile and then happy ending where wife and generic good guy get married. Oh, did I just spoil it for you? You can thank me later.

First off, what is this film trying to be? Is it a comedy or a melodrama? I'm aware of dramedies (comedy-dramas) but this isn't a dramedy. Dramedies adds comedy to drama and drama to comedy, combining them to work off of each other. Diary of a Mad Black Woman doesn't do that. It has 25 minutes of painful melodrama followed by 10 minutes of some weird black comedy, slapstick hybrid, and then it repeats the cycle. It never blends the comedy with the drama of vice versa, it just keeps them separate and makes you feel like you're watching two different films. 

I guess first I'll comment on the drama. Or melodrama rather. The melodrama in here is some of the most cliched writing I've ever seen in my life. The characters are the most stereotypical creatures you'll ever see. Someone please inform Tyler Perry that overused, cheesy sayings does not qualify as clever writing or dialogue. This movie is like having a conversation with your grandmother, or even more accurately: reading a pre-written Hallmark card given to you by your grandmother. That's what Diary of a Mad Black Woman is: one giant Hallmark card. 

Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Second comes the comedy parts...which I guess was a bit better than the melodrama parts. The film got more unintentional laughs out of me than intentional just because of how dumb it is. Madea just takes a gun out of her purse in literally every scene she's in, then there's perverted old man jokes, oh and look they managed to fit a fart joke in there too.

The funniest part about this film is that Tyler Perry plays an old grandmother, an old perverted grandfather, and a grandson all in the same film. What the hell are you doing Tyler Perry? I'm fairly certain these are the exact words Tyler Perry used when he created the Madea character: "So, uh, how about like, how about I dress up as a fat old black woman, right? And, you know, like just because it's funny not because I want to dress up as a woman or anything...it'd just be funny. And I'll do this really weird voice too...and I'll have a gun!"

Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman madea

Then, perhaps the worst part, is the film's ever-present religious overtone. I have no problem with religious themes, but this film feels like religious propaganda. It's so forceful and unsubtle that it nearly made me sick. Is this film trying to convert me to Christianity? Because they better make a better film than this if they want me to consider converting. And that end scene in the church where everyone is singing is one of the most painful things I've ever watched. A paraplegic literally gets up and walks and a crackhead just suddenly stops being addicted and becomes a good mother...and the crackhead sings. It's horrible.

 The soundtrack is composed of gospel music, and some of it is alright like the cover of Joan Osborne's "One of Us."

Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Don't watch this movie if you've ever watched any other movie in your life, because this is worse than it. 

1/5 stars

Purchase Diary of a Mad Black Woman on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream
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