Diary of a Mad Black Woman

I guess I keep thinking that if I watch this movie enough, I’ll finally understand it. I mean, I can follow the plot. It’s the tone that’s like monkeys throwing poop. It zooms between farce, romance, and drama. It’s from 2005 but feels a decade older. It uses and overuses montages and voice-overs to frost over the crumbly bits. And then it gets DARK.

MadeaA woman, Helen (Kimberly Elise) is thrown out of her home when her philandering husband finally gets tired of her after 18 years. The pre-nup says she gets nothing.  Helen is broken but her grandmother is there to put her back together – the grandmother being played by Tyler Perry, of course, in his first appearance as the famous Madea.

Even if you’ve never seen a Madea movie, you know that she’s loud and proud. Of course she is. Perry is hamming it up for all he’s worth. He knew this was his chance to spawn himself a franchise, and he did. A whole empire, in fact.

Tyler Perry is a talented man. I don’t love Madea the way some do, but it is refreshing to see every day families and strong women taking centre tumblr_o17xxnYxbI1thd7hoo1_500stage. He writes what he knows. And Perry knows his audience too, an audience that Hollywood largely ignores. His movies routinely make $50M against a budget half that – it’s a rate of return you can’t ignore.

63Madea has her roots in a series of plays that Tyler Perry wrote and staged across the country. They were filmed and available on video for years before he got to make a movie. But after a strong of successes, on the big screen and the small, now he’s got carte blanche. Good for him. He circumvented obstacles by doing it all himself and never compromised a principle.



10 thoughts on “Diary of a Mad Black Woman

  1. kmSalvatore

    I feel exactly the same way you do Jay. We have friends, who will stop everything in their life to watch this character . Mr. perry is an awesome talent. But , I can take or leave Media😉


  2. John Charet

    Speaking of males playing female characters, have you ever heard of Divine? He worked with trash master John Waters a lot and he is probably best known for Pink Flamingos and Hairspray (the 1988 version). He played Edna Turnblad in that one. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂


  3. Wendell

    I’ve seen all of his movies and hate almost every one of them. My wife is a huge fan, so I’ll likely keep seeing whatever he throws up on screen. That said, I don’t begrudge him one bit because of something you noted in this piece. It’s the key to his empire. He knows his audience. Hell, I believe Perry knows his audience better than any director who has ever lived. It’s served him exceedingly well whether anyone outside of that group likes his work or not.


    1. Jay Post author

      I saw a couple of this plays on video and like them better. He’s recycling stories that don’t always work as movies, or not without better rewriting. I really like him, as a person and as an actor, and wish we would see more of him without the wig!


    1. Jay Post author

      I’ve barely tolerated the cross-dressing thing in movies since Some Like It Hot. Maybe Psycho ruined it for me? Adam Sandler DEFINITELY did.



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