Diary Of A Mad Black Woman Darren Grant

Tyler Perry translates to the silver screen his successful stage plays, featuring trademark character Madea, a big, black grandmother with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, what works on a theatre stage falls flat on the big screen. Diary Of A Mad Black Woman follows Helen (Kimberly Elise), whose husband Charles (Steve Harris) is an arrogant lawyer who finds another woman and ditches Helen after 18 years without offering her so much as a penny. Distraught, Helen seeks comfort with her grandma, Madea (Perry himself), who teaches her to move on. Helen lands in the arms of the kind, handsome Orlando (Shemar Moore), but she comforts Charles after a disgruntled client shoots and paralyses him. Helen wonders if she can forgive Charles after all he's done to her. Helen's story is told through a sensitive, well-written voiceover. Helen plays it straight, never for laughs, and she remains sympathetic; she suffers from ambivalence, however, and could be a stronger character. Further, her romance with Orlando is predictable and schmaltzy, and the film's Christian moralising is obtrusive. The film really falls apart with Madea. Her comedy is so over-the-top (i.e., chain-sawing in half Charles's couch to settle the divorce) that it's ridiculous, not funny. Madea would be like Jar Jar Binks stepping into Apocalypse Now. That said, fans of Madea and Perry will enjoy this disc. The special features are generous, starting with an intelligent commentary by Perry, two decent "making of" documentaries and a music video. There's also a (too) brief look at Perry, plus two inconsequential outtakes. Now, I wish I had software that could digitally remove Madea from this movie. Plus: music video, trailers, more. (Maple)