Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Yay, back to more happy reviews!

Plot: 5/5
Charles, an attorney, and Helen, the devoted wife, seem to have everything, money, a beautiful mansion- the American Dream. But just as Helen prepares to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary, her life takes a twist.

Wow, that does a great job summarizing the first 5 minutes of the movie! But that isn’t what it’s about. So let me try my hand at this.

Helen, sorry to spoil the opening credits, is cheated on and left by her husband, a successful attorney for a younger woman he has already had children with. He throws Helen out on her ass (literally), with only the clothes on her back and a loaded U-Haul with some of her things in it. Battered and miserable, she kicks the truck operator out  in the middle of nowhere and ends up at her Aunt’s house.

Medea, her crazy gun-toting Aunt, convinces her that she should not wallow in self pity, but that she should get angry, and take back the life that Charles took from her. The movie is about her learning to move on with her life, find her confidence once again, and about her learning to love and trust that truck driver she threw out, a man who is kind and gentile and knows how to treat a woman like a lady.

This is a mixture of a hardcore chick flick and a slapstick comedy, though most of the humor does come from the dialogue.

Acting: 5/5
Actually the only comedy here comes from Medea herself and her brother, both of whom are over-the-top reflections of stereotypical strong-willed elderly African Americans. The old couple is played (perfectly) by Tyler Perry himself, who has just one role in the film without the heavy-duty latex treatment and silly accent. Ironically that character is the quiet, relaxed and mature attorney son of Medea’s brother, who helps Helen in her messy divorce.

Directing: 5/5
The directing goes unnoticed and is simple, but as usual when I say this it isn’t in a bad way. I like the quiet directing. It fits the story and makes the unusual mix of serious chick flick and rampant comedy click together expertly. Darren Grant and Tyler Perry (The Director and Writer) get major points for this one!

Other Things
After watching this movie you won’t be too sure what the title means, just like me. There are really 2 possibilities. Either “Mad Black Woman” is British-English for “Crazy Black Woman” meaning Medea, or it literally means an “Angry Black Woman” for Helen, the lead.

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