Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself parents guide

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself Parent Guide

Many parents may want to consider the mature nature of this film before taking their teens. Still Perry manages to give hope for a better future to his characters.

Overall B

April (Taraji P. Henson) has managed to do bad all by herself. But the self-centered, hard-living lounge singer must reconsider her ways when she is forced by Madea (Tyler Perry in his female persona) to care for her sister's three children. The unwelcomed life adjustment is further complicated when April also takes in a boarder (Adam Rodriguez), who is both handsome and fatherly.

Release date September 11, 2009

Violence C+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C+
Substance Use C

Why is Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking.

Run Time: 113 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Tyler Perry has donned the fat suit once again to revive his characters Madea, a crude, strong-willed matriarch, and her brother Joe. However the elderly couple is little more than a sideshow in this script that deals with mature themes of sexual assault and societal challenges.

Madea is startled out of her beauty sleep one night to the sound of thieves ransacking her main floor. It turns out to be 16-year-old Jennifer (Hope Olaide Wilson) and her brothers Manny (Kwesi Boakye) and Byron (Frederick Siglar). The siblings, who grew up in a home with a crack-addicted mother, have been passed on to their grandma (Greta Glenn). Unfortunately the aged woman has been missing for several days and the kids need some quick cash for food.

After forcing the trio to the ground and beating them with a stick, Madea and Joe feed the starving children and interrogate them about their past. Then, with their grandma temporarily out of the picture, Madea drops the youngsters off at the house of their Aunt April (Taraji P. Henson), a boozing, smoking, self-absorbed lounge singer who shares her bed with a married man.

But kids are the last things Randy (Brian J. White), a family man with four offspring of his own, wants hanging around his love nest. He is even less impressed with the Colombian immigrant (Adam Rodriquez) that the local church leader sends to live in April’s basement. To show his distain, the two-timing lover doesn’t forgo any opportunity to insult and disparage the quiet, handsome handyman.

Perry may never be known for subtlety. In fact, many of these characters and even the storyline seem to smack viewers upside the head like a good slap from Madea herself. Yet while this plot follows a familiar theme found in many of the director’s other movies (a good woman caught up in a relationship with a loser), this film justifies or at least explains where these characters are coming from and the motivation for their choices. While Aunt April, her niece and nephews and a host of others have all suffered their share of trauma, they respond to the tragedies in different ways. In one scene, an adult male attempts to sexually attack a teenaged girl. (The incident is interrupted along the way.) Other characters deal with severe physical abuse, abandonment, immigration and health issues.

Aided by the kindhearted Pastor Brian (Marvin Winans) and a supportive religious community, some of the victims face their hardships and move forward with their responsibilities. Others wallow in the past, drowning themselves in addictive substances that dull the pain.

With several musical performances by real life preacher and gospel singer Marvin Winans, Grammy-award winner Gladys Knight and recording artist Mary J. Blige, this movie’s soundtrack provides plenty of entertainment itself. Many parents, though, may want to consider the mature nature of this film before taking their teens. Still Perry manages to give hope for a better future to his characters, even if he can’t begin to tackle all of the social issues introduced in the script.

Starring Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release September 11, 2009. Updated

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Rating & Content Info

Why is Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself rated PG-13? Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking.

Mild and moderate profanities and threatening remarks are heard continually in this script, especially when adults are dealing with children. There are also several references to drug use. Some irreverent religious comments are made. When she is not on stage performing, April is frequently drunk or smoking. She and Randy also intentionally smoke in front of the kids although one of the boys suffers from asthma. Other characters are seen drinking in a bar setting. An adult male attempts to rape a teenage girl and then lies about it. A woman is involved in an adulterous relationship with a married man. A couple is shown in bed together without sexual activity. A couple kisses. Some sexual innuendo is included in the storyline. Women are shown in revealing or low cut attire. Brief male buttock nudity is seen in a non-sexual situation. Characters are caught stealing on at least two occasions. Adults beat children with a stick, threaten them and cause pain. Past physical and sexual abuse is discussed. The death of one character is portrayed. Men are involved in a serious fistfight. One character sustains bloody injuries on his face. A man is accused of child molestation. One character threatens to electrocute another. A brief scene involving electrical shock is seen.

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More parents' guide for Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself after the break...

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself Parents' Guide

April’s only concern in her life seems to be making herself happy. How do her sister’s children impact her hedonist lifestyle? What does she learn about her own ability to accept responsibility?

How can traumatic experiences in a person’s life, like being sexually assaulted or abandoned, impact one’s feelings of self-worth? What characters in this film have troubled pasts? How does each of them deal with those difficulties? What individual choices do they make?

Madea tells Jennifer that if you put good things into life, good things generally come out good. Jennifer is also told that you get what you expect from others. Do you agree with these comments? How do our expectations of life or of others influence our outlook and interactions?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself movie is January 12, 2010. Here are some details…

Tyler Perry’s: I Can Do Bad All By Myself is releasing to DVD on January 12, 2010. The disc includes an audio commentary and a photo gallery.

Related home video titles:

Down in the Delta deals with another young single mother who lives with her children in the Chicago Housing projects where she subsists on a diet of alcohol and drugs—then she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Earl down in the Mississippi Delta. Balancing a demanding fashion career with the sudden arrival of her sister’s children is an overwhelming challenge for Helen Harris after she becomes sole guardian of the orphans in Raising Helen. Actress Taraji P. Henson gives an outstanding performance as a caregiver in a nursing home that mothers a cast-off child in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Tyler Perry has created several films around the character Madea (played by Tyler Perry in drag). We have reviewed Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion. Other titles he has worked on included Madea Goes to Jail, Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys and Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns