Bucking the trend of other critics, Margaret expresses her personal feelings about the film
I'm a busy single mompreneur. I've been traveling from Tiburon,CA to Denver, CO, back to Tiburon and then to LA and back over this last month and half. Meanwhile juggling starting my VoiceAmerica radio show, lining up guests and an insane 2/2/5 shared custody schedule. Never mind you the details of the shared custody nor my Mom's flair up with her health...the regular logistics of finances etc. Needless to say, "um, yeah, it's been CRAZY".
What? A Movie About Single Moms? By Tyler Perry?
With this insanity, it's no wonder I was unaware of Tyler Perry's new movie The Single Moms Club debut until just a few days ago. And it's single moms like me that this movie was truly made for! Well, I LOVE Tyler Perry and I LOVE SINGLE MOMS! Seemed like a match made in heaven. And my dears...it was.
I immediately arranged my work schedule to accomodate seeing the film midday today, Friday March 14th, opening day. AND due to a last minute schedule change in the show for next week...I will be reviewing the movie with Emma Johnson, www.wealthysinglemommy.com along with a group of other single moms who have signed up to see the film this weekend and call in. All single moms who are intersted are welcome to join up in this discussion. Simply contact me at: email@example.com and I can send you the list of topics to consider/questions, etc.
The show will air next week live on my show, The Mother Rising on VoiceAmerica's Empowerment Station. It airs every Thursday from 4-5pm PDT, and this episode where we discuss Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club will be on March 20th!
Professional Critique? No, But a Real Single Mom's Thoughts...
I will write something up here, but please keep in mind that I am not a professional movie critic. I AM a single Mom who prior to sitting down here at the computer darted from her work to the movie and then darted from the movie to Trader Joe's to quickly fill the car with about 10 grocery bags of food for my three kids and myself for the next week (clearly we were out of food; AND I got some really good deals). I then sped to pick up child #1 to take him up to the swim and tennis club where #'s 2 and 3 were playing tennis and swimming respectively. After lots of driving, unloading, cooking and picking up again, more driving chilling on a Friday with my precious kiddos and watching the only show all 3 will ever agree on Call Of The Wildman and FINALLY getting them to bed, and voila...I have time write this at 11PM at night! Pretty awesome Friday night, eh? SIngle Mom Stylie! SOOOOO, if it is disjointed in anyway, my apologies; however, I do feel that this movie deserves a review from an empowered and transformed single mom post divorce!
Pouring a small glass of tequila and now ready to begin!
I took notes in the dark of the theater...it was exciting to think I was reviewing a movie. Wow. I fancy myself to be so big time! Hahahahha!
As I gather my thoughts here, I keep going back to read what other people have written as review, and I find my blood running hot. Who are these people? Did they see the same movie? Then it dawns on me that they actually can't relate to the experience. They aren't single moms. Oh! Actually most of them are men!
But Tyler Perry is a man, and I do believe that he really was able to go into the layers of what it means to be a single mom, so it can't just be that they are men! I then jump to the oh so loaded feeling that these men might actually have been through divorce. Ooooh and maybe it was not a nice one. Maybe the thought of single moms struggling post-divorce is uncomfortable to them in some way. These single moms portrayed in the movie could be their ex-wives.
The way that these "others" slather on layer upon layer of judgement when they are completely outside of BEING a real deal Holyfield single mom is pretty insane. And yes, this honky Mama, just used that phrase and NO...I'm not racist like the reviews say of Jan, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey...is she? I didn't think so...I just thought she was expressing herself in a typical removed white way.Come on people, Tyler Perry is showing us that it's natural in our culture that our circles as "black" and "white" don't always interact and we can be awkward and weird. That's "normal" and FUNNY, not "racist".
Shouldn't Professional Critics Provide Some Kind of Heads Up?
Dang...just start the review out by saying, "Actually, I have no basis for reviewing this movie. I am not a single mom and can't imagine the complexity of it. And I'm White and I can't handle people crossing color lines with phrases like, "Black Brick Wall"". Honestly...that was so frickin' ON and sooooo hilarious! Sheesh critics! As Perry actually calls out in the movie to Nia Long, "It's Pride." THAT, too was AWESOME! Nailed it! And it's completely applicable to this situation with the critics. We all let our pride get in our way and damn it if becoming a single parent doesn't humble you and whatever pride you have into a beautiful space of self-respect. Gorgeousness! Take that lesson from the single moms...humility can move mountains.
Why does it seem so impossible that these women could be friends?
I think the critics don't want them to be friends. It shatters their view of how they understand their life and their world to be. If people can be supportive, loving, nurturing not to mention inspiring and empowering, then that means "they" the "critics" would have to acknowledge their sense of being blinded by pride and they would be humbled. It would break down their world in a way that these single moms had their world broken down, and oh...that seems even more uncomfortable.
The Mess of Chatter In My Head
Some of the critics felt the dialog was dragging and "contrived". I felt that what they were expressing was so much of what has gone on inside my head alone. Tossing all of these things back and forth around and around. To have them verbalized felt like a tremendous relief. The movie was likened to "Waiting to Exhale" and though it is entirely different, the movie provided that same sense of a relief.
We Single Moms Come In Such a Variety
The choice of life circumstances for each of the moms was pheneomenal. It's so hard to capture the variety of situations we are all in, and he did it so incredibly well. I could see myself in almost all of them! And the sexual banter around building was not "tired double entendres". It was FUNNY! Do these people not know how to laugh? And we moms that are just getting back into dating are pretty clueless. Especially if you've been married for a long time, hmmmm say 17 years in my case!
The BEST Part, The Freedom
But these single mamas are free! Great scene when Esperanza, played by Zulay Henao, stands up to her narcissicsitic ex! Critics were describing Perry's portrayal of the exes as sexist pigs. Um yeah, that is a BIG part of our reality! It felt really good when she stood up for herself. It felt good for all of us Single Moms watching. It also felt good to see women support women instead of take them down. And Perry represented the new boyfriends in a very positive light. They were not sexist pigs. It felt good to see gorgeous men acting kindly with playful humor and genuine respect for these women and NO...they weren't just taking them to bed. Good for you Tyler Perry! These men wanted a relationship with these truly interesting and sexy single moms and their kids! OMG...imagine that! AND...it was great to see that these women hadn't lost their desire for intimacy and their clearly complex feelings of respecting their job of being a Mom....not "getting caught kissing", not introducing a new beau to the child too soon. These strong women are good mothers and good parents, and you know what? We ARE! We are strong and we are good mothers and we are sexy and incredible lovers and we are SINGLE raising children.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tyler Perry and the awesome cast (well picked, LOVED them all...and the funny blooper pics at the end) and crew for a wonderfully inspriational movie of possibility and for representing the reality that I know! You captured the complex logistics and emotions of a group that goes unnoticed due their challenges of moving on.
"Don't think about it. Just take it one step at a time. You gonna pull yourself together, that's what you gonna do!" Cocoa Brown as Lytia.
What do YOU think? Join Me For The Real Deal Single Moms Review!
I am curious about what your experience was. Please leave your comments below!
Want to join in on watching the movie as a single Mom or what about even a single Dad and then reviewint it with me as a call in to VoiceAmerica? Contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out the show scheduled for March 20th on my VoiceAmerica show, The Mother Rising on The Empowerment Station
This article was originally published at The Mother Rising . Reprinted with permission from the author.