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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘I Can Do Bad All by Myself’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…


Oh god, Tyler Perry is at it again. I mean, at exactly the same thing again. This looks like precisely the same crap he’s come up with before, multiple times: a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie that’s all slapstick comedy and crossdressing caricatures welded via some unholy mad science to a sickeningly sentimental tale about someone who’s lost her way but is still a good person and the whole world would see it is only a fairy godmother — or Tyler Perry in drag — could just crack through that tough outer shell, and then a handsome prince will turn up on her doorstep (disguised as a frog, of course), and there will be hugs for everyone, praise Jesus.

Holy crap, did Perry/Madea really do a cartoon FX gulp there?

The only thing worse than Perry’s movies — I still refuse to believe that Diary of a Mad Black Woman wasn’t intended to be a huge joke on us all — is how popular they always are.

I Can Do Bad All by Myself opens in the U.S. on September 11; no U.K. release date has been announced.



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posted in:
movie buzz | trailers
  • Not to defend this trailer for a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be, but Napoleon Dynamite did a semi-similar gulp in it’s trailer (when ND was actually gulping the Gatorade) that didn’t appear in the movie (yay!).

  • God, how come there’s no white people in this? I can’t relate!

  • Shadowen

    Oh God! A white critic has criticized movies staffed by and starred with almost exclusively African-Americans!

    That’s automatically racist.

  • amanohyo

    I know you’re trying to be silly, Newbs and Shadowen, but while Perry’s movies are uneven, poorly acted, and incredibly corny, it’s not surprising that they’re popular. If an asian american director made a horrible (non-martial arts) movie starring mainly asian americans, I’d probably watch it (I watch the martial arts ones too, of course). I really am that desperate (not to say that most of the people watching Perry’s movies don’t actually enjoy them). I guess it’s insulting to suggest that desperation is their only motive, perhaps a better word would be relief or recognition.

    It’s as if you went to your mirror every day, saw an image that clearly wasn’t you, and had a chorus of people singing in your ear, “Look, we know it’s not you, but just pretend it is!” This happens to a certain extent with any movie no matter who you are and I’m not claiming that people only want to watch movies with characters that are exactly like them, but on some level we always try to identify with the people on the screen.

    Surely, everyone can understand how it feels to live near Washington DC or the Bay Area or Chicago or New York, or any city or town in America with a diverse, vibrant population and almost always be expected to indentify with the white dude in the movie? Maybe in that mythical “post race” America it shouldn’t really matter, but down here in reality it wears on you after a while often to the point where just seeing an asian face as a minor suporting character in a movie makes me cheer up a little inside no matter how terrible the movie turns out to be, no matter how dissimilar the characters’ personalities are to my own, and as a child even no matter how offensive the stereotype was. I remember being overjoyed to see Benny Hill impersonate a Chinese man in a manner that now seems repulsive to me simply because I finally saw something I recognized on TV; I knew people in my family who spoke English like that!… sort of.

    While there’s a lot more diversity on TV these days (they almost can’t help it, with all the “reality” programming), as usual Hollywood is lagging far behind. It’s not as if I want to see a one-legged hispanic albino hermaphrodite in a starring role, just a reasonable correlation between the composition of the population of movie-goers and the characters on the screen. I’ve been a movie theater manager in many cities across the country, and my anecdotal evidence indicates that 90% of the faces in the audience do not belong to white dudes… not even close.

    So of course there’s nothing wrong with criticizing any movie, and these movies are undeniably awful and poorly made by any reasonable standard. But you know what, even though I’m an atheist and a lover of well made movies, I’m glad these Frankenstein monsters exist in the same way that I’m glad Sex and the City exists. It’s an elitest and racist and patronizing attitude, and I wish I lived in a world where I could simply judge Perry’s movies impartially like any other and move on, but I can’t help rooting for them a tiny bit.

  • Accounting Ninja

    It’s as if you went to your mirror every day, saw an image that clearly wasn’t you, and had a chorus of people singing in your ear, “Look, we know it’s not you, but just pretend it is!” This happens to a certain extent with any movie no matter who you are and I’m not claiming that people only want to watch movies with characters that are exactly like them, but on some level we always try to identify with the people on the screen.

    OMG, amanohyo, this is GENIUS! THIS is the response I’ll direct people to whenever a guy says “Portrayals of women in movies CAN’T be sexist because lots of women watch and like those movies! I know women who love shoes and act like this blah blah.”

    Yeah, because it’s all we have most of the time, we’ll take what we can get.

    It’s not as if I want to see a one-legged hispanic albino hermaphrodite in a starring role,

    Ah yes, I too have been hit with the old “You’ll never be satisfied until all women characters are perfect independent Amazonian warriors stomping on the balls of men” argument.

  • LaSargenta

    Ah yes, I too have been hit with the old “You’ll never be satisfied until all women characters are perfect independent Amazonian warriors stomping on the balls of men” argument.

    Ahhhh! Now THERE’S a character-type I could identify with!

    ;-)

  • JoshB

    You’ll never be satisfied until all women characters are perfect independent Amazonian warriors stomping on the balls of men

    Just explain to them that the most ironically, embarrassingly un-masculine thing one can do is whine about being emasculated.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Just explain to them that the most ironically, embarrassingly un-masculine thing one can do is whine about being emasculated.

    “She’s emasculating me by her insistance that she be represented within the full spectrum of humanity! Waaaah!”

    lulz.

  • Shadowen

    I kid because I love, amanoyho.

    In truth, Tyler Perry has done a lot of good with his clout, certainly far more than his movies have done bad. Ten hours of bad film vs. millions of dollars pouring into his studio and through it his employees and through them the community? No contest.

    (No, there’s no buts. To judge by what I’ve seen of him, he’s a fine and upstanding human being.)

  • MaSch

    Just explain to them that the most ironically, embarrassingly un-masculine thing one can do is whine about being emasculated.

    To which the most appropriate answer would be: “Hey, here’s me challenging traditional gender stereotypes, so you as a feminist should *applaud* me for that!”

    BTW, about emasculation: One of the funniest comments I’ve ever read on the net was someone complaining that those who were critical of the take-no-prisoner-style branch of feminism were in favour of an “emasculated feminism”. Top choice of words :-)

    PS: Somehow, this debate here about stereotypes reminded me of Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being misrepresented by Hollywood is not being misrepresented by Hollywood.” Now, what would an African-American version of “The Importance of Being Earnest” look like …

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