Movie brings familiar storyline, good laughs

Tyler Perry delivers another heart felt production filled with old-fashioned values in, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”In this drama, Perry sets aside the snappy old lady, Madea, to feature the come to life story of an alcoholic lounge singer that is left with her sister’s kids. Perry’s latest emotional roller coaster starts with considerable promise and an all-star cast, including Taraji P. Henson and singers Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige, before giving away the melo-dramatic predictability. The movie is based around Henson’s character, a shrew, named April. The club singer is a lost character who could use a moral makeover which she receives after her 16-year-old niece, new actress, Hope Olaide Wilson, and her two special needs nephews make their way into her heart as the story unfolds. The three kids were left to fend for themselves when their mother died from a crack overdose. The trio briefly stayed with their grandmother, who was missing for majority of the movie. I immediately suspect what it takes the movie 45 minutes to confirm: the elderly caregiver will not be coming back, which means that April has to find room in her selfish life to raise the kids.Of course a Tyler Perry production would not be complete without an undercover prince charming. The local pastor pressures April to take in a Columbian handyman, Sandino, played by Adam Rodriguez, a kind, loving, and genuine character. Sandino’s qualities are so foreign to April that it takes her a long time to see the wonderful man right before her eyes. Before long, Sandino starts work on April’s house in exchange for room and board. Sandino also forms a bond with the three children and grows very fond of them.Although the movie did not offer a lot of surprises in the plot, it is noteworthy because it is Perry’s first adaptation to feature as much singing onscreen as it did onstage. Perry used Knight and Blige’s characters’ lyrics to empower April and audience members alike. Since the characters themselves are both professional singers, their anthems feel organic and even though the songs put the plot on hold for as long as seven minutes at a time, April experienced emotional growth during these scenes. If you choose to go see the movie, expect a night filled with a predictable yet empowering story and a couple of laughs to smooth things over.