We really have a habit of watching movies about awful people whom we are not supposed to think are awful. Case in point: I Can Do Bad All By Myself, another horror from Tyler Perry. But because the character of Madea is such an awful person, this isn’t really uncommon for Tyler Perry. But what makes I Can Do Bad All By Myself particularly stand out in awfulness is the fact that it’s a musical.
“I didn’t know it was a musical!” You might be thinking to yourself. Well, that’s because it’s not a musical in the traditional sense, where songs are integrated into the story and, ideally, help the story along. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is just a regular movie that happens to include 7 full-length songs performed within it. It’s not an accident that Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight are randomly in the movie for no real reason. These song sequences are so fucking boring that it’s hard to watch. I’m not the biggest ever fan of musicals, but a good musical is good. A shitty movie with awful full-length songs is just a really really really shitty movie.
And, once again, Tyler Perry displays here the conflicting idea of having superior black actors (in this case, it’s Taraji P. Henson) in terribly written, terribly shot, terribly produced movies. Henson is not bad in this movie because she’s a really good actor. But she falls into the same trap that Idris Elba found himself in in Daddy’s Little Girls, along with Kathy Bates in The Family That Preys, Blair Underwood in Madea’s Family Reunion, Angela Bassett in Meet the Browns, and most of the cast of For Colored Girls: how much good can even a good actor do in such a terrible movie? The answer: not much.
Although I Can Do Bad All By Myself is often unbearable, it still has the violence-without-consequences, child-abuse-by-Madea, random rape, melodrama, sexism, and racism that we all know and love about Tyler Perry movies. So, there’s that!
Since it was not only my birthday but also Elizabeth’s and my anniversary, we decided to revisit the holy entity that brought us together in the first place. Tyler Perry. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is one of his films I had yet to watch but Elizabeth and our friend Ben have always mentioned it as one of the craziest (For Colored Girls is still my favorite though) and they were absolutely right, it’s insane.
The one negative I would give it is the main negative I have about TP’s plays, there are so many fucking songs, in full length. And you really don’t have to know too much to guess that he really is an awful songwriter. Every song sounds the same and they all deal with people just yelling. So this movie had 7 full songs, probably 40 minutes of the movie.
Great movie to watch but have a cup of coffee to help you through the singing.