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Movie Review: Diary of a Mad Black Woman

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Diary of A Mad Black Woman (2005) was directed by Darren Grant and written by Tyler Perry. Grant is a 1995 graduate of California State University Northridge with a B.A. in Film Production. He also directed the music video “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. This movie has a serious side to it as well as a humorous side. While watching it, I felt sadness, strife, perseverance, strength, and joy. If you liked movies such as Why Did I Get Married and Norbit, then you may like this movie as well.

The movie is about a couple named Charles (Steve Harris) and Helen McCarter (Kimberly Elise) who have been married for 18 years and who seem like they have the perfect marriage and perfect life. At least, this is the impression that they present to the public. Well, the fake outside appearance they portray is far from the truth. Charles is a wealthy black lawyer and is well-respected in the community. By his side, and always eager to please him in any way possible, is his wife.

As Helen is anxiously waiting for Charles’ arrival home one evening so they can celebrate their anniversary, he brings in his mistress. What a terrible thing to have to witness and come to grips with. The man you have been married to for 18 years has another woman! He then tells Helen he wants a divorce, drags her out of the mansion, and throws her onto the porch. This scene gave me a knot in my stomach having to watch him treat her like an animal.

Filled with hurt and anger, Helen goes to stay with her grandmother, Madea. She then begins a diary of the struggles she now faces in order to begin rebuilding her empty life. Many times as she writes it is sad because her eyes are filled with tears. Along the way, she meets a hard-working, handsome fellow named Orlando (Shemar Moore). Defensive and sarcastic towards him at first, she begins to notice that she is falling in love with him. Yes, women! There is still love after a messy divorce! Helen is finally feeling a sense of independence and also begins to strengthen her relationship with God. Being a woman myself, viewing the intense religious scenes and seeing Helen’s faith beginning to grow gave me chills. It made me want to begin looking into my life and to have faith in the many fountains of joyous times that are still ahead of me.

The movie takes a sudden turn when Charles is shot and paralyzed by his client in the courtroom. When Helen finds out, she is still filled with rage, but also has sympathy for him. He then realizes that she is the only person left that is still standing by him, since everyone in his life has now abandoned him. True feelings of forgiveness began to roam through my mind because these were the feelings that Helen was beginning to experience. She is not quite sure which way to turn, now that she has love for two different men.

While some may find the grandmother, Madea (Tyler Perry), to be hilarious, some may see her as being too cheesy. The movie overall is great and Madea does bring some laughter, even if some think she is overdoing it.

This movie is a must-see, because it is an empowering movie for women. It is a good movie for women to watch if they are going through an emotional divorce, have been physically or mentally abused, who may be searching for ways to be independent, have lost hope in finding love, and are searching for ways to improve the faith within themselves. Men will like this movie, too — it portrays the hardships that men go through if they have a loved one who is involved with drugs, so many people will be able to relate to this movie.

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About Yvonne Oberly