“I Can Do Bad All By Myself”
Lionsgate
At the Showcase and Quality 16
2 out of 5 Stars

“I Can Do Bad All By Myself” is a change of pace from Tyler Perry’s previous works, taking the focus off the iconic, cantankerous Madea (Tyler Perry, “Madea Goes to Jail”) in order to hone in on depressed alcoholic April (Taraji Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). “Bad” chronicles the transformation of a young woman who, with the help of her community, leaves her rote world of drinking and soul-searching to find true love.

The movie starts off nice enough, fleshing out April and her good-for-nothing, already-married boyfriend. The film should even catch the audience’s attention with a seemingly well-crafted plot.

Even so, “Bad” quickly degenerates for two main reasons: First, toward the end, the movie reverts to a superficial predictability notorious in Perry’s other works. No twists or surprises are introduced to the film. Second, “Bad” presents too many heavy themes, from improper parenting to drug addiction to sexual abuse. This makes the movie feel thin and inadequately focused due to the overwhelming amount of material. While the “Bad” is definitely a departure from the usual Perry nonsense, it still lacks real imagination and depth.

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