You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Movie Review

Tyler Perry wields a ‘Club’ in latest film

Cocoa Brown (left) and Amy Smart play women raising children on their own in “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club.”

K C Bailey/Lionsgate

Cocoa Brown (left) and Amy Smart play women raising children on their own in “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club.”

In Tyler Perry’s latest opus, “The Single Moms Club,” he demonstrates how disparate stereotypes can find common ground through the power of a single cliché. Though not as offensive or inane as his last film — “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” — the new one does maintain his auteurist qualities of social consciousness, schematic narrative, and a combination of piety and smarmy humor.

Here, five women from different backgrounds have, for various reasons, found themselves raising children on their own.

Continue reading below

Whiny Hillary (Amy Smart) has just been divorced by her lawyer hubby and is left with no alimony or child support. How is she going to care for her daughter after firing their maid, who up to now has been the girl’s surrogate mother?

Hillary’s best friend Jan (Wendi McLendon-Covey), a career-driven book editor, has no need for men. When she wanted a kid because she believed she could “have it all,” she used an anonymous sperm donor. Turns out that raising a child interferes with professional ambitions, so she signs her daughter up for various activities to get her out of her hair.

Jan demonstrates her ruthlessness by brushing off May (Nia Long), a journalist submitting the manuscript of her novel. But May also is a single mom with problems. Her boy wants to know why his father never visits. Should she tell him the truth?


Like Hillary, Esperanza (Zulay Henao) is husband dependent. Her macho ex-spouse threatens to kick her out of “his” house if she dates another guy. She’s been seeing a poor bartender secretly for a year. Dare she reveal her relationship, lose her home, and alienate her daughter?

Finally, the Madea-esque Lytia (Cocoa Brown) fears her boy will end up in jail like her two older sons and so pushes the boy too hard. He acts up along with the four other kids at the private school they attend, and the five mothers are called into the principal’s office, a kind of “Bridesmaids” go to “The Breakfast Club,” where they are ordered to atone for their children’s misbehavior by organizing the upcoming school pageant.

Despite some friction, they start the support group of the title, where they learn that sisterhood is powerful, and that the key to being a successful single mother is finding the right single man to help out. It won’t surprise you that one of those Mr. Rights is played by Tyler Perry himself.

Peter Keough can be reached at petervkeough@gmail.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.