‘Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club’: A mom-com with few laughs
By BILL ZWECKER Columnist March 13, 2014 4:28PM
Zulay Henao (from left), Cocoa Brown and Nia Long play parents bonding in a support group in “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club.” | LIONSGATE
‘TYLER PERRY’S THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB’ ★1⁄2
May Nia Long
Hillary Amy Smart
Lytia Cocoa Brown
Jan Wendi McClendon-Covey
Esperanza Zulay Henao
Lionsgate presents a film written and directed by Tyler Perry. Running time: 111 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for some sexual material and thematic elements). Opens Friday at local theaters.
Updated: April 15, 2014 6:05AM
The trials and tribulations of single mothers’ daily challenges in raising children with little or no help from ex-spouses certainly are a worthy topic for a movie. It could even be produced as a comedy film — as I’m sure many single moms will attest, given the antics their kids pull on a daily basis.
In “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club,” the filmmaker and writer has penned a storyline that brings together five women, each representing categories of single mothers that we see every day across America.
Nia Long portrays a journalist raising a teen son fathered by her ex-husband who continually is a no-show for his increasingly disappointed son. Amy Smart plays a wealthy woman so focused on being the “perfect wife,” she abdicated the raising of her kids to her maid, and still lost her husband in the process. Cocoa Brown represents the working poor, living in the projects and working in a diner, yet constantly fighting to save her youngest son from the fate of her two older boys: prison.
Zulay Henao portrays a beautiful Hispanic woman constantly belittled by her ex-husband and in a romance with a gorgeous bartender (William Levy) that she can’t reveal in public, for fear her control-freak ex will pull the plug on her support. Finally, “Bridesmaids” co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey is a hardworking single mother who went the sperm-bank route and had a daughter who thinks her mom cares too much about her career.
All five women’s kids are in trouble at the exclusive private school they all attend. In order to prevent the children being expelled, the women have to come together to organize the school’s annual fundraiser, and in the process they come to realize they should start a support group.
While the subject is very timely and worthy, this lame tale just falls completely flat. The talent are all top-rate and there are a few funny moments — just way too few of them. The dialogue is embarrassingly pedestrian and you can easily guess what line is coming next in virtually every scene of this sorry little film.
You’ll come away feeling blah and unamused. You won’t learn anything you didn’t already know. And I’m guessing a lot of single moms watching this might feel they’ve been reduced to five oversimplified stereotypes.