From all appearances, Charles and Helen McCarter (Steve Harris and Kimberly Elise) lead a charmed life. Married almost 18 years, they live in a palatial mansion in an upscale part of Atlanta, where Charles is a successful attorney. But appearances don't tell the whole story. Less than a day after he publicly thanks Helen for her support in his career, Charles comes home and coldly informs Helen that their marriage "has run its course." Having packed her boxes in advance, he moves his mistress into the house and kicks Helen out, leaving her to figure out how to rebuild her life and deal with a load of emotional baggage bigger than the U-Haul holding her stuff. When Charles is shot and paralyzed by a disgruntled client, Helen has to choose between returning home to care for him and taking her revenge.

Kimberly Elise, as Helen, brings A-game acting to a B-movie

Kimberly Elise, as Helen, brings A-game acting to a B-movie

Diary of a Mad Black Woman is an adaptation of playwright Tyler Perry's widely successful stage play of the same name. Perry also appears in the movie, playing three characters: Brian, Helen's cousin and attorney; Madea, a much-beloved grandmother-type who appears in many of his works; and Joe, Madea's lecherous brother. Although some critics have derisively labeled his work "chitlin' circuit" theater, Perry counters that his plays bridge the gap between traditional theater and less-respected forms. But whether or not his plays enjoy critical acclaim, they've clearly enjoyed popular success. (Charles and Helen's movie home is actually the mansion of the once-homeless Perry.)

The major storyline focuses on Helen's struggle to put her life back together over the next few months, aided by her mother, Myrtle (Cicely Tyson), Brian, Madea and love interest Orlando (Shemar Moore), who happened to be driving the U-Haul Charles hired to ...

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Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for drug content, thematic elements, crude sexual references and some violence)
Directed By
Darren Grant
Run Time
1 hour 56 minutes
Cast
Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Tyler Perry, Shemar Moore
Theatre Release
February 25, 2005 by Lions Gate Films
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