Actress Kimberley Elise impressed critics last year with a riveting performance in the film Woman, Thou Art Loosed. She played a woman suffering from a lifetime of abuse by unfaithful and dangerous men, a woman who eventually turned to violence to settle the score.
In Diary of a Mad Black Woman, the big screen adaptation of Tyler Perry's popular stage play, Elise again plays a woman rightfully angry at a man's unfaithfulness. Elise plays Helen, the wife of an unfaithful husband. Her mother, Myrtle (Cicely Tyson), her cousin Brian (Tyler Perry himself, in one of three roles), and a potential beau named Orlando (Shemar Moore) all support her while she chronicles her pain and her struggle in diary entries.
LaTonya Taylor (Christianity Today Movies) writes, "The themes that emerge … are obvious: how to deal with relational pain and betrayal, and how wounded people can heal in a healthy emotional space somewhere between pained acceptance and soul-destroying rage before eventually learning to trust again."
Taylor praises Kimberley Elise who "brings A-game acting to this B-movie." But she criticizes poor character development, implausible dialogue, and a few other aspects of the film. She concludes, "The story's end is both predictable and surprising, combining a series of very sweet, truly moving moments with a climactic, tear-inducing end and a little twist. It's a satisfying end, but it takes a lot of work—and a lot of suspended disbelief—to get there."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says the film "mixes emotional drama with dollops of dark-edged comedy, resulting in a moving—if at times melodramatic—and fitfully humorous affirmation of faith, family and forgiveness, the tone of which alternates ...1
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