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Title: Diary Of A Mad Black Woman

Year Of Release: 2005

Review Date: March 10th, 2005

Rating: PG-13

Box Office Gross: $50,382,128

Site Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Recommendation: Very touching film with a good message of forgiveness. However, some themes present in the film aren't suitable for all audiences. Themes such as drug use, gun use, fighting, spousal abuse, sexual jokes and cigarette smoking.

The title says it all. Actually it should have been called the DIARY OF A MAD BLACK GRANDMOTHER. I wasn't planning on going to the movies, but my mom convinced me to go with a group of them.

The title had me thinking it really wouldn't be something I'd be interested in, as when you read the title you think the entire film has a vengeful theme. However, I was surprised at the Christian themes present in the film as well. 

The movie was set in one of my favorite cities, Atlanta, Georgia (Home of the Waffle House, Peachtree geography and circular vertigo-esque roads - I'm just kidding). In all seriousness, Atlanta is one of the prettiest places in the country, particularly Buckhead, Alpharetta and Dunwoody. The greenery is wonderful. 

One of the opening scenes of the film, where the lead character's husband physically tosses her out of her home to make room for his mistress and their two children, was sad and infuriating at the same time. Their home being a multi-million dollar mansion reminiscent of many of the mammoth properties in Buckhead.  

I joked to my mom, that could not have been a very good friend of ours, who shall remain nameless, whose family is also from Georgia. She would have called and sicced the other 1 million members of her family on him and the movie would have ended right there.

The film also starred Shemar Moore in a great role - a Christian man who exemplified character. Watching the film, I thought to myself regarding his character...wow.   

(Ok yea, it didn't hurt that Shemar Moore is good looking). Seriously, the character had real values and stuck to them. 

Destitute, the lead character returns to her grandmother's house in the hood (I'm guessing Decatur - just teasing). But you know what, she was happier there than in the mansion with her abusive husband. Like the Beatles said money "Can't Buy Me Love."

Anyway, next scene, enter crazy grandmother. Not crazy as in nuts, but crazy as in unpredictable and gun toting. Not a good combination. She encouraged her granddaughter to get revenge, whereas her mother later encouraged her to do the right thing by forgiving her abusive husband. 

Throughout the film I kept thinking the female lead (Kimberly Elise ) looked like actress Cecily Tyson. I leaned over and said that to my mom, who also agreed (yes, I'm one of those people who talk during the movie, but not often). Then a few minutes after I said that to my mom, there was Cecily Tyson as her mother in the film. By the way, I always liked the name Cecily. I think it's a lovely name. Very dignified.

The scenes where the title of the film really came into play were a bit shocking. After a terrible tragedy in a court room, where her lawyer husband was shot by his drug dealing client who was found guilty, he was rendered paralyzed.

At the hospital, doctors presented her, his newly ex-wife and his mistress with the option of pulling the plug, as they questioned what the quality of his life would be after such an injury. Ironically and appropriately, his abused wife said do all you can for him, while his mistress, thinking of his money said pull the plug.

After being abandoned by his friends, colleagues and mistress (who cleaned out his bank account while he was in the hospital), his abused wife returned home to take care of him, leaving behind the man she was now in love with (Shemar Moore's character).

Once back at home, the cycle of abuse started again. Surprised at his ingratitude after all she'd done to save him, she sought revenge. When he verbally abused her, she would hit him even as he sat in the wheel chair. 

There was even a scene where she pushed his wheel chair into the bathroom so fast and abruptly stopped, that it hurled him into the roman tub. Of course, that was after not bathing him for 3 days to teach him a lesson for verbally abusing her again.

When she hit him I thought to myself, this has taken an ugly turn. However, another woman on the other side of the theatre didn't think so and yelled to everyone's amusement, "hit him again, girl."  

However, as mentioned above, her mother told her that what she was doing wasn't right and she stopped abusing him out of revenge for the years of abuse he'd exacted on her. 

The Soundtrack - the music in the film was very uplifting. All the songs were well recorded and complimented the film. Well, except one.    

I didn't like the use of the song "What If God Was One Of Us" originally performed by Joan Osborne, as it has irreverent lyrics  (What's with these Osbournes' and sacrilege). However, I don't think that was the screenplay writer's intent in using it.

The most gripping scene in the film was the Church scene at the end of the movie. The people in the theatre were clearly moved. It brought tears to our eyes. My friend's 82 year old mother, who has Alzheimer's and difficulty walking, was so moved by the choir singing and the altar call in the film, that she started clapping her hands and stomping her feet along with the music. She responded very well to it.

While the film did have some themes that aren't suitable for all audiences such as drug use, gun use, fighting, sexual jokes and cigarette smoking, its message of God's forgiveness, changing your unethical ways and becoming a better person is a timeless one.  


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