Director Tyler Perry provides a humorous and heartfelt movie about different kinds of single moms who are unified by a desire to raise their children right.
“Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club” focuses on five single mothers (May, Lytia, Esperanza, Hilary and Jan) from very different backgrounds struggling to raise their kids while stumbling over the related obstacles.
Perry expands his typical cast of characters to include blue-collar to executive, hardcore drug addicts to love-struck suitors in equal parts black, white and Latino. The movie delivers their personal stories with depth and truth, allowing us to connect with each mother in a compassionate, authentic and humorous way.
These women are brought together by happenstance — their preteen kids are being expelled for breaking the rules (smoking cigarettes and tagging the walls with graffiti) at the same private school. As an alternative to the children’s expulsion, the board gives the parents a task of organizing the school’s annual fundraiser dance. As the mothers embark on the challenge to work together, they discover common ground and forge “The Single Moms Club.”
We briefly meet each woman before they are thrown together in a classroom where they learn of their children’s misdemeanors from an awkward principal.
May (Nia Long), a local newspaper reporter, is consumed by her dream of publishing a novel. She struggles to balance work, writing and motherhood all while raising her son, Rick. Frustrated by his father’s broken promises and continued absence, Rick often lashes out at his mother. The reason for the father’s estrangement is drug addiction, but May hides the truth from Rick in order to protect him.
Lytia (Cocoa Brown), a waitress with an attitude, resides in a rough low-income neighborhood, raising 3 young children. She shelters her teen boy, Hakim, desperate not to repeat the mistakes of her youth — having lost two grown sons to a life of crime and prison.
Esperanza (Zulay Henao), a meek Latina, lives under the thumb of a sleazy ex-husband who constantly manipulates his “spoiled daddy’s girl,” Veronica, to turn against her mother. The tension causes frustration and conflict in her current long-term relationship with a caring and faithful boyfriend.
Hilary (Amy Smart), a helpless suburban trophy wife used to an upscale lifestyle, wakes up to reality when a messy divorce leaves her alone and broke to raise three children, the eldest being her teen daughter, Jennifer, who she barely knows.
Jan (Wendi McLendon-Covey), an uptight publishing exec, focused on climbing the corporate ladder, fails to prioritize her daughter’s needs. Celibate for a decade, she stands by her decision to use a donor rather than having pursued a more traditional route to create a family. When her teenage daughter, Katie, acts up, she is forced to deal with the impact of her choices and learn from her mistakes.
Trailer for “Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club”
The planning for the school dance begins slowly and gets interrupted often by daily challenges that pull them deeper into each other’s worlds. They divulge their grievances about despicable ex-husbands, dating after divorce, financial woes and overall lack of support only to discover their problems actually unite them. A genuine need for each other gives them strength to fight their battles and the validation they need to enjoy a much-deserved night-off from motherhood. Their weaknesses and strengths provide a solid foundation for unlikely friendships within a formidable but unconventional support group.
Perry showcases a strong cast of women who shed light on the real issues faced by single mothers, including discrimination in a male-dominated workplace and financial ramifications of divorce. The supporting male roles serve to entertain via romantic entanglements. However, Perry gives a subtle yet moving performance as T.K., a divorced father of two teenage boys, whose sincere friendship to May builds into something more.
Inevitably, romantic suitors are introduced early on but the new beaus are kept at arm’s distance for most of the storyline while the women attempt to go at it alone. In typical rom-com style, they eventually find hope and refuge in promising relationships amidst their complicated lives. And they also realize that love and friendship are an important part of the journey. Be it kismet or personal growth, each woman gets her happy ending.
Copyright © Nadia Dulyn/2014 Singular Communications, LLC.