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Catch Me Elsewhere
Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club is undoubtedly, a must see film for single moms specifically and mothers, in general.
There have been many television shows and movies that depicted single moms in a negative light but never one that showed a glimpse of what single mothers REALLY go through on a daily basis, as Tyler Perry did in this film. “Single moms don’t get enough credit,” says Perry. “I wrote The Single Moms Club as a celebration of single mothers and the men in their lives who lend a helping hand.”
Before the start of the film at the premier, Perry told the audience that he wrote this film because of his aunt, a single mom, who raised 4 boys on her own and never asked for help from anyone. “It’s about taking a minute and saying “Thank You” and paying homage to their effort and love and everything they do each and every day.” I think that he does an excellent job at this with The Single Moms Club.
The Single Moms Club follows five single mothers who are joined together because of their children’s bad behavior at their exclusive prep school, West Merryville, to organize the schools fundraiser and dance. During the meetings to discuss the fundraiser, the women realize that they have more in common than they could ever imagine…they are all single moms who are struggling and vulnerable and just trying to be the best mothers that they can be, given their situations. “One of the women, Hillary, who is freshly divorced, talks about how hard it’s going to be to rebuild,” says Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays Jan. “And the rest of us, who’ve been doing it as a single mom for years and years, walk her through the process and then it dawns on us, ‘Well, we could help each other. No one else knows what we go through so why don’t we just help each other.”
When forming The Single Moms Club the ladies establish that they will reclaim their freedom, something that single moms everywhere can identify with. “One mom babysits while the other four go out and have a good time,” explains producer Ozzie Areu. “And they rotate every weekend. It gives them an opportunity to just go out, party, do whatever they want, be wild again.”
Nia Long plays the role of May, who is a struggling journalist with a teenage son. Her son is played by her own 12-year-old son, Massai Dorsey. As a single mom in the film, May is doing the best that she can, trying to raise a boy alone because his father can not be a father due to his drug addiction. “In the film, May and Rick are a team,” says Long. “All they have is each other.
May meets TK, played by Tyler Perry, a divorced father of two boys and the two begin dating. He is a man who understands her struggle as a single mom and proves to be dependable for May.
Cocoa Brown plays the role of Lytia, a fast food worker, who is the mother of 5 children, two of which are incarnated. Becoming a mother at 16, Lytia admits that she had no clue what she was doing when raising her oldest sons. Due to the mistakes that she believes she made with her oldest sons, she is very hard of her youngest son, Hakeem. She is over bearing for fear that she will lose another son to the streets.
“Lytia is the soul of the movie in that she represents that hard-working woman who is down at the bottom and trying to juggle and maintain it all at the same time, ” explains Perry.
On a lighter note, there is a man vying for Lytia’s affection, Branson played by Terry Crews. Like so many moms, whose focus is on her children and far from dating or being in a relationship, Lytia, shuts Branson down at every stop. “Branson is a good dude,” say Brown. “He wants me a whole lot but I just keep throwing waffles at him. I don’t want anything to distract me from raising Hakeem and making sure he goes to college.”
Amy Smart plays the role of Hillary, a wealthy mom who had the privilege of being able to afford help and the help ended up replacing her as the mother in her children’s lives. Hillary has “checked out” and is so disconnected from her children that due to a nasty divorce, her spousal and child support are greatly reduced and she can no longer afford her help. She is forced to reconnect with her children and try to begin to figure out how to be a mother.
“Hillary lost herself in the money and the housekeepers and the chefs, and when she gets hit with the divorce it completely knocks her off her feet,” says Amy Smart of her character. “She’s really vulnerable and slowly awakening into her real self and learning how to be a better mother.”
Zulay Henao plays the role of Esperanza who is divorced from a very controlling Latin man, Santos, who undermines everything that she does as a mother. Esperanza has been secretly dating Manny for a year and she is afraid to tell her ex-husband about because he has threatened to cut her support off if she has another man in the house that “he paid for.” “She wants to break free from her ex-husband’s control, his manipulation, but she’s too frightened, “Henao explains.
With the help of May, Esperanza realizes her power and is able to confront her ex and take her life back. “She sees May, who has a job and a son, and she’s doing it all,” says Henao. “It inspires her to break free and reclaim her independence.”
Wendi McLendon-Covey plays the role of Jan. An alpha mom who decided to use a sperm donor to conceive and a lawyer who before motherhood, was at the top of her game. She quickly realizes that she can not juggle being a successful lawyer and parenthood like her male counterparts. Her daughter resents the fact that she is “kept busy,” instead of being able to spend time with her mother.
“Jan’s very driven to finish everything she’s got on her to-do list: have a career, have a baby, find a gut, not necessarily in that order.” And now her daughter’s growing up and needs guidance, but Jan’s too used to scheduling her daughter’s life instead of really connecting with her.”
The Single Moms Club, although a comedy has some heartfelt moments, as well as a NEVER happen in real life moment but I won’t spill the beans.
I appreciate the fact that Tyler Perry brought the different types of single moms, i.e. divorced, never married, single parent by choice, teen mom, etc. to light. So many people have this misconception that single moms are just sexually irresponsible women who are on welfare and begging for a handout. I also appreciate the fact that women from different backgrounds can be tied together by a common goal and create a sisterhood where the love and support one another.
Perry’s goal with this film is to inspire audiences and I, for one, felt inspired to start a Single Moms Club with my own group of friends. Every single mom needs a break from time to time, and if by creating a group like the ladies in The Single Moms Club, my friends and I can grow a larger support group and give each other a little time off, I’m all for it! So I encourage all women to get a sitter, gather your girlfriends, go out to dinner and go see The Single Moms Club on March 14th. Get ready to laugh, cry and cheer out loud as you experience what life is really like as a single mom.