Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Single Moms Club (2014) and Thanking Mothers

Mother’s Day is around the corner.  This time of year set aside to give thanks to mothers and all they do for their children.  They gave birth to us.  They raised us.  Whether your birth mother or adoptive mother, these matriarchal figures deserve our appreciation.  Sure, we could give it on more than the second Sunday of May (Mother’s Day in North America, give or take a few days for Mexico).  We should show our appreciation all year round.  But one day is set aside especially for mothers.

In honour of Mother’s Day, I decided to include a movie about mothers in the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  You might be thinking to yourself “But Mother’s Day is next week.”  That is true.  Mother’s Day is seven days away.  But next week is a franchise week, so I couldn’t cover this movie.  I decided to push it up a week.  So this week, I present a movie that I’ve been wanting to watch for a while.  This movie has been in my mind to include for over a year.  This week, I will be covering The Single Moms Club.

The 2014 Tyler Perry film told the story of a group of single mothers trying to take care of their children while navigating love lives and attempting to sneak some fun in.  It was a five woman ensemble of May (Nia Long), Jan (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Hillary (Amy Smart), Esperanza (Zulay Henao), and Lytia (Cocoa Brown).  Together, the women formed a bond that strengthened their relationship with other people, their children, and themselves.

Because Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I’d highlight how this movie showed what mothers do for their children.  Tyler Perry (who also had a role in this movie) can be heavy handed in the messages that he conveys through his movies.  If you’ve read the Sunday “Bad” Movies since the beginning, or if you’ve gone back and read the past posts more recently, you’ll remember that I watched Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor in my first year.  It was a movie about extramarital affairs that was never subtle about the subject matter.  It went to extreme lengths to portray how bad cheating can be, including some nasty consequences that weren’t just emotional.  The Single Moms Club played in the same sort of territory, taking some simple ideas and shoving them into our faces without subtlety.  That doesn’t mean that there weren’t important concepts to take away from it.  Here are some of the ways that The Single Moms Club helped to show what mothers do for us.

Mothers Protect Us
This is a message that may not have needed to be told.  We all know that our motherly figures are protective of us.  At least, most of them are.  There are abusive parents too, I guess.  I had a mother that protected me.  Not in an Ellen Ripley protective kind of way.  My mom didn’t stop an alien queen from eating the hell out of me.  She protected me from dangerous influences and that sort of thing.  That’s what mothers should be doing.  She also protected me from doing stupid stuff like sticking my fingers in electrical sockets.

The Single Moms Club depicted this protective side through two of the mothers.  Lytia was seen throughout the movie demanding that her son Hakim (DeVion Harris) do his homework.  Little tidbits throughout the movie let the audience know that Hakim’s brothers and father were in jail.  Lytia didn’t want that of Hakim.  She tried to protect him from being influenced into a life of crime like his family.  Lytia later realized that she was being overprotective and allowed herself to let Hakim enjoy being a child.

May was also very protective of her son Rick (Massai Z. Dorsey).  She waited for him after school, knowing that his father was going to break his promise of picking him up.  She comforted Rick when he thought that his father didn’t love him.  And when her son found out about his father’s problems, May was there to help Rick understand.  She was protecting her son from his father’s demons.

Mothers Teach Us
Again, this is a fairly straight forward message about mothers.  This is actually a message about any parent.  Our parental figures help us adapt to the world.  They teach us how to function properly.  They get us ready for the life ahead of us.  It could be small things like how to ride a bike or how to shave.  It could be big things like friendship or love.  Parents give us the knowledge necessary to have these skills and navigate through life.

Hillary was a single mother going through a divorce.  She no longer had the money to keep up the life that she and her children had grown accustomed to.  This caused her to fire the nanny that had been taking care of the children for years.  Hillary barely knew her children.  When her daughter Jennifer (Katherine Shepler) needed a tampon, Hillary realized that she hadn’t been present for her daughter.  The nanny dealt with Jennifer’s first period.  Hillary learned that she needed to get to know her own daughter and help her adjust to life.  It’s the parental thing to do.

This lack of being there was also an issue for Jan.  Her daughter Kate (Cassie Brennan) acted out because her mother was not there for her.  Jan was too busy getting ahead at work.  She didn’t put time into teaching her daughter how to live.  She was never there to show her daughter the difference between right and wrong.  The only thing that she had admittedly taught her daughter was to be cold and succeed in the workplace.  By the end, she and her daughter taught each other about where they went wrong in their relationship.

Mothers Are Always There For Us
If you’re feeling down or you’re dealing with a big change in your life, your mother will be there to talk about it.  She always cares about how you are doing because you are her child.  She wants the best for you.  Whatever is bothering you is bothering her and she will help you get past it.  That is what she wants to do.

Going back to that May storyline, a lot of her protection had to do with Rick’s absentee father.  May was protecting Rick from his father’s problems.  When Rick found out how bad the problems were, May was there to help Rick deal with what he learned.  She comforted him in ways that only the love of a mother can.  She dealt with the emotions that Rick was going through.  She made him understand his father’s problems.  Mya was there for her son, no matter how bad things were.

In the case of the Hillary and Jan storylines, they learned about how they needed to be there for their families.  Hillary discovered that he hadn’t been there for her daughter during many of the big moments in her childhood.  Jan learns that she hadn’t been there because she was too busy focusing on work.  The lack of being there was the catalyst for the two women to know that they needed to be there for their children.

Mothers Don’t Take Crap from Anyone
Some people get annoyed because mothers are more likely to put a stop to things that they don’t agree with.  The mothers might be considered pushy or bossy for taking a stand against other people.  But mothers are only trying to do what’s right for their children and themselves.  If someone comes between that, they aren’t going to put up with it.

Esperanza’s entire storyline throughout The Single Mom’s Club was about finding a way to stand up for herself.  She divorced her husband Santos (Eddie Sibrian), but he took control of her life.  He owned the house she lived in.  He stopped by whenever he liked, regardless of what she was up to.  He wouldn’t let her have a man in the house.  And he undermined her parenting of her daughter Veronica (Vanessa Velasco).  She put up with it because she thought it was the only way to have the luxuries that she wanted in her life.  Through her friendship with the other moms as well as her secret relationship with Manny (William Levy), Esperanza found the courage to put her foot down and stand up to Santos.

Lytia went about putting down crap in a different way.  She worked in a restaurant that was frequented by a man named Branson (Terry Crews).  Branson was in love with Lytia and went over the top trying to woo her.  It was not in a romantic way.  He was cocky about being interested in her.  She shot him down throughout the movie.  She didn’t want any of his crap.  It wasn’t until he showed that he truly cared about Lytia and her children that she gave him a chance.  Though, the way they became a couple was one of the worst ways possible, where he pinned her against a car and forced her to kiss him, then she gave in because she wanted it all along.  That was not a good moment.

Mothers are an important part of everyone’s lives.  They help to shape us into the people that we become.  They teach us to be good ladies and good gentlemen.  Good mothers do, at least.  The Single Moms Club wasn’t afraid to delve into mothers that weren’t as good as they could have been.  Jan was all about learning her faults as a mother and bettering herself.  Some mothers in the real world could use lessons in how to build better relationships with their children that will help them to grow into good people.

We should all take a moment in the next week to show our mothers or motherly figures how much we appreciate their care.  They have a tough job.  We can be grateful for it without taking their care for granted.  They deserve to have us do something for them once in a while.  If it weren’t for mothers, the world wouldn’t even exist as we know it.  The human race wouldn’t be the driving force of the planet.  Thank you mothers for giving us a world to live in.  Thank you The Single Moms Club for helping to highlight some of the ways that mothers make our world easier to live in.  You deserve to know how much we appreciate it.
Something that isn’t quite as appreciated are my notes:

  • The Single Moms Club was directed by Tyler Perry.  He also directed Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.  You could see him in Alex Cross as well.
  • There was an actor named King in The Single Moms Club.  He was also in Parental Guidance.
  • Finally, Marlene Forte made an appearance in The Single Moms Club.  She was also in A Haunted House.
  • Do you appreciate all of the things that your mother has done for you?  If not, is there anyone who has acted like a mother figure in your life that you appreciate?  Have you seen The Single Moms Club?  Have you seen any Tyler Perry movies?  You can discuss any of this stuff in the comments section below.
  • I’m always looking for more movies to add to the list for the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  Do you have one that you want me to watch?  Put the movie in the comments section or let me know on Twitter.
  • You can find me on snapchat as well, if you want to see my stories.  They’re usually clips from the bad movies I watch.  I’m under the username jurassicgriffin.
  • Next week, I will be writing about The Human Centipede and its two sequels.  It’s going to be a rewatch of the first two movies, which I didn’t particularly like, and a first time watch of the third.  You’ll find my thoughts next week.  See you soon.

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