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Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself

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September 11, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, Adam Rodriguez
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Tyler Perry

After seven successful movies in just five years, Tyler Perry has undoubtedly figured out how to tell a story that resonates with a big audience. His new film — based on Perry’s play of the same name — is a weepy road-to-redemption dramedy targeted at fans with an insatiable appetite for heartrending tales. For star power, I Can Do Bad boasts an Oscar nominee (Taraji P. Henson), a multi-Grammy winner (Mary J. Blige), and a Motown legend (Gladys Knight). And then there’s Madea, Perry’s famed comedic alter ego, whose presence in four of his films helped them gross a total of $246.4 million domestically. Henson plays a drunk, selfish lounge singer who learns to love only after being forced to confront her fears when her niece and two nephews, as well as an attractive immigrant (CSI: Miami‘s Adam Rodriguez), show up on her doorstep. ”Certain people walk into your life specifically to help you,” says Blige, who costars as a tough-as-nails friend who belts out a moving, turning-point ballad that brings Henson’s character to her knees. ”It was powerful to watch Taraji just cry.” Rodriguez thinks the movie will move audiences to tears too, helping them ”believe they can make positive change, no matter how big or small.”

Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself

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Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself

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