Follow TV Tropes


Film / I Can Do Bad All by Myself

Go To

I Can Do Bad All by Myself is a musical romantic dramedy released in 2009 by Tyler Perry.

The movie starts with April, an alcoholic bar singer, doing her routine at a nightclub. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Madea and her brother, Joe, catch three kids (named Jennifer, Manny, and Byron) breaking into their house. After she hears their side of the story, Madea feeds and decides to help them, especially after Manny tells her that they haven't seen their grandma, Rose, in a little under a week and their mom died, so the only family they have is their aunt, April.

Later, Madea drops the kids with April, who isn't so thrilled to have them there. During this, a pastor from the local church asks her to take in a Colombian immigrant, Sandino, to which she unwillingly does.

I Can Do Bad All by Myself provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: April's sister, according to an anecdote, as, due to her drug habits, she traded Jennifer for crack when she was nine, put Byron in the oven, and burned Manny with her crackpipe.
    • Considering that Randy is willing to bully and patronize children who aren’t his (and even tried to rape sixteen year old Jennifer), one could only imagine how he treats his own children.
  • Adapted Out: In the original play, Cora and Mr. Brown had main roles, while, they don't even make an appearance here, besides the former being mentioned. Likewise, the characters "Vianne", "Keisha", "Bobby", "Maylee", and "Anthony", don't make an appearance, either. Adding to this, the plot was different in the original play.
  • Addled Addict: April's sister (who isn't named) was a crack addict and, from what we can guess, this lead to her death.
  • The Alcoholic: April is this, as she constantly drinks to get away from her issues.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jennifer sees her brothers as this at times.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Jennifer is about to get raped by Randy, Sandino comes out of nowhere and beats him with a bat.
  • Big Damn Kiss: April and Sandino share this during their wedding ceremony.
  • Brutal Honesty: Tanya lets April know how selfish she really is.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Madea mentions Mary J. Blige at one point. Blige portrays Tanya in the film.
  • Child Hater: It's obvious that Randy doesn't like children. When his wife tells him she's pregnant again, he's not happy. When he taunts the kids with a candy bar and Byron takes the bait, he cruelly twists the boy’s arm.
  • Dying Alone: A variant in that, while Rose quietly dies of an aneurysm, no one really notices. When they did, they thought she was sleeping.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: April and Sandino get married and the kids are taken in by April.
  • Electrified Bathtub: When April confronts Randy about the latter nearly raping Jennifer, he is taking a bath. April drops a plugged-in stereo in the tub, but Randy manages to jump out just before it hits the water. He still gets electrocuted, however.
  • Freudian Excuse: We find out the reason April is caustic and selfish is that her stepfather, a guy named "Lee", sexually abused her and lied to her mother, Rose, which made her lose faith in those that care about her.
  • Hate Sink: Randy. Treats April like crap? Check. Cheating on his wife with April? Check. Hates kids? Check. Tries to rape Jennifer? CHECK. There's no sympathy for him when he gets his ass beat by Sandino and almost electrocuted by April.
  • Ill Boy: Manny has asthma and diabetes thanks to his mother abusing drugs when she was pregnant with him. Jennifer has had to give him insulin shots twice and even shoplifted needles from a drugstore to help with his shots.
  • Implied Death Threat: Randy gives one to Sandino, however, this kind was more obvious.
    "I'll send you back to your country in a pine box."
    • Madea seems to have these as a part of her usual dialogue, as the below quote will tell you.
    "I will hit you so hard that your cranium and your urethra tube will all be tied up together inside of each other. You wouldn't be able to do nothing but pee and run."
  • Jerkass:
    • April comes off as this to almost everyone around her, as she's selfish, rude, and hates people. It's understandable though, as she was sexually abused by her stepfather, who lied to her mother, causing her to lose faith in her loved ones.
    • Randy as well, being abrasive to Sandino and calling him "Mexico" (even though he's from Colombia). He escalates it when he tries to rape Jennifer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Jennifer can be mouthy and abrasive towards her elders, but she still cares about her brothers and respects her aunt when she’s in a good mood.
    • Madea, as usual.
  • Mama Bear: April's response to finding out that Randy tried to rape Jennifer was to try to electrocute him.
  • Mouthy Kid: Though she's older than the usual, Jennifer is this towards her elders. Madea does call her out on it, albeit nicely.
  • Nice Guy: Sandino is this. Really, he goes out of his way to help a woman and kids he doesn't know, let alone has met before.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jennifer, Byron, and Manny's mother is dead and there's no mention of a father (though, we could guess that their mother really got around). What makes things worse is that we find out that Rose, their grandmother, died on a bus of a brain aneurysm.
  • Parental Substitute: Sandino wants to be this for the kids. We eventually learn why, as during his childhood, he was employed in child labor and was made to go out to get other kids to do the same. Adding to this, he's implied to be an orphan
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Randy is prejudiced against Latin-Americans judging by the way he treats Sandino, calling him "Mexico" (even though he's Colombian), asking if he's legal, thinking he doesn't speak English and more.
  • Promoted to Parent: Jennifer to her brothers, with their mom dead and their grandmother missing (later on dead). However, this is a deconstruction, as, because her mother was a crack addict, she didn't really have a choice. As she tells April, "I'm sixteen, when's my life gonna start?!"
  • Parting-Words Regret: After being informed that Rose died, Sandino asks when April spoke to her last, too which she tells him that the last conversation they had was an argument about Rose asking April to look after the kids.
  • Vague Age: We know that Jennifer is 16 but her brothers' ages are hard to guess, however, we can guess that Byron is the middle child and Manny is the youngest (apparently, he's ten).
  • The Voiceless: Byron only speaks two words in the entire movie.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: April gets called out by Tanya for being so selfish towards her niece and nephews.