The Single Moms Club

| March 23, 2014

The Single Moms Club is a female bonding movie where five single mothers who have children at the same private prep school find themselves working together on a school event.

Nia Long plays May; Wendi McClendon-Covey plays Jan; Amy Smart plays Hillary, Cocoa Brown plays Lytia and Zulay Henao plays Esperanza. While watching this film, I immediately thought of the 1996 movie The First Wives Club with Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and others, as these newly divorced wives joined in solidarity to wreak havoc on their ex-hubbies.

The Single Moms Club really grew out of a first meeting for the planned fundraiser for the prep school, an event that had been assigned them to atone for their children’s bad conduct. While planning the event—and even getting to know each other better—the women decided that they desperately needed time away from their kids. So it began that one mother would watch all the other kids for a Saturday night, while the other moms went out on the town. The next weekend, they would switch up. The women didn’t all get along initially, because some were from well-to-do households and a few more were really struggling trying to make ends meet. Sort of Whole Foods meets Aldi.

I liked this movie enough, and, considering it is a Tyler Perry production, he worked himself a part in it. Perry plays T.J., a guy who owns a lighting and staging company, which comes in handy once he and May made acquaintance with each other. May is a writer, who is trying to take care of her teen son, while keeping him guarded from the fact that his father has a drug problem.

Actor Terry Crews plays Branson, a suitor of Lytia’s, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him and loudly and brazenly lets him know this. I understand the problems associated with single moms raising children, and particularly these problems are magnified when the children are just unruly. And I guess we couldn’t have a movie about single moms and produced by Perry, without there being the sassy mom who is straight from the “other side of town” and just gives the only man who seems to be paying attention to her a hard time. That is the relationship portrayed during most of the movie between Lytia and Branson. And Branson follows suit, playing a “rough-around-the-edges” tow truck driver who might be low on funds but full of personality. But to be fair, Lytia has her hands full, trying to keep her youngest son from following his two older brothers to prison.

Conversely, there is the stereotypical “snobbery” exhibited by the white women in the movie, even though one is ill-equipped to take care of her three children—since she had been assisted by a nanny, until her funds ran out. The other mom is a “super-mom,” who works entirely too much but is slowly losing a handle on her teen daughter. And yet another mom is having trouble starting a new relationship and keeping it from her ex-hubby who is footing most of the bills.

In the end, all is well, and the fundraiser turns out to be an “enchanting” success, but I would much rather have seen a repeat of The First Wives Club—as it had a bit more bite. The Single Moms Club is playing in theaters everywhere.


About the Author:

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago. She is the author of "Old School Adventures from Englewood--South Side of Chicago" and the proud parent of "the smart rapper"--chemist-turned-rapper, turned humanitarian...Psalm One!
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