Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Tyler Perry's gospel-drenched melodrama pays tribute, in the playwright's own words, to "the power of God." The DVD, however, is a coaster-sized shrine to the power of Perry, who on this disc offers a commentary track, his musings on the film's Christian themes, a trailer advertising his plays on video, and even a segment titled "Who's Tyler Perry?" By that point, you won't need to ask.

Tyler Perry’s gospel-drenched melodrama pays tribute, in the playwright’s own words, to “the power of God.” The DVD, however, is a coaster-sized shrine to the power of Perry, who on this disc offers a commentary track, his musings on the film’s Christian themes, a trailer advertising his plays on video, and even a segment titled “Who’s Tyler Perry?” By that point, you won’t need to ask.

Mercifully, Perry is a warm, soothing presence. Somewhat less so is Madea, the trash-talking, chainsaw-wielding granny played by Perry in fat-suit drag. A little of Madea goes a long way; here she’s ad-libbing up a storm in one of the disc’s outtakes, now she’s teaching viewers how to do the electric slide.

Best of all are the talking-head interviews with Madea in the otherwise standard making-of doc — an inspired example of breaking down the fourth wall that leaves you wondering what a Madea commentary track would have sounded like. Probably best to keep wondering.

Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Lions Gate Home Entertainment; $28.98

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