Diary of a Mad Black Woman
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Diary of a Mad Black Woman can be found here.

Helen McCarter (Kimberly Elise) is mad, in the sense of being angry, because Charles (Steve Harris), her very rich District Attorney husband of 18 years, just packed all her things in a U-Haul truck, tossed her out of their mansion, and moved in his mistress Brenda (Lisa Marcos), forcing Helen to go live with her grandmother Madea and Madea's brother Joe (both roles played by Tyler Perry).

Diary of a Mad Black Woman is based on a 2001 play of the same name, written by the film's director Tyler Perry. Diary of a Mad Black Woman is the first movie in the Madea film series in which Perry stars as southern matriarch Mabel "Madea" Simmons (among other characters), often the comic relief element (and savior*) in otherwise malaise/tension-filled dysfunctional family dramas, i.e. whenever she isn't the protagonist. Diary of a Mad Black Woman is followed by ten more live-action movies featuring Madea as one of the characters—Madea's Family Reunion (2006), Meet the Browns (2008), Madea Goes to Jail (2009), I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009), Madea's Big Happy Family (2011), Madea's Witness Protection (2012), A Madea Christmas (2013), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), and Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017)—along with an animated movie Madea's Tough Love (2015). [*Although Madea has no magical powers, special tools or blatant deus ex machina abilities, she much like Mary Poppins can show up out of the blue with the mission of rescuing a family from itself and she will do just that. This trope forms the basis of the Madea stories in which she is more of a supporting character and not the titular character.]

Judge Mablean Ephriam has a cameo as herself. Following a scene where Helen and Madea return to the mansion, rip up Brenda's designer wardrobe, cut all the furniture in half with a chain saw, and Madea pulls a gun on Charles, Madea and Helen are arrested and arraigned in front of Judge Mablean. She releases Helen on bail and places Madea on house arrest, ankle bracelet and all.

Orlando (Shemar Moore) says:

Helen, if I'm away from you for more than an hour, I can't stop thinking about you. I carry you in my spirit. I pray for you more than I pray for myself. I've got it so bad for you I'd... I'd go to the grocery store and buy your feminine products, I swear I would. And that...that...that smile. Helen, when you smile like that, my world... it's all right.

Orlando says:

I know you don't believe in fairy tales butut, if you did, I'd want to be your knight in shining armor. You've been through so much. I don't want to see you hurt anymore. Now I may not be able to give you all that you're used to, but I do know I can love you past your pain. I don't want you to worry about anything. You just wake up in the morning. That's all you have to do, and I'll take it from there. There's one condition...you have to be my wife.

At the very same moment that Orlando proposes to Helen, she sees the news on TV that Charles has been shot by one of his angry clients, so she races off without answering Orlando. The bullet lodges next to his spinal cord. When the surgeon tells Brenda that Charles may be paralyzed for the rest of his life and asks her whether or not to resuscitate, if necessary, Brenda tells her to let him die, goes home, packs her clothes (as well as some of Charles things), cleans out his bank account, and moves out. Still Charles' legal wife, Helen steps in and tells the surgeon to do everything necessary to save him. Charles survives the surgery but, indeed, is paralyzed. Helen moves back in with him and uses his paralysis to take out her anger on him, at one point dumping him in a tub full of water and leaving him lying there, helpless. Eventually, Helen overcomes her anger, and Charles goes into rehab and comes to realize how much he hurt Helen during their marriage. At a rousing Sunday service, Charles begins to walk again. Debrah (Tamara Taylor), the junky wife of Madea's nephew Brian (also played by Tyler Perry), turns her life over to God in order to kick her habit. Just as the seemingly happy and reunited Simmons family sits down to Sunday dinner at Madea's house, Helen serves Charles with divorce papers, kisses him goodbye, and goes in search of her "man" Orlando. She has decided that she loves Orlando and tells him so. When he asks her how she knows that she loves him this time, Helen gives him the same speech that he gave her when he professed his love for her:

If I'm away from you for more than an hour, I can't stop thinking about you. I carry you in my spirit. I pray for you more than I pray for myself.
Helen asks Orlando to ask her to marry him again, and Orlando complies. In the final scene, Orlando sweeps Helen off her feet and carries her out of the shop, yelling, "This woman here wants to marry me!", and all of his coworkers clap and cheer.

Apparently she takes her bracelet off by the time we get to the events of Madea's Family Reunion but is spared jailed time by Judge Mablean who instead makes her take care of a foster child in exchange.


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