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I stumbled upon this film playing on Showtime and found it to be so
riddled with stereotypes that it's hard to watch. 'Diary of a Tired
Black Man' is a low-budget, hybrid drama/documentary, which apparently
sets out to present and answer the question of why black women and men
The film is not a technically beautiful one, but I'm a huge independent film fan, so I can live with the flaws. The single greatest problem with this film is that it took a subject matter ripe with possibility (an intimate look at Black Relationships in America) and turned it into a lopsided tirade against half of its subject matter--black women--which does the film its greatest disservice.
In between interviews with an assortment of people across America (this film would've fared better solely as a documentary) , the filmmaker interjects staged, dramatic moments surrounding the diary of a 'Tired Black Man,' Jimmy Jean Louis. The badly-written scenes, which are apparently designed to help audiences understand why this particular black man is 'tired,' only highlight the lead's poor choice in a high-maintenance, gorgeous but self-absorbed, airhead. This is a mistake that American men of all races have made, nothing race-based or shocking here, but the laborious scenes, interspersed with the interviews, gives the film a disjointedness that's exhausting to watch. Even Jimmy Jean Louis looks like he'd rather be elsewhere.
With the 'Tired Black Man's' diary writing as its basis, the film seeks to validate nearly two hours of raced-based drivel, without really getting to the heart of the matter: People are ultimately people. Men will be men and women will be women. To single-out universal, relationship issues as a stereotypically 'black problem' is just, well... 'Tired.'
Don't believe the 10 star reviews here written in the same voice. It's truly an abuse of IMDb and an insult to film-making.
If I could give negative stars I would, cause frankly, this doesn't
even deserve 1 star. I'll keep it brief. There are so many problems
with this video --- too many to count.
First -- it's "labeled/categorized"as a 'drama' i.e. narrative film. That is one big glaring mistake: It is not a narrative film. It is a documentary. (this video is an insult to the genre, "documentary")
This is just an arrogant, self-righteous, one-sided, conceited, ignorant, self-indulgent commentary on the STEREO-TYPE of an "angry black woman" -- condescending African-American women who carry this self-inflicting, self-destructive disease known as, "Angry Black Woman Syndrome".
The majority of the men in this video, including our Lord-Almighty, director/savior, Mr. Tim Alexander merely come off as being completely ignorant, selfish, chauvinistic, and simple minded. He and his posse of "men" criticize all the women around them, surrounding them in their small, unimportant lives as being the cause of all their pain and torment. Okay, can we all say, "Martyr"!!!
And he edits most of the women to either look foolish or support his opinion --- wake up folks, it's called "EDITING".
Give me a break! I am not a woman. I am not African-American. I am not white. I am a male. And I think this was so infantile and stupid, it ironically defeated the director's point by making all the men testimonials look completely infantile- -- the men (including director, Tim Alexander) don't even seem like they could get a G.E.D. if their life depended on it. But I love how we're so blessed to see our very own Tim Alexander give talks in coffee shops and parks like he's some expert on gender/race relationships. Who is this loser, besides just being a narcissist.
Oh and for the record, I have dated several African-American women plus I have several African-American male and female friends and none of them (especially the females I've had relationships with) act or even think this way.
As it was barely mentioned in the movie, maybe these issues aren't just "black women issues" but rather "Men and Women" issues as a whole. For the Tim Alexander, I know that's a bit too much to swallow, cause after all, he's actually the racist for not seeing the larger picture and realizing it's not a color/race issue, but rather just the standard gender/relationship issues that every one deals with. It'd help if maybe he dated. Then he might actually know what he's talking about instead of just watching Tyler Perry movies.
It's actually a shame that film-making tools are so accessible to anyone because it can't stop fools like Tim Alexander who has to take credit for every-single job on the film -- director, cinematographer, editor, writer, original music, make-up --- I mean, come on... seriously... what are you, like 12 years old? Gotta have your name down on everything because you're so insecure with your abilities?
And insecure is what you are. It shows inside-and-out. This reeks of insecurities... of you, Mr. Alexander: Narcissist.
Finally, the "re-enactment scenes" are HORRIBLE. Why would you cast an African male with such a thick accent (who clearly hasn't grown up in the "American" culture) to be your lead protagonist/victim and mascot for all suffering African-American males? That's like comparing apples to oranges.
The female lead/wife who plays the supposed "angry black woman" really has no motive for being angry, other than just your weak script that says she's angry. Look around -- they live in a pretty upper-middle class lifestyle. Where's the stress for her to be so angry? It's not like the husband is a dead beat, or unemployed, or having an affair, or neglecting their child... It's not even that they're a blue-collar working class family but the wife just always demands more.
SORRY TIM. But the good news is, the world needs plenty of bar tenders, so why don't you start there and leave the documentaries and film-making to the people who are smart enough to make a good movie.
Lately, the conversations around the demise of the black family and
black relationships have mostly given a voice to black women. Even more
specifically, the focus has been narrowed to a sub-population of women,
financially and academically successful black women, as if the rest of
the community has no voice and does not matter.
Finally, Diary of a Tired Black Man explodes on to the scene to shake the dust off of the trite "good black man shortage" formula and open up the dialog to the entire community. What really caught my attention is how we finally get to hear from black men speaking with black men. No, it's not locker-room talk about sexual escapades. Rather, these men are giving first hand accounts of their struggles within relationships.
The film is an entertaining and illuminating collage of street interviews and short vignettes. The vignettes, illustrative autobiographical shorts that highlight the struggles of the film maker's past relationship, bring together the myriad of thoughts, confessions, and accounts of the real people who are interviewed. I found that the theatrical interludes worked well juxtaposed with the impromptu interviews. I gave it one less star than ten because I didn't think that all the the acting was executed as well as it could have been.
Diary of a Tired Black Man is an important piece that I'm sure will make an impression on anyone who views it. For the first time, I could see very clearly how: * The notorious "attitude" that many men complain about is actually very common, contrary to my previous belief. * The "attitude" often manifests as misdirected anger and verbal abuse. * The broad generalizations about women that sound unfair to my ears actually come from the hurt that men have experienced in past/ current stressful relationships and family experiences.
I gave this film a 7/10 stars because I love the intent and the approach and I believe it's an important project, but the acting was lacking and the accompanying online forum contains a suspicious amount of hype-generation/ hoaxing from fictitious writers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie could have addressed the issues in black relationships in a
meaningful way. Instead it presented the same old Sapphire caricature
accompanied by bad acting and worse writing. The premise is a
relationship between a perfect black man, James, who is constantly
abused by his irrationally angry wife, Tonya. There are several short
scenes that can be summed up with black man = good; black woman =
angry. Foiling this perfect male character against a dramatically
flawed woman combined with the unrealistic scenarios and terrible
acting makes this so called docudrama feel completely unrealistic. But
then an attempt is made to relate these far fetched scenarios to the
real world by interviewing some black men, who likely have little in
common with the handsome, financially prosperous and near perfect
James. Of course these men claim that black women are angry.
The black community has low rates of marriage. Most of the men interviewed were no doubt complaining about women that they hadn't bothered to marry despite having children together, or women who have all of the burdens of being a wife with none of the benefits. Most black women do not have the opportunity to be stay home wives and mothers with high earning husbands who live in nice neighborhoods. They are instead dealing with men who suffer from high rates of unemployment, who earn low incomes on average and who often insist that women handle most of the housework and child care despite working full time jobs to support the family. Anger in this context takes on an entirely different meaning.
Instead of addressing the reality of many black people's situations in this country this movie tried to apply a situation in which a woman has no reason to be angry to the many women who are experiencing the normal human emotion of anger with good reason. The result is an insulting caricature, a strawman argument for the problems with black relationships, and the waste of a great opportunity to explore the issues in those relationships with any depth. The filmmaker simply scapegoated black women and repackaged the Sapphire caricature that dates back to minstrel shows of the past.
A Must-See "All Men...especially Black Men Are Dogs and No Good" is the
typical stereotypes that some African-American Women say about the
African-American Male but this film takes you on a inside journey with
real African-American men who are NOT like that but it's the Angry &
Bitter Black woman who have been scorned in previous relationships
because of the bad choices she made fail to look at her own
responsibilities and chooses to take it out and assume all Black Men
I enjoy this movie cause it's a focus on the conscious but on the other hand, the negative I have to say about this movie I feel the documentary part could've been a bit shortened in between segments.
This movie also will admit that there are some African-American Men who are indeed no good but on the same token there's just as many Good African-American Men as well.
This film will explain itself in full detail once you began to watch it
The documentary portion of the movie made a good effort at dealing with
relationship issues; however, it still came across with an biased slant
against Black women. Despite this attempt at highlighting and solving
problems, since it focused on how angry Black women make good Black men
tired, what we ended up with for the most part was not at all balanced
Yes, the documentary portion portrayed real people answering real questions, but at some point, the writer/creator must step in with facts, step in with objectivity, with examples of Black couples' success, and with steps towards healing, right? Well, the space and opportunity to do that was filled with a satire-like and wholly unrealistic melodrama. The main character, James, a near perfect Black man, and his trials and tribulations with a angry wife.
James was successful career-wise, the home-purchaser, provider, good father, faithful in the face of temptation, and church-going man. A viewer might expect that many of the men being interviewed in the documentary portion would have similar experiences--That would have truly been an eye opener to any women who may be losing hope that James exists. However, this did not seem to be the case. For the most part, it was not clear who these men were...if they were in healthy relationships or not, if they went to church regularly, were faithful, or were "James". What is clear is that they are Black men and they are "tired."
Many Black men and Black women are tired of the divisiveness and are seeking to come together in a real place where we have mutual understanding. Some of that understanding comes from recognizing that some of these issues are gender-based and affect other races while some of these issues are people issues (to generalize a point: good guys like bad girls/good girls like bad guys). I actually sensed that the writer may have been "angry". Although anger was never defined and how anger emerges was never identified, from my own education, I sense that this movie was not made in the spirit of love and healing.
All in all, I think the movie could have made more of a plea for each person (male, female, Black, or of other races) to keep being good and to be honest, to trust/to be trustworthy, to self-reflect, to hold the self accountable, to hold one's friends accountable for how they treat their significant others,to talk to each other (not inflame -anger-, finger point, or blame--that makes people defensive). Despite this, I think it may elicit conversations and motivate someone to take a call-to-action to decrease the communication gap between men and women (Black or otherwise) and promote ways we can make peace and progress with one another.
I stopped channel surfing to watch this movie, thinking, "Finally, a
movie that will explore the real issues in Black relationships and
Black families." How wrong I was!
This documentary is so one-sided and the images of Black women are so stereotypical, it's extremely sad! And the mini-movie that plays between real-life interviews is so comically unrealistic, I felt like I was watching a Tyler Perry play. The main woman is more of a caricature of a woman with undiagnosed Bipolar disorder than an example of a real Black woman. (and apparently, the director has something against Asian women, too, because even they aren't safe.)
The men and women who can speak proper English and give valid, unbiased points are few and far between. Most of the people interviewed are embarrassingly ignorant. Most of the men are angry and bitter, themselves. They refer to themselves as the N-word. They refer to women as the B-word. One guy even uses the B-word when talking about his own mother. Another guy actually said "The Child Support system was put in place to cause a great divide between the Black Man and the Black woman." Really? (this statement alone makes it seem as if most Black men would not take care of their kids, and are angry that they're being forced to.) The worse part is that they return to the most ignorant of the bunch and ignore the ones who actually thought before they spoke (instead of just spewing nonsensical rants for 10 minutes.) It's as if the director purposefully focused on those interviewees who were saying things (regardless of how absurd they were) that validated his point of the movie: That most Black men were decent, hardworking, faithful men, and that most Black women were nagging, unhappy, manhood-destroying creatures that pushed them away.
This movie was a wasted opportunity to dive into real issues about a really important subject, from all different perspectives. Instead, all it does is further the damaging stereotypes of Black women (and, unintentionally, of Black men as well) and allow the director (a man,with a lot of hurt and baggage) to get revenge on not only his ex-wife, but the rest of Black womanhood.
Unfortunately for those of us who are Black (and a couple of other races), all must feel the fury of this (Black) man scorned.
Mr. Alexander's independent film, "Diary of a Tired Black Man" should be required viewing for anyone who might want to improve their current relationships or get insight into things that might improve future ones. Ostensibly, it is about black relationships but when you view it, it will be evident how universally applicable the concepts are. Be warned! This is a film done without the backing of any Hollywood studio whatsoever and realized only through the tenacious efforts of its director as well as actors and actresses who felt the subject matter was vitally important. As such, some of the scenes may come across as a bit raw, but no more so than the early efforts of a Spike Lee in his films "...Bed-Stuy Barbershop" or "She's Gotta Have It". What is important is the message gets through loud and clear and what a message it is! I will not go into specifics, but when the trailers and publicity describe this as a man's answer to films like "Waiting To Exhale" and some Tyler Perry offerings, they are not overstating things. If you are a woman or man who believes the "conversation" on relationships in general and black relationships in particular have been too one-sided, too slanted solely toward male vilification, then this film is a resounding and profound counterpoint. Run, don't walk, to your nearest store to get this. Buy multiple copies because as you view it, I promise you will think of someone in your life that needs to see it. Before I go I need to say something else. It never ceases to amaze me how most detractors from the film try to attack some of the filmed scenes. Here's my reply. Go rent a copy of "El Mariachi" the first film by Robert Rodriguez. It is a great film . . .but the acting is not done by Oscar caliber thespians. As a matter of fact, the leads in DOATBM, Jimmie Jean-Louis and Paula Lema, are actually (in my opinion) much better in their film than the freshman-like actors in Robert's. But even if my opinion would not be universally shared, I find this tactic of going after the actors- and after a film obviously shot with a limited budget (read: absolutely no $)- to be a cop out. It is a way of avoiding the true strength of the film, which is, of course, the feedback given by the men and women in the documentary parts. I believe one reviewing critic had it pegged correctly. To paraphrase: The filmed vignettes serve merely to ask questions; it's the feedback that supply the viewpoints that are the heart of Mr. Alexander's opus. But naysayers virtually all to a man and woman avoid comment on these parts and for good reason- it is hard to criticize truth. Not that everyone commenting is correct, but their replies are largely their honest opinion. And this is conveyed so well in Tim's film that in the final analysis their testimony becomes unassailable. My advice to those who want to pan the film. Try going after the essential truths presented not just by the filmed scenes, but by the back and forth commentary of the men and women in the street. If you can attack and deny their truth, then your gripes about Tim's film might have some merit. But if you cannot- and I suspect this is something that will be beyond most- then you need to watch the film again and ask yourself honestly exactly what about it is truly making you uncomfortable . . .then start your own healing process.
OK, I am all for black independent films and I am usually the first one
to go and grab one when I see them on the movie rack at Walmart. I just
happened to be browsing TV when I stumbled upon DOTBM. I caught like an
hour and half of it...and I MUST say.
THIS was one of the worst films ever. I was embarrassed for black filmmakers and people....EVERYWHERE! I found it more comical than anything else. Laughable b/c of the whole tone of this film AND the poor acting. I sort of enjoyed the interviews with real people...but overrall I would be TICKED off if I had to pay for this movie at the theatre.
This is a good movie to watch if ur like home from the hospital and bedridden or something...and have absolutely NOTHING else better to do...like getting a root canal, going to jury duty, getting a speeding ticket, giving birth, etc....
Otherwise, don't waste ur time...unless ur curious, of course.
DOTBM was T.I.R.E.D.!
People don't look at movies like they should, you get mad at the content and want to rate it low, or you look at the UNKNOWN actors, but you should look at a film for its content... quality, editing style, topics... I saw this film years ago, I thought it was on point far as perception of the subject matter. If you didn't like the movie thats OK to voice your opinions but if you don't have a film project at all then why be highly critical on someone who does? a movie cant cater to every viewer. This movie was a typical low budget, creative and playful movie. He had to start somewhere! every movie don't have to be a blockbuster to be a good film... you guys are way to Hollywood! some of the best movies are low- budget films. its all opinion. and your opinion belongs to you.
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