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Diary of a Single Mom (DVD Review)

7 Jan, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 1/10/12
$14.98 DVD
Not Rated
Stars Monica Calhoun, Leon, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Roundtree, Valery Ortiz.

As a single mother of two, Ocean Jackson (Monica Calhoun) can’t catch a break. Ready to start anew, her family moves into an apartment building that she will manage. As if she already didn’t have enough on her plate, the other tenants bombard her with their drama.

When Ocean could turn them away, she steps in to help the women, whether offering a listening ear or helping to watch their children. Lupe (Valery Ortiz), also a single mother, has two children from two men, who are less than cordial with each other. There’s also Peggy (Janice Lynde), a once-wealthy woman forced to downgrade when her husband dies and she becomes the guardian to her grandson.

On top of that, Ocean is studying for her GED and is thrown yet another curveball when her Uncle Bo (Billy Dee Williams) asks her to take in her 13-year-old troublemaker niece, Trina (Nieko Mann), who comes in drunk one night and another time sneaks in a much older guy. Trina’s antics only intensify when Ocean’s ex-husband (Brooklyn McLinn), the father of her children, comes back into the family’s life. The girl has twisted views about men from the horrible things her mother exposed to her, and the ex-husband soon reminds Ocean why she left him in the first place.

The film addresses key problems that face the urban community, such as the tribulations of single parenthood, abusive relationships and lack of access to health care. Whereas a movie dealing with such matters easily could perpetuate the associated stereotypes, each scenario is handled positively, with the women making a stand individually or banding together to make a statement. For that, director Robert Townsend should be commended.

My only disappointment, however, is that the film ends at an awkward juncture, leaving the viewer a bit perplexed.

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