This story of five single mothers struggling to balance work, parenthood and new relationships had the potential to be a very good movie. Unfortunately, rather than focus on each of these single parents’ courage, determination and strength the film instead chose to play it safe with easy laughs, below average subplots, and stereotypical, old fashion male-bashing. The end result is a painful display of five very shallow, weak and needy women that despite their new circle of trust clique still can’t treat others with empathy and respect.

The biggest letdown (of many) in the movie is the poor acting performances by the entire ensemble minus perhaps two characters; Nia Long’s single mom character, May, and her budding boyfriend T.K. (played by Tyler Perry) were the film’s only bright stars. Aside from the sub-par acting that didn’t convince anyone that these mothers could raise money - let alone their children - the movie’s constant barrage of insults directed towards others at their expense comes across as desperation for a cheap laugh.

Once the last drop of wine disappears, so does the sisterhood of goodness between the single mothers. The venom and tactics they’ve become so accustomed to striking out at their ex-husbands, coworkers, and legal system with even gets directed towards themselves. Together, in total, all of these women make themselves look horrible. One child preferred the counsel of the housekeeper to her actual mother while another offspring thought her parent loved her job more than being a mother.

“The Single Moms Club” had the potential to give viewers a positive outlet highlighting five hardworking women keen at surviving at home and in the workplace. That uplifting opportunity was missed with stereotypical male-bashing that overplayed its hand on absent, uninvolved fathers. Instead of giving us successful, single moms with children who are inspired by them, we are left with single mothers who are absent and uninvolved—the same pitfalls that they placed on their male counterparts.

It’s the real single mothers out there today that have successfully inspired others with their courage, determination, independence and fortitude to raise a child in a happy, healthy home. “The Single Moms’ Club” ran away from an uplifting storyline to give us a sour look into the lives of shallow, weak and mean-spirited parents. That leaves the real wonder-Moms out there feeling left out, and, perhaps feeling unnoticed…and that’s the most disturbing aspect of this film.

Grade: D

(Editor’s Note: Patrick King is a resident of Oro Valley and a free-lance writer. You may contact him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com)

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