Tyler Perry attempts to move past the comical stereotypes of Madea with Daddy's Little Girls. While the stereotypical jokes get nixed, the story still lacks the genuine depth and drama that it could have.
The plot centers around the daily struggle of Monty, played by Idris Elba. He does a good job of portraying this everyday hero that by circumstance ends up between a rock and a hard place. An honest guy that got a bad start in life when he went through prison, he has three daughters (hence the title). Monty is in a custody battle with his wife for the kids, made all the more important because his ex-wife is the girlfriend of the local drug gangster. He works as a car mechanic, and wants to buy the garage that he works for. To bring in some extra cash, he becomes the driver to a high power attorney, Julia, played by Gabrielle Union.
What follows has plenty of good themes including the ghetto, single parenting challenges, the difficulty of cleaning up a drug infested neighborhood, and the challenge of finding a suitable mate. For one film, perhaps there is a little too much is going on.
However, what really hinders this film is that the characters are simply too stereotypical, and too clear cut. It reminds me of a 16 color monitor with no shades in between. You lose subtlety and depth. Seriously, would a drug lord really beat up those that owed him money in his own apartment on light colored carpeting? If your daughter was injured and it was a court matter, wouldn't the better strategy be to bring her to an ER to get it documented? The school principal witnesses drug dealing, and he doesn't call the police? While Perry's screenplay is trying to portray everyday struggle in the lower class of Atlanta, I think he needs to make parts of the plot more plausible.
While I am being hard on Daddy's Little Girls, I really did enjoy the film. While it was not too believable or realistic at too many points, it did tell a good story, and I was emotionally involved to see what would happen next. Now that Perry has proven he can make a film without donning a fat suit with cheap jokes, I'm hoping his next effort hits it out of the park.
Overall Grade: B
Reviewed by Jonas