- IMDb page: Diary of a Tired Black Man (2008)
- Rate: 4.5/10 total 262 votes
- Genre: Comedy | Drama
- Runtime: USA:108 min
- Filming Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Director: Tim Alexander
- Stars: Jimmy Jean-Louis, Paula Lema and Tim Alexander
- Original Music By: Tim Alexander
- Sound Mix: Stereo
- Plot Keyword: Black Man | Divorce | Interview | Male Female Relationship | Marriage
Writing Credits By:
- Tim Alexander writer
(in alphabetical order)
- Tim Alexander started his career as a fashion photographer with no real experience as a filmmaker. After a life of making bad choices in the women he chose to deal with, he decided to make this film, by himself as a crew of one, to show the world the challenges a good man has in a relationship. It was a personal challenge to tell his personal story through the lead character Jimmy Jean-Louis. Tim is now happily married with twin sons.
Plot: A humorous and deep look into why relationships fail to work from the point of view of a good black man. It is part scripted and a series of interviews with real people from across the country. Full summary » »
Story: Diary of a Tired Black Man is a simple story about the complex relationships between black men and black women. It follows a successful black man James and his struggle to find a healthy loving relationship. He is constantly challenged by the anger he finds in the black women he gets involved with. From his wife whom he divorces, to the women he tries to date after her – nothing but Drama Drama Drama! He even tries dating outside of his race bringing up a whole new set of issues for him to deal with. It's a ride into the reality of relationships.Written by ScreenTime Films
Synopsis: Diary of a Tired Black Man108 Minutes, Rated R, Documentary/Drama/ComedyDirector/Producer: Tim AlexanderAvailable on DVD ($22) Feb. 3, 2009
The premise of Diary of a Tired Black Man is derived from a three-minute clip that appeared on the Internet a couple of years ago. The clip involves four black women sitting around a living room. As a car pulls into the driveway, one of the women exclaims, Tell me that ain’t James rolling up with a white girl!
James would be the tired black man that this film is centered around, and his main protagonist is his ex-wife, Tanya. The confrontation at the door comes as James is trying to pick up his daughter, and it concludes with James declaring he is tired of dealing with angry black women, such as the ones in his direct presence.
The original clip had many people supposing that its creator, Tim Alexander, was suggesting that men who resembled James in this scene should dump black women and their angry ways, for the sanctuary of white women. The rest of this terrific docudrama proves that assumption dead wrong.
Diary isn’t a traditional, straightforward 108-minute movie, and it is more of a documentary, but it works in that the short scenes provide enough dramatic tension, yet elicit a wide array of responses from an audience. That audience would be the people who are peppered between the cinematic scenes that star Jimmy-Jean Louis and Paula Lima. They are the people that Alexander went across the country to show them exactly the same things you’re looking at, and then respond to what they saw in real time.
The fascinating thing about all those People on the Street interviews (all done by Alexander himself) is that they’re all memorable in their own way; some of them are hilarious (such as many of the barbershop scenes-pick one), some unintelligible, many of them serious in tone and nature.
The clip scenes are based on Alexander’s experiences in dealing with multiple relationships with women, not all of them as negative as he portrays. However, the negativity that is shown in this film is by design-it is to make a point, to both men and women that African-American relationships are deteriorating at a cataclysmic rate. However, Alexander’s point is that black women are just as much of the problem, if not more so, as black men.
And yet, even as these scenes are spliced to show examples of how tired James is becoming of his wife’s act, of her friends and their abusive mates, of his friends and their philandering ways, they still follow a straight line, rather than jumping all over the place.
This is meant to show, in a chronological order, the building tension between James and Tanya, all leading to perhaps the most intense, and compelling, scene in this movie-the moment when James decides, after receiving the most disrespectful thing he could ever have gotten from his wife, that it’s time for this reign of misery to end, once and for all. And he does so in a way one could least expect, even when you think you know what’s about to happen.
Then, in the scenes to follow, Alexander wraps it all up by answering those critics who claimed that this film was a diatribe in favor of dating women of other race. He does this by having his character, now single, date women of different races and meet women in different places, with various conclusions, before finally coming back to the original three-minute clip shown at the beginning. By the time the film is over, you’ve seen James grow as a character; from a weary, aggravated, and browbeaten man, to certain and contented man at peace.
The point of all this was summed up beautifully by one of Alexander’s many People on the Street: This wasn’t about the white girl [in the car]. Even more so, the bigger point addresses black women’s need to be angry in order to show a modicum of strength. As a simple caption points out, while a young lady is trying to define what a strong black woman is, A strong black woman is a woman who has weathered many storms without losing the goodness of her character.
In all, this film serves a sociological purpose; to educate women about many of their own tactics and how those tactics are driving men into marriage strikes and such. But it also serves as a reminder to men who are disgruntled that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the ocean, let alone the street. Yet it says to both parties: if you don’t choose your mates and friends wisely, you could be a part of this film someday.
That it seeks to open a dialogue by shining a light on a problem that’s helping to destroy black relationships, Diary succeeds on every level. The fact that it was all derived out of three minutes of an internet phenomenon, with most of the major backstage work done by one person; it’s an amazing accomplishment to see it unfold. Entertaining as it is educational, fascinating and compelling; Diary is well worth the $20 paid for it.
RATING: 3.5 stars out of four.
- Tim Alexander known as executive producer
- Tim Alexander known as line producer
- Tim Alexander known as producer
- David Gueringer known as associate producer
- Mohsen Saeedy known as executive producer
FullCast & Crew:
- Jimmy Jean-Louis known as James
- Paula Lema known as Tonya
- Tim Alexander known as Interviewer / Speaker / Host
- Natasha M. Dixon known as Bridgette
- Shavsha Israel known as Linda
- Shavonne Sciarillo known as Joy
- Alex Morris known as Alex
- Krista Woods known as Girl in Pink
- Tamika Pough known as Girl in Green
- Ricky Jones known as The Nice Guy
- Anika C. McFall known as Juanita The Blind Date
- Valerie Davis known as Woman In Green
- Vanessa Paul known as Woman In Peach
- John Webb known as Young Thug Guy
- Robynne Young known as Wants A Man Girl
- Solomon Israel known as Bridgette's Son
- Kenneth M. Herbs known as Abusive Man
- Carl W. Stewart Sr. known as Pastor (as Bishop Carl W. Stewart Sr.)
- Emmanuel Temple Apostolic known as The Church Congregation
- Cierra Lockett known as Little Lena
- Jason E. Kelley known as Basketball Buddy
- Adolph Coleman known as Black Shirt Basketball Buddy
- Troy Winbush known as Man In Black Suit At Club
- Corey Cook known as Man In Lt. Blue Shirt At Club
- Charese Mongiello known as Bar Waitress A Club
- Kimmarie Johnson known as Sexy Woman At Club (as Kim Marie Johnson)
- James 'B-Tip' Brown known as Bartender Club #1
- Angela LaValley known as Manager
- Dave Fennoy known as Guy with Dreads
- Jon Bessire known as The White Guy
- Karl Butts known as The Asian Lover
- Debbie Castine known as The Doctor Date
- Carla Sanchez known as Girl in Pink At Bar
- David Gueringer known as Guy Drinking In Background
- William D. Sanford known as Bartender #2 Bar
- Sandra Tran known as Asian Date
- Gabriel Corbin known as Male Friend At Dance Club
- Alessandra Benjamin known as Girl At Dance Club
- Shannon Kane known as Hot Bad Girl At Bar
- Jama Williams known as Woman In Red Date
- Michelle Kopacz known as Ms. Independent
- Melissa Labatut known as Blonde Restaurant Date
- Mari Mascaro known as Red Hair Girl With Jerk Guy
- Scott Mervine known as Donnie The Jerk Guy
- Dacia James known as Angela
- The People Across America known as Interviewees
- Tim Alexander known as makeup artist
- Tim Alexander known as special makeup effects artist
- Tim Alexander known as props
- ScreenTime Films
- Magnolia Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
- Magnolia Pictures
- USA 13 September 2008 (Urbanworld Film Festival)
- USA 3 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
MPAA: Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references (director's cut)
Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database