LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: Tyler Perry attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

The Tyler Perry cinematic universe is one for the culture whether you’re a fan of his films or not. He is an actor, producer, writer, and director. Perry almost always wears all of those hats during his creation process. He started off as a playwright and wrote, produced, and directed many stage plays in the 1990s and early 2000s. Using the experience he gained from plays, he conceptualized some of the same ideas and turned them into film scripts. Indeed, many of his plays have been adapted for the big screen. One of the first projects Perry flipped was I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which stars Tarji P. Henson. While this was Perry’s first play, he was able to create a different project by changing the premise for the film and still paying homage to the original concept.

He’s also made his way to television with a lot of his projects being aired on BET through this multi-year partnership with close friend Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. Prior to his partnership, one of his more notable television shows is Tyler Perry’s House of Payne which began its run on TBS in 2006. The show is now in its 12th season and is airing on BET.  He also created a spin-off titled Meet the Browns, which ran from 2009-2012 for four seasons.

Tyler Perry’s Cultural Impact

While Perry has been successful in film and entertainment for over two decades now, he has been criticized for his portrayal of African-Americans in his projects. Some criticize how he chooses to display some themes that are traumatic  — if you’ve watched For Colored Girls you know. While some consider his light-hearted films as just entertainment rather than stereotyping African-Americans.

Another part of his cultural impact is that he has given opportunities to Black aspiring actors and actresses for several years. He has also been inspirational due to the fact that he’s made a fortune for himself by creating and is officially a  billionaire who came from humble beginnings. He also acquired a 330-acre lot in Atlanta for his official film studio in 2008 and is the first major film studio in the nation to be solo-owned by an African American.

Take a look at six of his best films below:

  • 5. The Single Moms Club (2014)


    The Single Moms Club is an underrated gem in Perry’s filmography. It tells the story of five women who are all single mothers and how they support one another through their individual struggles. The women are connected due to the fact that their children go to the same school. But they realize that while they all may be from different social classes, they are not all that different from one another. The film stars Nia Long, Cocoa Brown, Amy Smart, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Zulay Henao, and Tyler Perry. You can watch The Single Moms Club on YouTube.

  • 4. Daddy's Little Girls (2007)

    Daddy’s Little Girls is a heartfelt story of a father that will do anything to protect his daughters. The film stars Idris Elba, Gabrielle Union, Tasha Smith, Tracee Ellis Ross, and real-life sisters China Anne McClain, Sierra McClain, and Lauryn McClain. Elba is a mechanic fighting to get custody of his three daughters from his mean-stricken ex-, played by Smith. Union is a lawyer and later love interest of Elba. Perry wrote and directed the film but this is one of the few he does not star in. You can watch Daddy’s Little Girls on YouTube.

  • 3. The Family That Preys (2008)

    The Family That Preys was released in 2008 and if you enjoy films with a lot of plot twists then this is the one for you. The film stars Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Taraji P. Henson, Robin Givens, Tyler Perry, and more. The film is about two women who are of different social classes and the matriarch of their families. They both have to deal with a lot of backstabbing, greed, and strained relationships so they decide to embark on a road trip together in an attempt to save both of their families. You can watch The Family That Preys on YouTube.

  • A Jazzman's Blues (2022)

    While most Tyler Perry films use comedic relief as its center premise, A Jazzman’s Blues is the furthest from a regular Tyler Perry production. The film is based in the Deep South in the late 1940s. A woman in “present day” (which is actually 1980s) is looking to find justice on the 40 year old murder of her son. A majority of A Jazzman’s Blues takes place as a flashback and shows how Perry is able to pivot to a different type of storytelling. It stars Solea Pfeiffer, Joshua Boone, Ryan Eggold, Amirah Vann, and more. Perry does not appear in this film as an actor but he directed, wrote, and produced A Jazzman’s Blues. You can watch A Jazzman’s Blues on Netflix.

  • 2. Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

    Tasha Smith and the table scene. That is all. Why Did I Get Married? tells the story of four couples who have been friends since college navigating through the trials and tribulations of married life. In addition to Smith, the film stars Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Malik Yoba, Richard T. Jones, Michael Jai White, Lamman Rucker, Sharon Leal, Denise Boutte, and Tyler Perry himself. The film was also written, produced, and directed by Perry. It also followed up with a sequel titled Why Did I Get Married Too? with the same cast three years later. You can stream Why Did I Get Married? on Hulu.

  • 1. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)


    Diary of a Mad Black Woman is Perry’s first time creating a feature film. As we mentioned, Perry began his career as a playwright and this film is actually an adaptation of his play of the same name. The movie stars Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Shemar Moore, the late Cicely Tyson, and of course, Perry as Madea. One of the memorable scenes from Diary of a Mad Black Woman is when Elise pushes Harris’ character into the bathtub. But while this film has some unforgettable moments, it also shows a dramatized approach to healing after a tumultuous relationship. You can watch Diary of a Mad Black Woman for free on YouTube.

Sign me up for the Jammin' 105.7 email newsletter!

Become a part of the Jammin' FAM to recieve the the latest music and entertainment news, plus concert announcements, exclusive prizes, and more!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.