Tyler Perry's 'The Single Moms Club' Premiere Puts Spotlight on Single Parenting

Terry Crews and Tyler Perry
Terry Crews and Tyler Perry
 Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Lionsgate/AP Images

It was all about honoring hard-working single moms at Monday night's Los Angeles premiere of Tyler Perry's newest comedy The Single Moms Club.

Those in attendance at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Hollywood included the Lionsgate film's director-writer-producer Perry and actors Terry Crews, Amy Smart, Nia Long, Cocoa Brown, William Levy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Zulay Henao.

Perry, who arrived on the red carpet close to its end, posed for photos but did not stop to speak to the press. In his latest flick, he tackles the struggles and hard work of five single moms (Henao, Long, Smart, McLendon-Covey and Brown) who put aside their difference to form a support group -- a topic not far removed from the personal lives of many of the film's castmembers.

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Brown, who plays Lytia, a mother of five in the movie, is a single mom in real life. She told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie has much more depth than what's depicted on its glittery movie poster. "I hope people walk away with a newfound respect for single mothers," she said. "Single motherhood is not some scarlet letter; you are wearing a cape, honey. We're doing it."

Crews, who attended alongside his wife, plays Brown's love interest in the film. Crews said he knows firsthand what it's like to date a single mom: his wife of almost 25 years had a 2-month-old baby when he first met her. "Fathers are just as necessary as Moms. I hate the way Dads have always been marginalized in a relationship," he told THR. Crews described the evening as a reunion of sorts, as he shared laughs and hugs with his onscreen kids from shows Everybody Hates Chris and My Wife and Kids.

Veteran actress Jenifer Lewis, known for her role as Tina Tuner's mother in the film What's Love Got to Do With It (1993), was also in attendance and told THR about her personal struggles as a single mom when she first adopted her daughter from Big Brothers Big Sisters. "It's hard for women to raise children by themselves, but I had a great support system because everyone knew I didn't know what I was doing," she jokes. "But the baby's mom got sick and I had to step up."

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Former Dancing With the Stars contestant Levy said he wished more men were like his character in the film. "I grew up with a single mom, and I was always hoping for a guy to come and help my mom feel protected and I never saw it. Today it helps me to see what my son needs from me," he said.

Also on hand for the premiere was NFL player Vernon Davis, Chelsea Lately's Chuy Bravo, actress Loretta Devine and a rare appearance from Grammy-winning soul singer and actress Macy Gray, who was there promoting new single "Stoned."

Although Perry's boss Oprah Winfrey did not make an appearance, the film has already been ordered as a series on the OWN network. It will mark the third original scripted series from Perry on OWN.

The Single Moms Club opens nationwide on Friday, March 14.

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