Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself , like other Tyler Perry movies, was not screened for critics in advance. Their reviews, which appeared over the weekend, weren't as bad as the studio must have expected them to be, however. Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times commented that Perry's Madea character, who returns in All by Myself , "doesn't help the cause of eliminating black stereotypes but, doggone it, can be hilarious." Stephen Cole in the Toronto Globe suggested that someone ought to write a doctoral thesis on why black comics like Flip Wilson, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Perry cross-dress and play "sassy, truth-telling grandmothers." Perry, at least, he remarked, "displays a touching sympathy for lost souls and a gift for dispensing healing laughter." And Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times said that Perry's latest Madea film "glides a little more easily from broad laughs ... to teary anguish and finally sweeping uplift." But Stephen Farber in the Hollywood Reporter damned the film as "an unholy mess" while nevertheless describing it as "alternately stupefying and entertaining."