Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movie Review: Madea's Big Happy Family

Before you say anything, I'll just go ahead and type it. Yes, I took one for the team. I decided to take myself on a date to determine if Tyler Perry's latest film is indeed "coonery and buffoonery" as Spike Lee and many others suggest. I noticed myself not wanting to see the movie at all simply because the previews made the film seem ridiculous. I also read an amazing blog post that criticized Perry's work which made me want to see the movie for myself. If you can't tell, I try not to be the type of person that judges things before experiencing them for myself.

As I hinted above I hated the marketing and promotion tactics used for this movie because after watching previews or seeing billboards, I had no clue what to expect from the film. Tyler Perry dressing up and posing for posters that had nothing to do with his film did not impress me. I knew that many popular African American actors would be in it including Loretta Devine, Shad 'Bow Wow' Moss, and Lauren London. I was surprised to see Isaiah Mustafa (the man from the Old Spice commercials) as a main character in the film. Actually he was one of the main reasons the film could be considered remotely enjoyable.

I must admit that I wanted to leave after the first eight minutes. Loretta Devine and Cassi Davis had the opening scene and it was nowhere near comedic, Davis' character, Aunt Bam smoked marijuana throughout the entire film and many of the film's jokes were centered around this. I could have completely done without her boisterous character. I can honestly say that I laughed no more than twice during the 106 minute film so it is not a good selection if you're looking to see a great comedy. On a positive note, the film's dramatic elements make it bearable.

Shannon Kane, Isaiah Mustafa, Loretta Devine, and Bow Wow gave noteworthy performances that added to the film's drama. I won't go into much detail but they make their roles believable and caused me to want to shed a tear. As far as a review goes, I think I mislead you into reading this post because I'm not sure I can offer a good one. It does not surprise me that the film has 2.6 out of 10 stars on IMDb because the parts that are enjoyable are somewhat canceled out by the ridiculous portions of the film. Madea's antics among other parts of the are not entertaining and contribute to numerous stereotypes, but I wouldn't label is as "coonery." Teyanna Taylor's role as the "typical baby mama" may not have been funny to me, but judging from her twitter page, plenty of people found it hilarious. Lauren London's character seems too similar to the one she played in ATL so no comment.

All in all, the movie wasn't a complete waste of my $9, but I hope that in the future Tyler Perry does better. Putting a bunch of celebrities in a movie doesn't automatically make it a hit. I believe that he has become adept in creating dramatic films, but it is the comedy that needs work. I do see why Spike Lee and many others may want to criticize, but whose fault is it that Black people are entertained by this? Perry should retire the Madea character. She is not good representation of what a Black woman is or should be yet she is what's displayed to the masses. I never once noticed how saggy Madea's breasts were until last night. Really Tyler, really? I could go on, but I choose not to. If I had to give the movie a rating, I'd give it two out of five stars. That's being nice. I recommend that you go see the film for yourself. I'm sure you'll enjoy it more if you don't purchase the ticket for yourself or go for a matinee showing.

What are your thoughts? Did you see the film?

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.


  1. Well said. I had not yet seen the film but I don't expect anything spectatular. I have seen most of his films and they're enriched with stereotyples, cliches and overly saturated material that reminds me of his previous work in each film. A man offered me the bootleg and I happily declined.

  2. i am yet to see it but judging by this way am i gonna spend my money on it lol. And i agree that the madea character shld be retired. she really isnt a good image for women of color.. still a fan of tyler perry though.

  3. Thanks Kamisha, lol at you turning the bootleg man down. Some of his films are really predictable, however I enjoyed The Family That Preys.

    Kitkat, let's hope you can find someone to take you so you can see for yourself. I can't hate on Tyler Perry even if I wanted... He went from nothing to something and that's an inspiration in itself, but to whom much is given much is expected. He has the ability to influence millions so he should put different images in our minds.

  4. i have no idea what to expect from this movie, one friend told me it was nice and the other said he really hated it, so i think that for now i'll pass on it.

  5. Don't expect too much. I think you should see it for free, LoL, that way you won't be as disappointed as others. Or maybe you'll think it's great. I saw a portion of Jump the Broom and they had a major similarity. I may end up writing about that as well because I'm afraid that Black films lack depth

  6. Perry has never claimed to be gay. If he is gay, and his fan base found out, I think the majority of fans would just accept it but would be disappointed he was not upfront. He would still sell tickets, but not as many.

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