Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I watch Madea's Big Happy Family so you don't have to

Tyler Perry is mad. Here is a man who has made 13 stage plays, 12 films, two hit TV shows, and one New York Times bestseller, yet cultural critics still treat him like the scourge of black culture. What's a brother got to do to get some respect around here? Remake a Ntozake Shange play? Partner with the most powerful black woman in the world? Attempt a career as a legitimate actor?

Yet none of those things worked. No Oscars, no props, nary a handshake for trying to break out of the mold and do something different.

And so the gloves have come off. What's a brother to do when he can't get love from the critics? Go back to doing what you do best, and get the money that comes naturally.

Thus we arrive to Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, the first Medea-headlined film to be released since 2009. I decamped to a Harlem theater for a midnight showing, studying up (if you will) on how, if at all, Madea has changed since Perry's foray into more serious artistic endeavors.

And survey says...ain't much changed. At this point, Madea-centric movies are carbon copy comedy-dramas, a world filled with angry women, emasculated men, disrespectful children, disrespected mothers, comedy, death and drama, drama, drama.

Read more at TheGrio!

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