Tag Archives: Tyler Perry

Death Bemuses Her

A Madea Family Funeral

by George Wolf

So far, Madea has plowed through a family reunion, a wedding, jail, witness protection, a Christmas and at least two Halloweens. You knew the time would come when she crashed a funeral.

That time is now.

Writer/director/star Tyler Perry is back for round number eight with Madea and her crazy crew, many of whom are also played by Perry. This time, everyone has gathered for a surprise anniversary party, but surprise!, one family member turns up dead, meaning a funeral is now in order.

Who can they all turn to for funeral planning at a moment’s notice?

You can bet the service will carry some surprises of its own, especially with so many secrets just waiting to be spilled. Some family members are carrying on with other significant others (What? In a Tyler Perry movie?), and some people just can’t be trusted to keep quiet.

We’re eight movies into this formula, so don’t expect any big changes. The focus isn’t storytelling, character development, or humor that carries any thread of organic authenticity. What’s important is getting Perry’s different characters into convoluted situations where they can talk smack to each other.

That mission is accomplished early and often.

Expect plenty of “Hush up!”‘s and smacks in the face while the supporting characters stand around like good-looking mannequins that keep repeating “You okay?” to each other.

Perry does manage a genuine laugh or two (mainly from his “Joe” and “Heathrow” characters) among the painful shenanigans, but the best thing about this Madea is that there are so many that have come before.

She clearly has found an audience. If you’re part of it, A Madea Family Funeral will deliver just what you’re expecting.

If you’re not, there’s little reason to join the family now.



She Said She Said

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

by George Wolf

Acrimony begins with an on-screen definition of the word “acrimony.” That’s how much credit writer/director/producer Tyler Perry gives his audience.

He doesn’t treat his lead much better, again creating a strong female character who must receive her comeuppance.

She is Melinda (Taraji P. Henson), who’s under court-ordered anger management after harassing her ex-husband Robert (Lyriq Bent) and his new fiancee (Crystie Stewart). As Melinda tells her therapist why her anger is justified, she tells us, too, and just keeps on telling.

Flashbacks give us the Melinda and Robert story, while constant voiceovers spoon-feed us enough information to qualify as an audiobook. The organic dialogue offers no more nuance (cell phone rings once: “He isn’t picking up!”)

It’s contrived and obvious at nearly every turn, and though Henson delivers her usual spunk, Perry’s penchant for demonizing women who don’t stand by their men is on display. The hand he plays for the film’s finale smacks of a cop out, a “get out of jail free card” for how he’s written Melinda’s character.

That card gets trumped, and the final showdown fizzles into borderline camp. It’s a fitting end to a mess of a movie.