Thursday, October 18, 2007

You Need to Cook Him Some Breakfast

I just finished watching Madea's Family Reunion.

The good:

But then, the bad:

The clip I was looking for was when one of the lead characters, Vanessa, blocks her bedroom door so her mother (Lynn Whitfield) can't leave and (to the tune of "As God is my witness...) goes on a trip down memory lane about how Mom "gave" her to her husband to rape so he wouldn't leave. Then Whitfield brings it. "My mother was a real hooker," she spits, "who traded me for ten dollars and a (unintelligible)." Then she says, "You know I've always loved your sister more." And then, then, Vanessa has an epiphany. Her mother has been controlling her, she decides, and she's not gonna take it anymore. She's "gonna love hard" and, in what is supposed to be the height of enlightenment, she tells her mother, "I forgive you." What? Did I just throw up a little in my mouth? Yes.

And don't even get me started on Blair Underwood channeling Patrick Bergin in Sleeping with the Enemy.

My question is why, why, does Tyler Perry stack the deck so high? The thing he doesn't seem to understand is that humor does more to spread his message than the tired, recycled pan-spiritual speak that just seems more obvious than enlightening. And why does the drama feel so claustrophobic, like I'm watching my sister and my mother throwing darts at a rendering of my father, crying over chocolate martinis?

I just want to watch Madea manhandle some tweens and then make her boobs clap as they graduate valedictorian of their high school due to her tough love. I want to watch her rehabilitate the drug addicts in her family and then get arrested. Basically, I just want the Madea movies to be about Madea and not about how many boring Oprah/Dr. Phil/Pastor Brian nuggets Perry can squeeze in in two hours.

At one point I said to myself, "This is the worst movie ever made." But then Madea came on to tell Lisa about the hot grits on the stove, and I remembered that the worst movie ever made is actually Jerry Maguire (worst movie ever made not necessarily meaning movie I wouldn't watch over and over on TBS).

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