As a reward to myself for successfully making it through two more crowns (this time was a breeze), last night I watched Madea’s family reunion.
Most of the time I was puzzled–was it a comedy? A Christian movie? A drama? And why was the title character played by a man in drag?
Despite my questions and some over-the-top stuff, I was thrilled to once again see Lisa Anderson in a role–and boy, was she terrific. (She’s supposed to play Peyton in THE NOTE.) And I cried buckets at the ending (a happy one), so the movie worked for me. And despite flatulence, a little loose language, and some child-whipping, the movie presented a relationship with Christ in a positive way.
I found the following review on Amazon.com–and this guy got it right.
Tyler Perry, impresario of the gospel theater circuit, brings his gun-toting granny-drag persona Madea back to the big screen in Madea’s Family Reunion, a sequel to the surprise hit Diary of a Mad Black Woman. In addition to being saddled with an unruly foster teen (Keke Palmer, The Wool Cap), Madea has two troubled nieces: Lisa (Rochelle Aytes, White Chicks), who’s engaged to an abusive and controlling investment banker (Blair Underwood, Something New); and Vanessa (Lisa Arrindell Anderson, The Second Chance), who can’t open herself to the affection of a bus driver/artist (Boris Kodjoe, The Gospel) because of childhood abuse. Wreaking havoc on both of their lives is their mother Victoria (Lynn Whitfield, Eve’s Bayou, in delirious wicked witch mode). Like Madea’s previous outing, Madea’s Family Reunion may induce mental whiplash–the movie zips from a discussion of flatulence to a jazz-backed poetry reading to domestic violence (Underwood, perhaps eager to leave his bland good-guy image behind, is genuinely scary), or from an act of horrific revenge to a staggeringly gaudy wedding. Though schizophrenic and morally questionable (beating an adult women is clearly wrong, but whipping a child with a belt in the name of tough love is apparently good), the movie is definitely unpredictable and never dull. Also featuring Cicely Tyson (Because of Winn-Dixie) and the poet Maya Angelou. –Bret Fetzer