Madea: Review

The official trailer of A Madea Family Funeral was released on October 31, 2018. A Madea Family Funeral was expected to be released at the end of 2018, but Lionsgate postponed the release until March of 2019. (Screengrab from Youtube.)

I browsed through the list of movies available in my area and A Madea Family Funeral immediately caught my eye. The Madea movies are something that I grew up with, and I was always first in line when a new movie came to the theatre — my favorite being Boo! A Madea Halloween because of its comical storyline. Although the critic ratings were less than spectacular, I was determined for some side-splitting laughs that Tyler Perry is well known for.

A Madea Family Funeral stars Tyler Perry, Rome Flynn, KJ Smith and Courtney Burrell as well as Madea movie regulars Cassi Davis and Patrice Lovely. The movie begins with a scene of Madea’s extended family who is planning a family reunion. Instead of attending an anniversary of Anthony and Vianne, Madea and the gang unexpectedly find themselves organizing a funeral that doesn’t quite go as planned. As truths are uncovered, the family soon realizes that the everything is not what it seems.

Perry draws attention to some uncomfortable issues. In A Madea Family Funeral, Anthony (Derek Morgan) and Vianne (Jen Harper) are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. At a glance, the couple is as happy as they were when they initially joined in holy matrimony. That perception is soon corrupted when Anthony is found dead in a compromised position in a hotel room with his wife’s best friend. Madea attempts to keep this horrendous affair from Vianne, but it is later revealed that Vianne knew all along. In fact, Anthony had cheated on Vianne multiple times before, and it is explicitly stated that being a single, African American mother was not an option — something that Harper delivers with show-stopping justo.

Although the drama between the deceased and his wife is a major proponent of the plot, the affair between A.J (Courtney Burrell) and Gia (Ariel Miranda) is simply distracting. What makes matters worse is that Gia is engaged to Jessie (Rome Flynn) who is A.J’s younger brother. The excessive drama is often difficult to understand and keep up with, which can make any production — no matter how funny — insanely boring.

A Madea Family Funeral hit theaters on March 1, 2019. The movie bombed on the notorious review site Rotten Tomatoes earning a measly 13 percent while only 24 percent of the audience liked it. Critics were in agreement, often calling the production, messy, formless and amateurish. “We’re left with the grieving family and their sexual secrets, the movie has the dramatic and visual flatness of a TV soap opera,” said Alonso Duralde for thewrap.com. While the film may not have been on the list of top-rated for some, it clearly made its way up the ladder for others. “A Madea Family Funeral isn’t good, exactly, but it’s Perry good. It combines weaponized comedy and sexualized soap opera that defuses all shame,” said Owen Gleiberman for variety.com

Overall, A Madea Family Funeral is a good movie. But that’s about it — good. Not great, but good. One of the major flaws of the production is the acting. Although they were supporting roles, some of the acting is downright cringeworthy and seems like it’s straight off a daytime television soap opera. The humor is classic to what Perry’s definition of humor is, so there were sexual innuendos and “black” humor. I did enjoy the movie, but the issue is, that the production is completely missable unless you are a die-hard Madea fan.

One of the main reasons why I spent twelve dollars on a ticket was because  A Madea Family Funeral is supposed to be the last of the Madea movies. Although Perry has mentioned retiring the character countless times before, sources claimed that this would be the epic finale, and one that the the consumer would not want to miss. If it is the last Madea movie, it is disappointing because there was less of a focus on the main character, and more on family drama. If Perry wishes to retire Madea, it shouldn’t be with A Madea Family Funeral.

Black humor– how they are misrepresented through the media… tyler perry is black, power change that perception and instead he is reinforcing the stereotype  

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