Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family

Rated PG-13 105 min. 2011

As expected, the underwhelming box office and critical scorn that greeted last fall’s For Colored Girls finds Tyler Perry back in drag as Madea in Tyler Perry’s Big Happy Family, a typical Perrython of Perryisms aimed at the most Perrynacious viewer. This means steaming melodrama, low comedy, and a dash of Jesus. It gets bonus points for Loretta Devine’s amazingly sober performance in a sea of hysteria, but loses points for too much of the Browns (Tamela J. Mann and David Mann) and even more points for the presence of Teyana Taylor as the most shrill, obnoxious, and singularly unfunny character in the history of Perry’s movies. Perry completists will understand just what an accomplishment that truly is. The story finds Shirley (Loretta Devine), the long-suffering mother of three fairly awful children, discovering that her cancer, which was thought to be defeated, has come back. Her big desire is to gather all her children around the dinner table and break the news. I’m not real clear how this is supposed to work — “Now that I’ve got you here, I want to tell you I’m dying, and would you pass the cornbread?” — but it hardly matters since she never gets to put the idea into practice. Why? Well, her family is self-centered and they need Madea to slap some sense into them. Overall, this one’s just Perry basic, apart from Loretta Devine, and your fondness for it relies entirely on how you feel about everything that implies. But it’s hard not to notice that this mostly feels like treading water.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.MadeasBigHappyFamilyMovie.com

Director: Tyler Perry

Writer: Tyler Perry

Producer: Tyler Perry, Reuben Cannon and Roger M. Bobb

Cast: Tyler Perry, Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, Loretta Devine, Cassi Davis, Lauren London, David Mann, Tamela Brown Mann, Isaiah Mustafa, Shannon Kane and Natalie Desselle Reid

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