Daily News header

Madea's Big Happy Family Film Review

By     get stories by email

Tyler Perry Back in Drag for More Tomfoolery as Madea

Hold onto your wigs and fat suits, folks, because Tyler Perry is back in drag as America's sassiest granny. But don't make the mistake of attributing the Madea franchise's enduring appeal to the loudmouthed hussy's bodaciousness alone, since she's as much beloved for her timely sermonizing as for all that trademark tomfoolery.

While undeniably upping the ante in terms of sheer frivolity, this sixth installment is also grounded by a bittersweet storyline. At the point of departure, we find Madea's niece, Shirley (Loretta Devine), being informed by her physician (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) about a resurgence of the cancer that she's been fighting for the past seven years.

Despite the urgent diagnosis, she declines further treatment, explaining that she's simply too tired to do another round of chemotherapy. And with just weeks to live, the devoutly-religious Christian resigns herself to the will of the Lord.

What does still matter to her, however, is seeing her three children one last time to break the unfortunate news to them in person. The trouble is that all of them are currently consumed by bad relationships, each more in crisis than the next.

Daughter Tammy (Natalie Desselle) is married to a wimp (Rodney Perry) who lets their smart aleck sons (Stevie Wash, Jr. and Benjamin Aiken) walk all over her. Materialistic middle-child Kimberly (Shannon Kane) cares so much about her high-paying corporate job and the trappings of success that she ignores her toddler and takes her patient hubby (Isaiah Mustafa) for granted.

Elsewhere, 18 year-old Byron (Bow Wow), Shirley's youngest, is being pressured by his gold digger of a girlfriend (Lauren London) to supplement his modest income by selling drugs on the street again. Adding to the recent-parolee's angst is the baby-mama drama surrounding his hypercritical ex's (Teyana Taylor) demands for more child support for their son.

Care to hazard a guess whose help Shirley enlists to slap some sense, both literally and figuratively, into this dysfunctional menagerie? Madea, of course, proceeds to browbeat her misbehaving extended family into shape in her own inimitable style which simply will not be ignored.

Along for the ride purely for comic relief are a couple of embarrassing relatives: Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Mr. Brown (David Mann). The former is a feisty septuagenarian who smokes marijuana and flirts shamelessly ("Are you married?" "Are you straight?") with younger men. The latter is a garishly-dressed master of the malapropism who somehow convincingly confuses the words "prostitute" with "prostate," "carbon peroxide" with "carbon monoxide," and even "colonoscopy" with "Coca Cola." Such distracting buffoonery notwithstanding, Madea as usual miraculously manages to straighten everybody out, and right in the nick of time for the uplifting, closing credits Kodak moment.

Melodramatic tough love as meaningful group therapy!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and drug use.

Running time: 106 Minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate Films

To see a trailer for "Madea's Big Happy Family," visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW5ILfAaIXc

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Do You Believe? is a timely movie as Lent approached. Directed by Jonathan M. Gunn, this faith-based film chronicles the religious experiences of characters in the story.
Prior to the reunion, I was going in the wrong direction ... I didn't realize from whence I came ... By the time I was 16, I had become a lost soul, confused about life.
Kam Williams reviews an awful film that is a misogynistic dramedy, with four, obnoxious, testosterone-fueled slackers venting their bile on unsuspecting victims.
Potable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Water is life, but human misuse of water is causing big problems, according to the Secret of Water documentary.
Don't miss these opening movies of the week including Cinderella, starring Lily James, a live-action version of the classic fairytale.
Working man Darnell Lewis is stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in South Central L.A., living the opposite life to Mr. King who has money all around him.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site