Madea’s Family Reunion (2006)
Directed by: Tyler Perry | 107 minutes | drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Tyler Perry, Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe, Henry Simmons, Lisa Andringell Anderson, Maya Angelou, Rochelle Aytes, Jenifer Lewis, Tangi Miller, Keke Palmer, Cicely Tyson, China Anderson, Akhil Jackson, Alonzo Millsap
In Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea’s Family Reunion’, Madea, played by Tyler Perry himself, is back in full force. As the grandmother of a large family, in this film she is the helping hand for two nieces and another teenage runaway. But in addition, Tyler Perry also takes on two other roles, and as a producer and writer, we can really speak of a Tyler Perry film. The ‘Madea’ films have similarities. There are only African-American characters in it, they are stories with a portion of drama and with a large veil of romance. All of this is surrounded by flat humor (like burping and farting) and a prominent, crazy granny.
Two sisters have a hard time with their mother, who tries to create the best for herself at the expense of her daughters. She does not want to see that she sacrifices the happiness of her daughters. With the help of Madea, Lisa and Vanessa learn to stand up for themselves, and eventually dare to speak out against their mother. Although great dramas play out in that family, things are portrayed fairly lightly, and the strength in these women is especially emphasized in a romantic way. This means that despite this content, the film is still romantic and comical. With a right man, who does everything for you, the misery is soon forgotten, and the romance blossoms. This may not always be the reality, rather a fairytale reality. But a great starting point for a film where you can dream along of a prince on the white horse who makes you forget all bad things.
A few characters in this movie are well fleshed out; despite the superficiality of the film, these are still portrayed with some depth. In doing so, the film creates a nice tone that remains fascinating as a whole and does not make the drama and romance seem too implausible. The humor of the character Madea is not always refined, and often very bland, but she is a nice figure, who ensures that the attention is kept. Some scenes are even very funny. A compliment that Tyler Perry certainly deserves is for the way in which he has subtly incorporated a number of difficult themes into the film. As a viewer you get the choice whether you want to think about it, or whether you let it pass you by and he chooses a feel-good moment. The film has received several nominations, including three for a Black Movie Award. And after this film, an agreement was reached for another seven ‘Madea’ films.