Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does the world need men in drag and fat suits? Maybe not, but Tyler Perry is damn funny

I realize I'm far from alone here (though perhaps in the minority in the rapidly aging white dude community), but I've been with Tyler Perry since the beginning, and I still get pretty excited when I hear one of his now semi-annual movies is coming.

Granted, the man has been slipping a bit of late. "Meet the Browns" and "The Family the Preys" were both average movies at best that contained great performances by its female leads, Angela Bassett in "Browns" and Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates in "Preys." In fact, I'd list Bates' turn as the matriarch of a very wealthy Atlanta family as easily one of my favorite female performances of 2008.

And along with making movies with a definite human feel, Perry is also always good at just that: Writing well-round and very funny roles for women. Which is why it's always made me scratch my head when he turns into Madea.

Now, Madea can be very funny in small doses, but as a rule his movies are much better when he lets the women play the "id" rather than setting loose too much of his alter ego. Which is why I wasn't terribly thrilled to hear that she/he is getting her/his own movie, "Madea Goes to Jail," coming Feb. 20 from Lionsgate, Perry's movie home from the beginning.

From this trailer, however, it appears I once again must have been wrong, because it looks like a strong ensemble piece, led by the always-welcome Derek Luke and Keshia Knight Pulliam - a k a Rudy Huxtable (yes, that is little Rudy, all grown up and hoed out with that rather ridiculous wig.) And apart from that, I know that all trailers always cherry-pick the best laughs, but it also looks like not only Perry's Madea but also Perry stage regulars David and Tamela Mann will bring the real funny. Enjoy the trailer, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.


Anonymous said...

Tyler Perry's success as a entrepreneur is something to be respected.

But...I cannot bring myself to enjoy any one of his movies. I can appreciate his earnestness in promoting positive messages, but I can't ignore the melodramatic soap opera-ish heavy-handedness of his writing, and bad one-note performances from the great actors featured in his films.

And I don't even want to talk about "House of Payne", a title which is especially apt...*shudders.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you on "House of Payne" at least .. I tried to tune in for one episode but only lasted about five minutes .. With the movies, however, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree ... I agree that he's certainly far from a great filmmaker, but I still find his stories to have a real sense of place (best when that place is Atlanta), and I like the "drama," even if it is awfully heavy-handed

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