Full disclaimer, I’m a huge Tyler Perry fan. I’ve seen nearly all of his movies and he inspires me in many ways as a creator and media purveyor. The first Why Did I Get Married? is one of my favorite movies and it seems like I’m the only one that didn’t think the second one was terrible (outside of that second to last scene). Yup, I’m a big time supporter of Tyler Perry and his brand. But, as a supporter of his brand, I have to say that Madea’s Family Funeral was terrible. I really hope that Tyler is hanging up Madea for good!
Now, I know that Funeral wasn’t to be taken seriously. Tyler Perry isn’t going for an Oscar with this movie, nor is he trying to make our favorite movie. He made this project to make money and make us laugh. Don’t get me twisted, the movie was hilarious. I found myself laughing a lot throughout the hour in a half the movie was on. The problem was that I was laughing at most of the movie because it was laughable.
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For one, the movie abruptly started without any type of title scene of indicator as to what the movie was going to be. During his press run for this movie, Tyler Perry kept saying that this would be the last Madea movie in the franchise. I thought he was going to come with something just as hysterical and entertaining but timely, real and well written as Madea’s Family Reunion. That has to be the best in the series. Think about it: we got the Madea beat the boy that was bullying Keke Palmer and hilarious “hot grits” scene while also getting the timely cinematic “Family Reunion” moment capped by gripping performances by Maya Angelou and Cisley Tyson all in the same film. Lynn Whitfield and Blair Underwood stole every scene they were in with their nuance. Lisa Anderson, Boris Kodjoe and Rochelle Aytes did an amazing job in their roles as well. The movie just worked!
Fast forward to Funeral and we see major overacting from nearly everyone in the cast. They weren’t really even allowed to get in their acting bag where they could show real emotion and range because the characters of Madea, Joe, Hattie and Bam kept stealing the scenes from them. Madea’s Big Happy Family had a similar slapstick comedy structure but, at the very least, we got a chance to get to know the characters and their storylines. We even knew their names! “Byrooooooooooooon!”
No joke: I didn’t know anyone’s name outside of Madea, Joe, Hattie and Bam. I knew the swole guy’s real name is David Otunga because he used to be a wrestler and date Jennifer Hudson but I didn’t know his character name until midway into the movie. I recognized the beautiful KJ Smith from BET’s The Family Business where she plays Sasha Duncan and Rome Flynn from Drumline ll But I could not tell you their character names. Do I even need to bring up “Heatthroat”? His character was pointless! They should’ve just brought back Mr. Brown & Cora! Ridiculous!
The movie moved along like a play, which served as a huge disadvantage in keeping my attention. The jokes from Madea and her crew got corny after a while and I wanted to explore the dynamic of the family a little more. We didn’t get that chance at all! Madea always finds some way to impart great advice to whatever members of her family that she’s around during every movie (sans Madea Goes To Jail). This time, her advice seemed as if they were just throwing something at a wall to let that be the underlying message. When the movie was over, the crowd didn’t even clap! We all just left.
Mr. Perry, this wasn’t it. You can do way better than this. I came to see the last Madea movie of the franchise, not a 2019 version of the Nutty Professor! Let this truly be your last Madea movie ever. She’s been dead for the past few years and this movie was you playing with her corpse. That’s how uncomfortable most of this movie was.