I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, October 28, 2005

Madea's Family Reunion (2005)

The first time I saw this stage play was on a tape I borrowed from one of my aunts. I had heard about the character of Madea, but had no idea how outrageous she was until I saw this and a previous tape entitled I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Madea was more of a supporting player in that one, but in Madea's Family Reunion, she takes center court. I had to buy the official DVD.

Madea, as played by actor/playwright/director Tyler Perry, is a senior citizen who says exactly what's on her mind and carries a gun in her purse. She is part of a large extended family, including her next door neighbors, the Browns. When the story opens, the family is returning from the funeral of Madea's sister, a woman whom she obviously had no use for. One of her daughters admonishes her for causing a commotion during the service with her remarks. When the pastor stops by, Madea has no respect, as she continues to make snide remarks about the service. The funeral behind them, Madea's daughters turn their mind to preparing for the wedding of one of Madea's granddaughters.

Madea's granddaughter is marrying a guy who is financially successful, but her heart still belongs to another guy who makes a living as Madea observes, "a country mechanic." He is aware she has feelings for him, because he still has feelings for her. The mechanic is upset when he finds out about the upcoming nuptials, and tells her that they are not over.

The bride's sister is a drug addict with a baby, whom she constantly leaves on Madea and her mother to take care of. Another granddaughter is married to a former criminal who has had a hard time finding a job for the past two years. Things get hot when the drug addict claims her cousin's husband has made a pass at her. It is also discovered that the future bride's fiancee has a bad temper--and he likes to use his hands on his future wife. In the middle of the messes, Madea puts her two cents in.

This show has a strong Christian bent, and the songs sung by some of the characters reflect this. That's not to say there isn't some sexual innuendo, as well as some harsh subjects presented, such as domestic abuse and child molestation.

One of my favorite scenes is when the drug addicted granddaughter totally goes off on everybody. She makes the mistake of telling her grandmother that she "looks like a bag of Skittles." Madea quietly goes into the house while family and friends hide in the backyard. The granddaughter unwisely chooses to stand her ground and mouth off. Madea rushes back out of the house snapping, "Taste the rainbow!" and fires off her gun several times at her granddaugher, who runs like hell was behind her.



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