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

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Madea's Family Reunion (2006)

The film is somewhat different than the popular stage play. The granddaughter engaged to a well-to-do man who beat her is still there, but the plot about another granddaughter with a drug problem is gone. Also, the story about the granddaughter trying to salvage her troubled marriage to an ex-con is missing. Added is a granddaughter who is being wooed by a bus driver, and a mouthy foster kid whom Madea is forced to take in.

There is a lot of sermonizing in the movie. In addition to advice Madea gives out to family members, Cicely Tyson and Maya Angelou have scenes where they have speeches about love and respect. The story is heavy-handed, but amusing in spots. A scene where Madea slaps around a bully who's messing with her foster daughter is a crowd pleaser. Blair Underwood proves that he can play a good bad guy, as the odious fiance of one of the granddaughters. Lynn Whitfield also has good scenes as a calculating witch of a mother. Tyler Perry, the star, director, and writer of the film, has three roles as outspoken Madea, outspoken Uncle Joe, and a lawyer who's a nephew of Madea.

Ms. Tyson is a respected actress with numerous appearances on TV and in film, including the excellent made-for-TV- film, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman". Ms. Angelou is an well-known author and speaker. Mr. Underwood had been a cast member on TV's "L.A. Law", and appeared as Jada Pinkett Smith's love interest in the movie Set It Off.

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