Just another WordPress.com weblog
I sat down to watch this movie at the dollar theatre. I suspect most people have waited to do this, and the venue I watched it in was full. I expected to see the usual over the top, ridiculous, chitlin circuit theatrics of a Tyler Perry movie. What I saw was a middle of the road, charming, fun, and relatable romantic comedy. A comedy that actually deals with real issues single mothers face, divorce, kids who do not respect the sacrifices you make, vengeful ex husbands, and jobs that punish you for being a mother. I am actually perplexed as to why this film has not performed better at the box office. People who are not Tyler Perry fans might have stayed away, expecting Madea to pop out and make an appearance (she does but she is in man drag, more on that later), and people who are Tyler Perry fans might have stayed away because she does not…
This film is interesting because there is a little something in it for everyone. Clearly it is TP (yes those are his unfortunate initials) trying to break into a new audience, while still pleasing his old one. By adding white and hispanic protagonists to the story, I believe he might achieve his goal which seems to be reaching a wider white audience. As much as I hate pandering, if he feels he must then I suppose he must. He cant do Madea forever. The next installment would have to be Madea goes to space, or Madea becomes Pope. There are only so many, “mama put down the hot comb I wanna dance” movies you can make. However blatant his want to expand beyond his black audience may be (even though we have made him quite rich), the story actually seems realistic, and organic. These people of different races are plausibly put together via their kids, and have great chemistry. The actresses are funny and smart and at times delicate when needed.
There is a broad clown character in the comic Cocoa Brown. She plays the part well, and serves as the comic relief Madea usually does, but it is not as jarring. Maybe because she is actually the woman Perry is always trying to be? As mentioned TP is in the film as a romantic love interest of Nia Long. It just does not play. Long is great in the role and exhibits all the warmth and personality of the megawatt star she should have become and is really (just without recognition). Perry, when not in the dress, tries SO hard to perform stereotypical hetero masculinity that he often transmits nothing onscreen. Like he thinks being a wall, or a piece of wet rag is portraying straightness. It is a fascinating case study in gender performance that I am sure universities will soon be examining in class. TP seems very uncomfortable in male drag. It does not seem to be the skin he knows how to work in, whereas Madea comes much more naturally to him. In his scenes with Long, he is making his voice far deeper than it sounds like it should be. He also seems to be muting his facial expressions, as if an emotion is non masculine to express. It is a bizzare way of approaching masculinity. Judith Butler to the rescue please!!!! We just do not buy you as a heterosexual male onscreen tyler. You may very well be IRL and you can be whatever you want. However if you are aiming for the stereotype of portraying hetero masculinity onscreen, you are missing the mark. Just observe the man candy you have cast as the other love interests. See how comfortable they are in their “heteroness”
At any rate, TP aside, I had a lovely time at this film. Go see it, or rent it online, You will be pleasantly surprised. I even found myself tearing up towards then end, and for this activist, that is a mighty feat!
Man Candy Perry Cast…