Madea's Big Happy Family (2011) Poster

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danceability-112 January 2012
I loved this Movie, just as I love everything Tyler Perry has done. It doesn't bother me to see the negative side of family, I have a family with a lot of drama and negative and violent things happened to at least one of us. It's reality for some people. I think that's what Tyler Perry draws on. With God, we can hold on to the hope and promise of something better. That's why I buy his movies and plays, he is not shy about sharing God's word, even if at it's misquoted by Madea. Tyler Perry produces entertaining morality plays. Why do people get upset that it is NOT high art? Other movies are fluff and fun and don't have a decent message. At least Tyler Perry gives us a nice message with the silliness.

I appreciate the fact that Tyler brings humor into people's lives. I've always seen the ability to make others laugh as one of the most precious gifts a person could have. This world needs more happiness; I know I could use a good laugh daily. Tyler has created a character or two who can be a little over the top -zany - but as a whole I enjoy his work. Laughter is only one thing his films bring to my life. What I like most is the lessons he teaches with his movies. When she's not acting crazy and going off on people, Madea shares words of wisdom that can reach my heart like a good Bible teaching. (Don't ask her about The Bible, though, because she is not very good at interpreting Scripture). And even when Madea doesn't play a part in a movie, somebody is going to say something thought-provoking. I have All of Tyler Perry's plays on DVD. I will continue to support his work.

danceability-1 Amsterdam Holland
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Typical Tyler Perry fare. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Ryan_MYeah22 September 2011
I have to make a confession. I watch Tyler Perry's Madea films. OK, JUST HEAR ME OUT! Now, I think they're all FAR from perfect films, but at the very least, I do enjoy watching the portions featuring Madea. Such was the case of my latest viewing, Madea's Big Happy Family. It's a bit embarrassing to say, but let's just get down to my review.

First of all, we have a tangled web of subplots. The mother of a family, Shirley, is devastated to discover that her case of cancer has worsened, prompting her to plan a family dinner to tell her children about her condition. This includes her daughters, Kimberly and Tammy. Kimberly is a secretive woman (Improperly focused character #1), and Tammy is having trouble with her marriage, and her two disobedient children. This also includes Byron, a man on an unlucky streak, having served jail time for selling drugs, and behind on paying child support to his insufferably obnoxious ex-girlfriend. There's also some drama between Cora and Mr. Brown. But leave it to Madea to set things straight, and not be afraid to beat the living hell out of anyone who steps out of line.

This movie is textbook Tyler Perry. As always, he gathers together a cast that could have been quite good, with good material, but their characters are inconsistently written, and their focus tends to blur because the script is overly cluttered with subplots. It's not a problem because they're hard to follow (They really aren't), but it's because it doesn't give these characters all the attention they deserve.

This isn't even mentioning Tyler Perry's ubiquitous switch in tone. His rhythm moves as comedic scene, dramatic scene, comedic scene, etc. I think the comedy portions are better than the dramatic portions, but the flip flopping between the two makes things feel dull. At the end of the day, I didn't emotionally connect with the story like I feel I should have. For once, I wish Perry would construct a film that's sure of what it wants to be.

I give it ** out of ****
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Contains Spoilers!!!!!! Too many stories all in one but funny movie.
doctor_1125 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have seen all of Tyler Perry's plays and movies. To me the stories he tells are relatable to any person. I think that his plays are better than his movies. Even though this movie was funny, the plot was all over the place. The rest of the review contains spoilers.

The central character of this film is Shirley. She wants to get her family together and tell them that she is dying. When she does get them together the family members themselves has troubles. That is a quick summary of the movie and here are some key points that I thought should be addressed.

Spoilers!!!!!!!! I warned you!!

Cons; Byron finds out that his sister was his mother all along and is never brought up again. Funny but useless ending. Weird editing. The preaching at the end by Madea was too fast and could have been done through the characters. Not much acting just "character acting." There would be a serious scene then after a funny scene (vice versa).

Pros: Very Funny!! Madea, Bam, and Mr. Brown always keep you laughing.

I really do love Tyler's work but I think his should work translating his plays to screen better.
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1st Time Madea Watcher
Lolly196818 September 2011
I have never watched a Madea movie before so I didn't know what to expect. I saw this one last night and laughed HARD!! :) I thought it was well done as far as topics in the fighting, raising kids, paying child support, just being decent people. Not only did I laugh out loud many times, I also cried.

A few topic I would have liked them to expand on...mostly toward the end with Byyyyyrrrooooooonnnnnn (OMG--his baby mommy saying his name like that cracked me up every time!) and what transpired with he and his mother but that might have made it too serious.

I don't watch many movies mostly because I am disappointed and find them a waste of time after. I would watch this one over and over and sure I'd enjoy it every time. Good job Mr. Perry...I'm sure I'll start watching your other films soon.
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It is what it is...
AKissintheDreamHouse25 April 2011
What can you honestly say about the new Madea movie? The fact of the matter is, there isn't much to say. Why Tyler Perry keeps cranking out the same movie over and over again with a different title is beyond me. Not to say that the film was a complete waste. It had many humorous and heart-wrenching moments. The only problem is, we've seen them all before. There is not a huge difference between this and Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea Goes to Jail, etc. It's a Tyler Perry move. You get what you came for. Do not go into this movie expecting anything but a low-brow comedy with a few dramatic scenes to balance out the humor. With a man of his talent, it's disappointing to see Perry cranking out the same old movies with the same old characters. I feel that if he really tried, he could go into totally new territory and amaze us all with his artistic talents, but until he moves beyond Madea and the same old plot elements, we may never know Tyler Perry's full capabilities. All in all, it was a funny and touching movie but it's been done before.
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GoogleSaturn27 April 2011
Yet another formulaic feature from Tyler Perry. You can read the reviews from practically any of his other films or television shows for a plot summary. It has been said that Perry's success is based on him knowing his audience; so what does that say about them? I sat in the theater and realized why Spike Lee commented the way he did. If I spent 20 plus years making socially relevant material, but this dreck continues to profit, I would be angry as well. This movie was a disaster. It made BAPS look like Malcolm X. As a Black man in America I am thrilled to see another Black man prosper, but come on. We need more For Colored Girls and less of this movie from him.
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Excellent. A must watch unless you are dead from the neck up.
countryshack6 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Hold onto your hats because you are going for a ride in this movie. I loved the play and thought that the movie was also excellent.

I've read some nasty, bad, hateful, and very negative reviews about Mr. Perry's movie here and, I must admit, am very confused. The very low rating is ridiculous!

Let me break it down this way: If you Love loud foul music, people that wear their pants down to their thighs with their underwear showing, kids that disrespect their elders, trashy loud gum chewing women, lazy adults that would rather get a government check than actually work for a living, irresponsible folk that think more of themselves than anyone else, people that flaunt more tattoos jewelry and glitter than a New Orleans Mardi Gras float, and people that are full of hate and anger and like to take it out on others (bullies),than you will absolutely Hate this movie.

If, on the other hand, you believe in God, Manners, Love, Kindness, Respect, Politeness, Compassion, and other traits that aren't discussed 'out loud' any longer in this politically correct world that we've somehow fallen into; you should get drawn into this movie.

Mr. Perry somehow manages, with very well written dialog, to have you literally Laughing Out Loud one moment and then crying inwardly and sometimes outwardly the next.

When Madea (Perry) goes off on a verbal tirade of opinion on others in the movie you find yourself saying: "YES! That is what has gone wrong in the world". Of course that is between the laughing, crying, and constant thought stimulation that this movie provides.

Now obviously most normal people (because of the very low ratings on this site) hated this movie. The only thing that I can say to that is: "Thank God I'm not of that group".

Don't get me wrong, I love a good special effects, don't have to think, stunt ladled movie as much as the next guy. But I also love a movie or novel that is so well written that it has the magic that pulls on your thoughts and heart strings. This movie is one of them.
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I got my money back, and if you agree I suggest you do the same
bellymus130 April 2011
Let me start I have watched all of his films. Tyler Perry I implore you, please! bring us Afro-Americans, etc., more colored girls, the family that preys, why did I get married and less of this drivel. OK! I will give it to you maybe 1 of your other Tyler Perry presents, Madia.... was OK, 7 maybe out of 10.

After the first 5 minutes of the movie, I promise you this, if you are cracking up and find it hilarious, stay. However, if you watch the first 5 minutes and think WTF; don't waste the other 1 hr and 40 minutes. Wait till Netflix, wait till HBO, wait till TBS/BET carry the movie. Do not encourage this, and just to remind you yes I typically like Tyler Perry Movies.

The most infuriating thing about this is that I know he is capable, as a writer, producer and director of more. Subsequently, in this movie he took lots of short cuts, and it seemed like these scenes were shot and wrapped on the first take. I could excuse it more if this was his first movie and he continually got better from there. the end of the movie, and I have never done this but I got my money back, and there is nothing more than what I would like than to support black movies, any of them Wayans, Spike, Martin, Eddie, and yes I will still see the next Tyler Perry Movie.

Think of it this way out of a 10 rating there is a reason why the average is 2.5, ouch!
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Quadruple-Exposed Tyler Perry Trife... where does it end?
Firetears_X10 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not one of those people who hates any Tyler Perry production by default. In fact, I usually enjoy his work. But this movie is the bottom of the barrel. The movie can be described simply as a clichéd, preachy mess smothered in misogynistic undertones.

The movie opens with Shirley and Aunt Bam in the hospital. We're supposed to be getting a quick laugh at Aunt Bam's forwardness towards the doctor. She's pretty much grinding on him like they're on a dance floor and I suppose the audience was supposed to find it funny but it only caused for a few awkward laughs of the "is this supposed to be funny...?" variety. Shirley finds out that her cancer has returned and she starts preaching about how God is so amazing. Riiiight... because when cancer survivors find out that their cancer has returned, they thank God for it. Eye rolls are surely to ensue and that opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie.

Shirley wants to get all her children together for a family dinner so she can break the news to them but contrary to the misleading title, they're no Brady Bunch. The two sisters, Kimberly and Tammy, can't even sit in the same room together without insulting each other. Both sisters are convinced that the other sister is a despicable human being, unbeknownst to themselves that they're both unbearable. And the younger brother, Byron, doesn't even interact with the sisters at all. Not being he can't stand them, just because they never gave enough damns to have him share a single word with either sisters. Instead, he's caught up in his baby mama drama.

Byron's storyline is the most ridiculous if only for how unbelievable his girlfriend, Renee, and ex-girlfriend, Sabrina are. Renee doesn't even pretend to give a damn about his well being, his son, or his family. She's pressuring him to sell drugs like it's rehab for a alcoholic. At one point when he loses his integrity and gives into the temptation of quick money, she tells him "I'm proud of you". And somehow, he still manages to stay with her through most of the movie. All the while, his baby mama, Sabrina, finds every way to ruin his life but apparently, it's because she still wants him.

The side plot with Tammy is insulting, to say the least. She's a terrible mother and a disrespectful wife. She finds every opportunity to belittle her husband in front of her children and neither parents makes an attempt to discipline the kids when they call their dad a "punk ass" on separate occasions. Oh, but you want to know how they resolve their problem? Harold, the husband, stands up for himself. And by "stand up for himself", I mean doing exactly to his wife what she does to him by demanding her to shut up and sit down. What is the moral of the story? There's no equality in a relationship: You're either the sandwich-eater or the sandwich-maker. But at least when it's the man in the relationship, it's okay.

Kimberly's side plot is... I don't even know. It's the same thing as Tammy's, except that her husband, Calvin, sometimes TRIES to defend himself. And she's more open about her desire of having nothing to do with her dysfunctional, emotionally abusive family. Somewhere near the ending of the 2nd act, Tammy exposes Kimberly at a family dinner about how she had a baby at 13 and left Shirley to raise him. Lo and behold, it's Byron. And that still wasn't enough to get him to share a single line with his "sisters". Also, we find out that the pregnancy was a result of rape and that's why she's such a terrible person. And voilà! We're left to assume that everyone knowing that she was raped was going to make her a better person.

There's isn't very many funny parts in the movie aside from Sabrina's "Byreeeeeen!" gag. Madea isn't even enough to save this movie from the contradictory life lessons and the overexposed themes of baby mama drama, God-fearing mothers with their preachy speeches, and rape. It's the same thing in every movie and it's passed tired.
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Laughter and Tears all a part of Madea's Big Happy Family
steve_ford534 May 2011
I don't know if anyone else out there is a Tyler Perry fan, but I really enjoy his work and although at times a little schmaltzy, "Madea's Big Happy Family" is worth a trip to the theater.

As with all other Madea movies, Madea (Tyler Perry) takes on old and young. No matter who you are or think you are, if you cross Madea you are in for a good old A** chewing.

Madea's niece, Shirley (Loretta Devine) is given some bad news by her doctor. Her wish is to share the news with all the members of her family at dinner. She arranges a get together but there is a problem. Her family over time has become somewhat estranged. Although they do all eventually arrive at the house, it isn't long before the bickering and fighting begin. Shirley cannot find a moments peace when she can address the issue for which she had the gathering, and all too soon the family runs from the table and the house. Not knowing what to do next, Aunt Bam (Cassie Davis), in order to help Shirley, enlists the aid of Madea to corral all of the children, spouses and grandchildren around the dinner table so Shirley can let them know how much she loves each and everyone.

Along the way, Madea lets everyone know her philosophy of life as only she can and amidst the tragedy comes fulfillment and forgiveness. The movie runs the gamut of emotions - from grief to joy. One moment you may feel tears welling up in your eyes only to be followed by the laugh-out-loud antics of Madea.

I think there would have been nothing lost if Brown (David Mann) and his occasionally - emphasis on occasionally - funny shenanigans would have been left on the cutting room floor. I don't feel his part in the movie really added any value, but it is there and I took it for what it was.

The movie won't be nominated for any significant awards but as with all of the Madea series, there are some life lessons from which we all can learn taught by Madea in a way only she could get away with.

I recommend this film.
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Madea is sent into action when Shirley finds out she has cancer. Madea hunts down all the family, who are all dealing with their own problems.
fphannah23 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
i love 'Madeas big happy family!!!!' i saw it yesterday and literally could not breathe! i couldn't catch my breath! '1-800 CHOKE THAT HO' but another funny thing is when the credits were over, music started playing in the theater, and 'a loaded smile' came on! i was even wearing my Adam Lambert shirt!!!! about the movie, i saw a story on a family who has their problems, but they don't realize what a true family is, until its too late. its a sad story, but over all, my spirit was up lifted by Madea. there were comments in the audience that made me laugh. when Madea yelled at the little boy, some one in the back of the theater yelled'YEAH!!!' and the audience laughed a lot. then, after the funeral, when Calvin said,'can i hold you?' some one said 'you can hold me!' i loved that!.
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Dubb090226 August 2011
People are giving this Title a bad review? Are you serious? The thing with Tyler Perry's films, is that they feature REAL life situations. None of the fake things you see in most films.

His movie's are REAL. The feature original material that other films haven't duplicated. This movie was hilarious, makes you want to re-watch certain clips. 100%, two thumbs up, laugh-out-loud funny.

People that give out bad reviews, JUST because you didn't understand is childish. Wake up and open you're eyes. REAL MATERIAL.

Movies made my Mr. Perry continue to amazing me, amaze by how his content seem so close to how many of us live.
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apryla-5879520 February 2020
I have never watched a Madea movie before. I wish I would've started sooner. I'd like to watch all of them. This movie was hilarious! I really think that we need more Madeas in the world to set people straight and not care what anybody thinks. Everything she was talking about is so true - disrespectful kids, parents fighting etc...and it was so funny! Bam was hilarious and I love Loretta Divine. Teyana Taylor's character was really annoying BUT she was pretty funny. I loved when Madea pulled a hammer out of her purse on the Maury show! That was awesome!
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No stars needed
coolguyflux19 March 2019
I WAS IN THE STREET when I saw her walk by. I locked at her with a deep stare. Like oh mah god look at her swag.... Ian's then said to me hey you like them chunky don't you. I WAS IN THE RED CUL????!
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Soul Food 2
Marc_Action2 February 2012
Why not just go ahead and call this movie Soul Food 2? Only this rip off of that nicely done comedy-drama from 1997 is not even close. The brilliantly funny Loretta Divine, who first stole the show in Waiting to Exhale (1995), can't even save this movie. Here Divine play Shirley, a dying matriarch of a very dysfunctional family (just like Soul Food). But the movie never really takes off like Soul Food did. The film is infused with director/producer Tyler Perry's brand of comedy for one thing, which has become way past tired and stale.

There were a few good laughs, but overall, the movie just wasn't that funny when it tries so hard to be and all the high family drama is so predictable in Perry's movies to the point that we just don't feel sorry for these individuals when we should because, quite frankly, Perry uses the same formula over and over and over again. He always has these extreme cases of domestic violence or verbal abuse in his movies, only for everything to work out like roses in the end. And to top that off in this movie in particular, there is a high amount of overacting and bad acting. At least in his previous films there was pretty much good performances by the cast. That was the only thing that saved his movies. Not this time.

And the whole Medea routine, it's been played to the hilt. I hope Perry realizes soon that there's no more in the tank. Retire the Medea routine. Show us that you are more than a one trick pony. Come up with something new please!

Along with Tyler Perry and Loretta Divine, the movie also stars Chad "Bow Wow" Moss, and Lauren London. The rest of the cast is really not worth mentioning. Just think about the characters and plot of Soul Food when you watch this. Or better yet, skip this movie all together and just go rent Soul Food.
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This man is nooooot talented
rarriaga83111 May 2011
Tyler Perry is NOT a good director, writer or anything. All he does is think of depressing things to write about, add a couple of "oh lord what is i gonna do??" and say that it is a move for black people. Well its not. I really think that he is the epitome of black exploitation (and this is coming from someone who saw Black Dynamite <-awesome movie BTW. He is funny at first but then when you see his other plays/movies you realize that....there really nothing more to him that some big black guy in a fat suit saying "Heller" I really don't like this guy or his films...he really needs to stop before he does some serious damage to his community. He is whoring himself and other black people out so he can make money and its not right. screw you Tyler perry, you and your untalented butt
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Really Funny Movie
ichrisstoodley23 January 2012
I don't know why there are so many negative reviews for this movie. I really liked it and was laughing the whole time.

The only thing I didn't really like was how there was a funny scene and then after that there would be a serious scene, it doesn't make sense. This doesn't affect my rating though because the movie was too comical for me to be lower than a 10.

I noticed that there are a few other movies with pretty much the same story. I'm certainly going to watch those, but as others said it's sort of stupid to make the same movie more than once, unless it's a sequel and it's different.

Other than these two things, I really enjoyed this movie and I would recommend it to anyone who likes comedies.
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Hey America, You suck
mhblack9116 May 2011
OK, first of all, has Tyler perry bought TBS or do the owners owe his family reparations because he's single handedly making that network unwatchable... I shouldn't say that, he's getting help from George Lopez but i digress... I'm not African American but if i were i would be horribly offended by the type of garbage Mr. Perry decides to call an artistic expression. To me his movies just reinforce racial stereo types that not only the African American community has worked for years to correct but also other races have tried to forget and not play into. Tyler Perry didn't even write this movie his production company did that's how easy it is to "capture" the essence of a Tyler perry movie! The guy has minimal talent and he's treated as a god... Ah well, in a world build on reality television and all action no story films should we really expect anything other than the dummies of the world to outnumber the smarts? And should we really expect anything other than the Tyler perry's of the universe to compose the top one percent of our money makers in America? I hate the people who're ruining my country and i hate anyone who didn't turn this movie off within the first twenty minutes as i did because even if you think you're a good person you're apart of the problem!
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Seriously blacks get over yourselves....
justinemee4 September 2011
This movie is perfect for every Medea fan, vintage Madea which is why it has her name in the title instead of "another cheesy black movie so blacks can feel better about missing the opportunities others took to give them the right to do so." I am personally sick and tired of seeing movies that only make blacks look like a bunch of animals who do nothing but rut and swear,and act all ghettofied. Madeas family shows that there are black people who have class, and can be dignified and can take care of things with love and hardwork. Anybody saying anything else is just a typical hater, jealous of a brother who is making something of himself. You all are just loving up a pathetic sob story cause it makes you feel better about your horrible lives. Madea is Madea, and if you don't like it, don't watch it. Ps: Where's my "For white girls movie?"
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Loved IT!!!
qsdad200028 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It never fails to amaze me that people seem to be disappointed when they reach into a bag of oreos and pull out an oreo. What do you expect? I LOVE the Madea character and I LOVE Tyler Perry for continuing to give us doses of her. Our youth and most parents need multiple doses of this character to get the idea that we've gotten away from too many things in this country. Things that guide young people. Things that teach young people how to treat people before they grow up so that they will be respectful adults. I went to the movie and got what I expected. My money was NOT wasted. Thank you Tyler Perry.

These movies are not for "everybody" But there is something in them that we can all learn from. I grew up with a 6 foot tall pistol packing fishing grandmother in Eldorado Arkansas and she didn't play.
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Tyler Perry's best movie
joemoe11626 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have seen all of Tyler Perry's movies and plays. Madea's big happy family is the funniest, and the best movie Tyler Perry has ever made. You have to excuse me I am still laughing as I write this review. Shirley finds out she has cancer. She want to get her 3 kids together so she can tell them. Madea set out to make sure Shirley' kids get together so she can tell. The result is heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. Some people have said why does Tyler Perry keep using the same characters, and all of his movies are the same. Well everything is not for everybody. His movies make between 25 and $40 million at the box office, so he must be doing something right. I like what the old folks used to say if it ain't broke don't try to fix it. Enough about that. I thought the acting was very good. Bow wow is growing as an actor he is going to have a bright future as an actor. Loretta Devine who seems to be in every Black movie these days was very good as well. I am glad to see a talented African-American actress working. I was glad to see Lauren London play a villain. This was a good role for her to play. She is another young actress to keep your eye on. Cassie Davis was hilarious which is something different than we are used to seeing on house of Payne. David and Tamala Mann showed why they could be one of the best comedy teams of all time. Teyana Taylor played Sabrina a character you have to see and hear to believe all I can say about Sabrina is OMG. Rodney Perry was surprisingly very good playing opposite Natalie Desselle who was very good as well. Isaiah Mustafa and Shannon Kane played their roles very well. All I can say about Tyler Perry as Madea and Joel without busting out into uncontrollable laughter is he was unashamedly outrageous. That's why I say Madea's Big Happy Family is Tyler Perry's best movie.
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This movie is flat out for Madea Fans!
jupiterjermaine29 April 2011
If your favorite Tyler Perry character is Madea, this movie is custom made for you! I am one of those people who's always thinking "he should have more Madea in his movies or should do a whole movie with Madea". Well, my prayers were answered. It was laugh out loud funny! To those reviewers who is on Spike Lee's side, I wanna say there is a time and a place for everything. Spike's movies has it's place. They are political conscious geared and we need that. We also need realistic comedies to de-stress us, and movies with a message to uplift us and make us think. So there's a place for Tyler's movies as well. You can't get mad at certain filmmakers because they aren't Spike Lee clones. Then you'd be writing crap about them not being original. If you wanna watch Spike's stuff, go ahead. If you don't wanna laugh and cry at the same time, go home! Everything isn't for you. Why would we want just serious political conscious movies all the time? And for you reviewers saying he's just doing the same thing all over again, what director do you know that doesn't stick to their particular style of writing? I do think Tyler could tune up some of his screenplay writing, but hey, he's used to writing for the stage, not the screen. I think some of the dialogue between the guys ranting about the women could be cut way down. He usually drags those out way too long for my taste. Are some of his characters stereotypes? Of course! What movie doesn't contain some stereotypical elements? Anyways, u haters, get over yourself!
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"Madea" Meets "Soul Food"
zardoz-132 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Watching the menacing matriarchal figure of Madea as she convinces quarreling relatives to show up for a family function reminded me of those military boot camp chronicles such as "Full Metal Jacket," "Heartbreak Ridge," and "Sands of Iwo Jima," where the drill sergeant whips the recruits into shape. When Madea isn't harassing her relatives, she winds up sitting around the dinner table with them. Indeed, Tyler Perry's fifth foray as Madea looks like the versatile, Atlanta-based auteur may have watched the classic 1997 African-American opus "Soul Food." "Madea's Big Happy Family" features more soul than food. Madea is summoned to assemble a shattered family so its own matriarch can warn her children about her impending peril. Not-surprisingly, Perry parades the usual stereotypical characters across the screen; piles on pop cultural psychobabble blended with religious fervor, and then pays off suspenseful situations with predictable goodwill in his adaptation of his own stage play, minus most of the musical interludes. Mind you, the details don't really matter because Perry is hilarious again not only as Madea but also as Joe. No, he doesn't reprise his role as sensible, straight-faced, buttoned-down attorney Brian that he made in both "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea Goes to Jail." Nevertheless, Madea makes this tolerable drama about family secrets an above-average opus. No, it lacks the polish of "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and doesn't pay off at the end as well as "Madea Goes to Jail."

"Madea's Big Happy Family" is anything but happy. Madea's favorite niece, Shirley (Loretta Devine of "Waiting to Exhale"), has learned from her doctor that her cancer is no longer quiescent. She decides to summon her family and deliver the dire news. Battling cancer, Shirley discovers with chagrin, is a picnic compared with battling one's own family. Shirley's two grown-up daughters, upscale real estate broker Kimberly (Shannon Kane of "Brooklyn's Finest") and middle-class garage co-owner Tammy (Natalie Desselle of "Set It Off"), despise each other with a passion. They cannot stay under the same roof long enough for Shirley to tell them about her dreadful condition. Things fare no better for Kim and Tammy in their own homes where they display no respect to their respective spouses who they accuse of 'disrespecting' them. Kim's husband Calvin (Isaiah Mustafa of "The Island") cannot believe how arrogantly his wife treats her long-suffering mother. Tammy's henpecked mechanic husband Harold (Rodney Perry of "Johnson Family Vacation") is constantly in the dog house with her and cannot discipline his own sons because of her. Meanwhile, Shirley's adult son Byron (Shad 'Bow Wow' Moss of "Lottery Ticket") finds himself torn between his baby's momma, Sabrina (Teyana Taylor of "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming"), and his latest high-maintenance girlfriend Renee (Lauren London of "ATL") as both demand that he indulge their every whim. You see, Byron is fresh out of prison for selling narcotics and has to furnish child support to his ghetto queen mother. As the same time, Byron's new girlfriend wants him to start dealing dope again since they need a higher income.

After everybody storms out of Shirley's house, she calls on Madea to shepherd them back for some more table talk before it is too late. Since Madea values Shirley as her 'favorite' niece, she cruises off in her Cadillac to round them up. Along the way, Shirley's family endures some shocking discoveries. Before everything is said and done, Kim and Tammy at each other's throats, literally tearing apart with devastating results on Byron. Literally, Byron is left reeling when he learns that Kim was his mom after a relative raped her. Naturally, Byron isn't the only victim. Once "Madea's Big Happy Family" establishes Shirley's grim prospects for a short-lived future, the storyline shifts to Madea. Our heroine's first scene at a fast-food restaurant is terrific. Madea arrives too late for breakfast and an obnoxious female manager fuels her rage. What Madea doesn't know is that Sabrina manages the joint. When Madea cannot buy breakfast at the drive thru window, she smashes her massive Cadillac into the lobby, vaults the counter and gets everything that she wants. This is by far the most outrageous scene and proves once again that when Madea is on screen, neither Perry nor she can do no wrong. Indeed, Madea shows no signs of mellowing. On the other hand, Joe isn't as insufferable. He gets a lot of mileage out of his proposed service: 1-800-Choke-A-Ho." Instead, Perry has forged a new character, white-haired Aunt Bam, who takes over the pot-smoking, trash-talking elements of Joe's feisty old character. Aunt Bam could qualify as a Madea wannabe, and she keeps the plot brewing when Madea exits off-screen.

Perry has done a couple of other things to make this "Madea" outing a little different from previous escapades. Madea breaks the law, but she doesn't suffer the consequences. Madea gets away with just about everything that she does. Aside from Madea/Joe and Aunt Bam, the only other cast member that may trigger guffaws or outrage is the unforgettable Teyana Taylor as Byron's whiny baby momma. Taylor gets more mileage out of whining the name Bryan than you could ever imagine. Of course, Loretta Devine registers believably and sympathetically as Shirley. The characters are tragic, like poor Shirley; comedic like Madea, Aunt Bam, Mr. Brown, and arrogant like Kim, Tammy, and her boys. Happily, Madea delivers some equally unforgettable dialogue as she enforces her stern will on her erring relatives. Aside from some depressing moments involving Shirley's cancer, "Madea's Big Happy Family" has more than enough hilarity to keep your ribs tickled for its 106 minutes. Like any good movie, this one packs more than a surprise or two.
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Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family was a big mess of a dramady for me
tavm12 January 2012
I have now seen two Tyler Perry movies in their entirety but this is the first time I've watched him as Madea for an entire picture having previously seen her in brief clips of Tyler's other films. This was perhaps the most embarrassing of Perry's movies I've watched yet but his wasn't the most humiliating character. That goes to this Sabrina (Teyana Taylor) woman who's the ex-girlfriend of this young man character who's unfairly blamed by her for dealing drugs. There's some amusing scenes in the beginning and some nice drama near the end but it's a huge mess in the middle and what a mess! So on that note, Madea's Big Happy Family is only recommended to fans of Tyler Perry and his Madea character and no one else.
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It's Getting Old, Mr. Perry
DominoRae11 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
AN OPEN LETTER: Mr. Perry... What is this? Being a Black person I admire you're major success,and no one is trying to take that away from you, but this movie sucks. Being an avid fan, at first, and growing up with the plays and movies,I found this movie to be degrading. I'm sick of it! It portrays Black women in a negative way - overbearing, loud, bitter, and domineering - a "sapphire." Now, I know women like this but why must you continue to portray us this way? We are already portrayed as such in many media outlets, why can't you, as a Black man, stop the cycle?!? Black men are also portrayed as dumb, abusive , or weak - a "coon." And some of the White women are also stereotyped as the girl "trying to be black" or "weak." You have the outlet and voice ($225 million dollars in ticket receipts is a pretty large following if you ask me). But still, you lean and depend on these stereotypical characters as a crutch to get laughs. Not funny. It is a new day Mr. Perry, WAKE UP. Your antics, gimmicks and jokes are getting real old, real fast.

THE ACTUAL REVIEW: Once you watch the opening credits, you know you are doomed. If anyone doesn't know, this movie recycles the stage play of the same title. He continues to recycle as if no one notices and it's - once again - getting old. I tried to stifle a *full* laugh but I couldn't. Madea, Tyler's alter ego, has no business in this film, it would have fared better without some of her lame one-liners (but don't get me wrong, *some* are funny). The humor is bland and "too loud" at the same time, if that makes sense. The acting, you ask? It speaks for itself.

However, Ms. Loretta Divine continues to light up the screen as the sick mother, but even with her pleasant characterization, the movie is...nothing. The kids are bratty and annoying and some are just dumb (One girl's line in the movie consists if her popping gum and saying "BYRONNNNNN!" in the most nauseating manner) and the climax at the dinner table is kind of weird and Soap Opera-y. The only thing funny and epic about the whole movie is the spoof movie posters(Maybe he should have made a spoof movie...I dunno, bad idea?). I don't remember much of this movie, and with good reason. He has really out-done himself this time! But he should be proud of himself for once thing. For making a new kind of blaxploitation for the new era. This is SERIOUS blaxploitation at it's finest! But hopefully, after viewing the movie himself, Mr. Perry will learn the error of his "movie-making" ways.

IN THE END... Do yourself a favor and buy it on bootleg at the lowest price available (Come on, you did it before). And after you watch it, to regain you brain cells back, watch a stimulating movie by GREAT black filmmakers, a Spike Lee Joint or John Singleton film. I suggest Do the Right Thing, Mo' Betta Blues, or Poetic Justice.

I give it 3 out of 10 stars - One for the ever-so-lovely, Mrs. Divine, another for the movie posters, and one because I like the song "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO in the trailers :)
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