A Madea Family Funeral, the eleventh Madea appearance in the long running Tyler Perry franchise, is a film that will soon be forgotten for its lack of comedy, emotion and general competence. Yes, there were a few laughs to be had during the questionable 109-minute runtime, but a few laughs are not acceptable in what essentially boils down to a glamorized sketch comedy show. Perry, who wrote, directed and acted in the film, seems to be in over his head with the Madea franchise. Many of the jokes could be written by children, and in the end, Perry relies too much on family-feuding and physical comedy to get any sort of rise out of the audience.
As the family all get together for a surprise anniversary party, an unexpected death changes everyone’s plans. Madea (Tyler Perry) and her crew, Joe (Tyler Perry), Hattie (Patrice Lovely), and Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), accidentally stumble upon the death of Anthony (Derek Morgan), while he is being unfaithful to his wife of 47 years. As the family shifts gears from celebrating an anniversary to planning a funeral, secrets are uncovered (all which involve someone cheating on someone else), and family drama ensues.
This film is so unorganized it is difficult to even talk about. Characters pop up left and right without so much as a quick introduction. The acting is mostly atrocious, save for a few highlights that are criminally under represented; Ciera Payton and Courtney Burrell, who play Sylvia and A.J., two of Anthony’s children, seem to be comfortable in front of the camera. Unfortunately, many scenes revolve around Madea, the infinitely annoying Hattie, Aunt Bam and Joe. They act as a peanut gallery during the majority of the film, as they sit on the couch and make questionable remarks about whatever is going on. The commentary is filled with sexual innuendos, that often don’t even make sense, and shock value sexual comedy from Joe and Heathrow (a crippled war veteran, also played by Perry), that is supposed to be funny because they are old. The back and forth between Joe and Heathrow can be amusing at times, but the feeling is fleeting.
A Madea Family Funeral essentially boils down to watching Madea and her friends yell at each other and criticize everyone around them. Fans of the long running franchise will probably be pleased with the latest installment, if only for more of their beloved on-screen character. The film may have worked as a short television special, or even as a series that would allow the characters to be fully fleshed out. Unfortunately, by combining all of this drama, all of the pedestrian comedy, and the complete lack of structure, Perry’s latest is almost unwatchable.
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