The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the latest Tyler Perry movie “A Medea Christmas” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer. Don’t forget to take a shot at the “best ever” question in the comments!
This time of year it’s just Oscar contender after Oscar contender after Oscar contender. Finally, a break from good movies.
“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” is the latest in the line of Madea movies from media mogul Tyler Perry. This time she finds herself solving racial issues while having Christmas with a family in Alabama. All right, look, there are some movies that you know what you are getting into beforehand. By the time Ernest went to jail nobody was expecting a heartfelt drama with a poignant backstory from the guy in the blue vest, you know what I mean Vern? And the same is true for the modern Ernest, Mable “Madea” Simmons. Of course that doesn’t excuse me from doing the review so lets get into it.
I actually can start with a good thing, I like the message. There is a central theme that deals with racism and reverse racism that is actually refreshing to see. Amidst the groans and yuks the movie actually said something interesting about what it’s like to deal with modern race relations between blacks and whites. Don’t get me wrong the movie won’t be winning any Nobel peace prizes or anything, I’m just saying that it managed to say something valuable. In fact, we will go ahead and call that the best thing about the movie, primarily because its the only good thing I could think of. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I liked Kathy Najimy in this and it’s good to see Lisa Whelchel (from facts of life) working again, and yes there were a few moments the movie managed to get a smile from me, as Tyler Perry can be a pretty funny improvisor when Medea isn’t stuck on sex and race jokes. But that’s the problem, usually she is.
This is the same Medea you know from the other films, crass, loud, and making jokes that half the time just aren’t that funny. Unless you really love jokes about the kkk? Anyone? Add to that the litany of other typical issues and you’ve got a pretty awful trip to the theater. Acting that looks like it could be done at an elementary school play? check. Scene transitions with gaudy floating 3D Christmas tchotchkes? check. Characters that go from evil to good in one heartfelt moment of redemption? check. Forced and beyond corny cameos from YouTube stars Antoine “Hide your kids” Dodson and “ain’t nobody got time for dat” Sweet Brown? check and what the check. The point is, if you were expecting great movie making from a Madea movie by this point, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.
At the end of the day “A Madea Christmas” is exactly what you expect it to be. If you’ve laughed yourself silly at the others you will probably like it, if you find yourself rolling your eyes and applying your palm to your face, well, then we have a lot in common. Even with the decent message I can’t go above a D.
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