Break out your best black outfit and call the florist to order flowers. There’s been a death in our cinematic family. Made is gone. No, she doesn’t die in A Madea Family Funeral. But her alter-ego, Tyler Perry, says this is it for his big-mouthed franchise character.
I would have us bow our heads for a moment of silence (and to take a sip from the flask we smuggled into the theater), but this film delivers just enough laughs to make sure silence isn’t an option.
Death Becomes Her
The movie focuses on a Madea’s extended family getting together for a 40th anniversary party, and our loud mouthed idol is reluctantly invited. Along the way there is multi-generational sexual betrayal. Madea and crew show up in the aftermath and struggle to keep all the nasty secrets.
Along the way, Madea somehow becomes mistress of ceremonies for the funeral, setting up a fun scene at the mortuary and her as timekeeper at the services, which ran a brief 10ish hours, making Aretha Franklin’s sendoff seem short and sweet.
At the service, all the dead man’s mistresses show up, humiliating the sort of grieving widow and giving Joe and Uncle Heathrow their own hook-up goals.
The overall lesson we learn is that when, in our own lives, we do not want/need Madea on hand to help us through our grief. We’ll soldier on with Jim, Jack, and Johnnie, thank you very much.
Scratch the Surface
Tyler Perry shoots these movies in about a week and, honestly, it shows.
The movie revolves around a death and grieving, but never delves deep into it, which is fine, given that it’s a Madea movie.
The film looks at deep, personal betrayals but fails to dig below the surface, which feels fine, given that it’s a Madea movie.
The feature tries to give a message of female empowerment but gives only a moment or two of lip service.. and uses Mike Tyson in the process(!), which seems fine, given that it’s a Madea movie.
All in all it feels like your average Madea movie. Lots of gags, not a lot of substance. And substance was never the goal. In one interview he said this is silly fun, not Schindler’s List. He got that right!
This is definitely a rental. Only superfans and alcoholic critics need drag themselves to see this one in theaters.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Crown Royal & Coke. It’s a fave of one of the characters, and my personal choice of beverage when attending any somber service lasting more than 45 minutes.