Following up on the success of last year’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler Perry brings us another one of his moving stories in Madea’s Family Reunion. I got a chance to see this film last Saturday, and it was a very strong follow-up to Diary.
Following the stories of three women struggling with the lives they lead, Family Reunion covers perspectives from all walks of life. The main story revolves around Lisa, who seemingly has it all…a rich and reputable husband, who beats her behind closed doors for her “lack of dedication” to him for things like leaving her cell phone behind for the day. Her half-sister Vanessa is struggling with a mother who doesn’t lover her and relationship struggles while fending for herself as a single mother. Lastly, there is Nikki, a foster child with a bad attitude and little confidence, taken in and finally shown love by Madea.
The great thing about Perry’s movies is that he runs the gammut of emotions. You’ll laugh at the jokes, you’ll grow at the villians, you’ll feel the sadness of those supressed by their circumstances, and you’ll reflect on the journeys that all the characters take. Probably the most refreshing thing about these movies is the Christian undertones that permeate throughout the movie. They don’t jump out and scream “This is a Christian movie!”, but they are undeniable nonetheless.
Even as a white male raised in the suburbs, I can’t help but enjoy the journey and the messages of Perry’s movies. While both movies have been hammered by critics, people are speaking up at the box office and voting with their dollars. Granted, the movie won’t win any Oscars, but it will resonate with many of those who take the time to go see it.