Classics: “Madea’s Family Reunion”

Remember the early days of Tyler Perry? In this respect, I’m talking about the plays. I remember being in middle school and hearing about these plays from a friend of mine. Later that week, my mom told me that someone else told her about the same plays. So we watched them and immediately found all the available plays we could. We were instant fans.

Fast forward, the man starts making the plays into films! Imagine the hysteria surrounding Tyler Perry bringing these plays to life with the best and most legendary black actors in Hollywood.

For my best friend’s birthday, we ate food from a local restaurant here in Richmond, En Su Boca, took a stroll down memory lane, and both rewatched this movie and introduced it to a friend of ours. I hadn’t watched Madea’s Family Reunion in literal YEARS, so it was an adventure for me. You know how you remember a movie but don’t remember a movie? That was me. As the movie continued, it started to come back to me, but I think I could remember up until the stripper came to the house and then I was like, “What happens next?”

Can you recall what movie Lynn Whitfield was in immediately before starring in this film? The Cheetah Girls. She wasn’t crazy in that. We hadn’t seen Whitfield in a crazy role since Brandy in Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Now, Victoria is in no way crazy but she is a bit delusional and by far the worst movie mother I had seen at that time. It sounds bad, but I can handle you not liking your oldest child because they remind you of the man that left you to fiend for yourself. But she let her next man take advantage of her daughter FOR MONEY?! It was a great way to weave in a storyline from I Can Do Bad By Myself the play. Remember when he used to do that? I used to get excited when he would mix the storylines from various plays because for those that were die hard fans, we would automatically be like, “That’s from such and such play.” We don’t do that much anymore but he also doesn’t do plays anymore, so we get what we get now. That’s not a bad thing but I remember when I would recognize some things.

Moving on to the other villain in this film….Carlos. MANNNN, I ain’t never disliked Blair Underwood in my life because LOOK AT HOME. He was the man at the bank who gave Stony that dress, took her around all those fancy people, and gave us that ICONIC love scene to the best En Vogue song in the world! I mean how could one movie, one movie, derail this man. Tyler Perry found a way and I dislike him to the 12th power for that. Blair Underwood had a flair for being evil and I ain’t like that. I know he’s a phenomenal actor, but sir, don’t act that well.

Here are some things that I didn’t notice until I watched the movie well after I saw it in theaters. Lisa Arrindell Anderson may have seemed like a newcomer at the time, but can you recall were else you might have seen her before this film? I’ll tell you where. In The House! I actually just rewatched this series on HBO Max. She was also in Livin’ Large with T.C. Carson from Living Single, Clockers, and Disappearing Acts. Rochelle Aytes was the reporter in White Chicks. Remember, Shawn’s character found himself in a conundrum when he had to be Brittany but he also wanted to impress her as Kevin. Hilarity ensues. You know what also floored me? Lisa finally gets the courage to confront Carlos and take her life back. She uses the grit ball inspiration given to her in an earlier scene by Madea. Here’s what’s funny but not funny. They played “Love and Happiness” by Al Green during that scene. Now, we all know what happened to Al Green with those grits and Tyler Perry had the nerve to play it during a scene where she threw grits on this man. Now, I laughed hard the other day, but on the inside, I was like, “TYLER!”

And here’s another thing. Vanessa and Frankie got people in the ceiling playing instruments, Johnny Gill, Maya Angelou, and a designer dress for the FREE! I’d say they lucked out. The circumstances were terrible but you know happiness and love and stuff.

Tell me, what do you remember from this film? I will say I remembered Keke Palmer was in the movie but I forgot how she got to Madea’s. Our friend was right. That storyline was not even needed.

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