The Critique: Tyler Perry As Medea



I’ve never seen a Tyler Perry movie. And it’s never been on my to-do list.

I was slightly familiar with the plays. I can remember seeing bootlegged copies of the play on DVD in the hair salon.

And when I say bootlegged copies, I don’t mean pirated copies of an official DVD release. Those came years later. I’m talking about someone sneaking a camcorder into a theater and secretly taping a live performance. And then burning it on DVDs and selling them. Trifling!

What I knew about the Madea plays didn’t interest me. A man dressed in dragged who mispronounced words and fell down a lot? Nah. I’m good.

And then, Tyler Perry, Madea’s creator, became not just a sight gag but a bonafide phenomenon. At some point, I began following his story with interest, even if I didn’t see his films.

I love this man’s story: watching Oprah and being inspired to write and then saving $12,000 as a used car salesman to stage his first play. Which flopped. Twice. And he still kept moving. Flying under the radar of the mainstream entertainment industry. And then he had Hollywood scratching its head when Diary of A Mad Black Woman blew up. I love it!

So why not see his films?

From the reviews I saw and the bits of pieces I saw on occasion at a friends home or in the hair salon, I couldn’t see how any of the Madea movies could earn my $10.00.

I’ve always felt like if I wanted to see my people cut up and act a fool, I could just, you know, go to the corner of William and Walnut Street in East Orange and just watch. For free.

And the drag thing always annoyed me. It’s just not funny to me.

I know that Black men in drag for comedic effect is not new.

What You See Is What You Get!

What You See Is What You Get!

I can vaguely remembering watching the Flip Wilson Show with my dad. And his character, Geraldine, was a sassy, neck-rolling woman with bugged eyes.

And of course, there was Martin.

'Cause I'm a laaaady.

'Cause I'm a laaaady.

I can’t front. Sheneneh cracked me up on occasion. But there was always something that made me mildly uncomfortable about it. I think it had something to do with the fact that the woman these men portrayed were always caricatures. And they grossly exaggerated the words and actions of women in a way that was embarrassing. Is that the way women behaved? Was that really funny? How come women never dressed as men and exaggerated their behavior?


So, yeah. I was good on Madea.

But then, this morning, after I dropped the girls off at school, I turned on Steve Harvey and heard Tyler Perry pushing his new film, Madea Goes To Jail.

He talked about the fight in Hollywood for respect, even after all these years of solid sales at the box office. He talked about how the ratings for his cable sitcom, House Of Payne topped American Idol, Oprah and CSI in Black households.

He talked about how Black filmmakers are consistently able to secure funds after one of his movies come out. Because they do well and Hollywood remembers all over again that Black folks actually do go to the movies.

And of course he talked about his studio.

The brother has his own studio people. How could I not support him?

I drove right up the Parkway to Clifton, New Jersey to catch the first screening of Madea Goes To Jail.

(Who knew that you could see a movie at ten in the morning? For six bucks!)

When I got to the theater, I was surprised to see that there was a small crowd of people gathering to see the film. All Black folks. All women.

And there was a certain electricity in the air. Like we were all going to the same family reunion but hadn’t been introduced yet.

I felt like I’d been missing out all these years by turning my nose up at Madea movies. My people were here, smiling and waving at people they didn’t know because we all had this common connection. A connection I’d missed because I couldn’t be bothered. How dare I!

There was a huge poster of Madea right next to the theater. I watched two women take turns having their photo taken in front of it. I went into my bag to see if I could take a picture of them being all excited about standing next to Madea.

But before I could get my camera out, they were done.

“Oh here baby,” said the moviegoer. “Give me that camera. Go on over there. I’ll take your picture with Madea!”

“Oh no ma’am,” I said. “I was just—”

“Go on now! Hurry up before the movie starts. You gon’ leave that hat on?”

I took my hat off.

“Baby, maybe you should leave the hat on.”

I had my picture taken next to Madea, feeling like an absolute idiot as the moviegoer and her friend beamed at me.

“Perfect!” she said. “Now let’s go. You hear Tyler on Steve Harvey this morning?” the woman asked, as we made our way to the theater.

“I did,” I said.

“I’m coming back tonight with my husband,” she said. “But I wanted to be here for the first show. Cause tonight it’s gonna be so crowded.”

We filed into the theater and I felt good, seeing my people coming into the theater, ready for some laughs.

And then came the woman with a newborn baby in a car seat. Come on.
And then came the woman with the toddler who was already crying before the previews even started. Are you serious?

I started thinking bad thoughts. Stuff like, “see this is why I don’t go see movies like this. No one brought babies to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

I put the bad thoughts aside, tuned out the babies and settled into my seat. I wanted to forget about the recession and the economy. And just be entertained. And I wanted to do it while supporting Tyler Perry. Go Tyler. Make me laugh. Bring on Madea!

I was ready to realize what I had been missing all these years.

I just got back from the movie.

I want my six dollars back. And the money for gas I spent getting to the movie.

This film was just awful.

Who are you people going to see these films? Were the earlier films better? Why didn’t anyone tell me that Madea was a horrible criminal who is mean and awful to her children? I thought Madea was a sweet mother-figure who dispensed sage advice with tough love.

This was not a cohesive film. This was a collection of one-off scenes loosely strung together to make a “plot.”

Rudy Huxtable Keisha Knight-Pulliam plays a hooker. And her weave was so distracting that I had to force myself not to walk out of the theater in disgust.

Not for one second did I buy that Rudy Keisha was a prostitute. Not even a HALF second. And that’s a good thing. Girl, please. You graduated from Spelman. Just as cute as you want to be. You will always be Rudy. And that’s okay. Dark and edgy will not be your domain.

To make matters worse, Rudy’s Keisha’s character was supposed to be a heroin addict living on the streets. But she had the whitest, straightest veneers I have ever seen. Every time she opened her mouth to speak in ghetto vernacular about how she needed a fix, all I could think was, I wonder who her dentist is?

Derek Luke plays an everyman hero with a pencil thin moustache that irked me for the whole ninety minutes. (Sidebar: Love you Derek. Stand up Jersey. But I gotta keep it real.) Derek’s character is engaged to be married to a light-skinned-good-hair type who turns out to be evil. And she’s best friends with a dark-skinned Black girl who is always swiveling her neck and pointing her finger at someone. And there’s a male best friend for comedic relief. And they are all lawyers. In what looks like an all-Black law firm.

This film is overwrought and preachy. And besides Madea, (and a young lady named Vanessa Ferlito), the acting is mind-numbingly bad. While my people in the theater were laughing out loud and saying, “yeah! That’s right Madea!” I was sinking in my seat and groaning.

And then I felt guilty about being embarrassed. I felt less Black for not being able to sit back and laugh with my fellow theatergoers. I felt like the New Negroes Zora Neale Hurston talked about in her autobiography, Dust Tracks On A Road.

My People! My people! From the earliest rocking of my cradle days, I have heard this cry go up from Negro lips. It is forced outward by pity, scorn and hopeless resignation. It is called forth by the observations of one class of Negro on the doings of another branch of the brother in black.

For instance, well-mannered Negroes groan out like that [My people!] when they board a train or a bus and find other Negroes on there with their shoes off, stuffing themselves with fried fish, bananas and peanuts, and throwing the garbage on the floor. Maybe they are not only eating and drinking. The offenders may be “loud talking” the place, and holding back nothing of their private lives, in a voice that embraces the entire coach. The well-dressed Negro shrinks back in his seat at that, shakes his head and sighs, “My people! My people!”

This is exactly what I was muttering to myself as Derek Luke had his Big Acting Moment with Viola Davis. And when Rudy Keisha broke down in tears in her Big Acting Moment. And when the whole movie turned into a morality play once Madea went to jail.

And then, finally, (spoiler alert!) Derek realizes that his light-skinded fiancé  is evil and out to put his friend Rudy Keisha in jail for seventeen years. He finds this out five minutes before he’s supposed to marry his fiance.  And instead of just not showing up at the wedding, he goes to the altar. And when it’s time to recite his vows, he instead tells the whole church that she’s the villain and that she’s horrible.

My people, my people.

I can say something good about this film: Tyler Perry is electrifying as Madea. The character doesn’t make me laugh. But the way he captures who she is a pleasure to watch. I can’t front on that. Tyler Perry IS Madea. And he seems more comfortable in drag than he does on screen as himself.

Which begs another question that I’m not supposed to ask. Are we allowed to talk about the fact that Tyler Perry seems to be a tightly closeted gay man. What? I can’t say that? Oh come on! Why in the holy Luther Vandross are we not talking about this? Sigh. Never mind. Moving on.

I wanted to like this movie. I was ready to write a post about how I’d discovered Madea and loved it! And how I couldn’t wait to rent all the movies I’d missed. And how I was a convert. And I wasn’t going to stick my nose up at Madea anymore.

I can’t say any of these things. This movie stank.

And the next time he puts out a Madea film, I’ll be right there.

Who cares if it’s not up my alley? Who cares if it makes me want to shrink into my seat. I was surrounded by people who were loving every minute of it. They were talking back to the screen when Madea was preaching: “That’s right! You got to forgive!”

And ultimately, Tyler Perry’s success can only mean good things for Black folks in Hollywood.

And there’s another reason why I’ll still support him. Before the movie started, I saw the previews for a movie called Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

Tyler Perry and Oprah are producing this Lee Daniels film. In the five minute preview I saw, Mo’Nique scared the shit out of me. Mariah Carey threw me for a real loop. And this new actress, a young woman named Gabourney Sidibe, broke my heart immediately.

This movie looks like it is frighteningly dark, true and real.

And if me plopping down my six bucks to watch Madea means that maybe Tyler will be that much closer to having more films like Precious made then take my money. I’ll be right in the front, scribbling notes to myself about how the plot points make no sense.

And when it’s over, I’ll even take my picture with Madea.

Dear readers, will you be going to see Madea Goes To Jail this weekend? Have you seen the earlier films? Did you actually enjoy them?

As always, I’d love to hear from you.


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44 Responses to “The Critique: Tyler Perry As Medea”

  1. yes Says:

    I’m no Madea fanatic. It’s basically the chitlin circuit play put on film. I may giggle, but I don’t get the all hoopla over it either. I did like Daddy’s Little Girls and Why Did I Get Married? was cool. Of course Madea wasn’t in those. lol I heard Rudy did well though, but that is funny that u mention her being a prostitute with nice teeth. lol

  2. TallulahBankhead Says:

    I guess i have to see Tyler Perry as the judd apatow of black people

    you know how judd apatow excels at mocking white boy mopey angst and immaturity

    that’s what tyler perry does for people who believe that God/Jesus trumps personal responsibility and choice.

  3. Lynne Says:

    I am going mainly more for support of a black man doing his thing in hollywood then for the actual story and acting in the movie. Tyler’s movies are never amazingly well acted “Janet” anyone, but they do have a strain of familiarity that no other movie can necessarily give me.

  4. Brian G. Says:


    I’m with you on this one, I have tried to watch a few Tyler Perry movies, but was never able to get through a movie. My wife and mom both love him and his movies. I hope this movie is the top grossing movie this weekend because a lot of black films are not given the true respect they deserve.

    Aliya, you are a gifted writer. Keep the Faith was a great read.
    Keep doing what you do!


  5. TallulahBankhead Says:

    And does it make sense to support someone who doesn’t even want to pay fair wages to his writers?

    Just because he’s black is not enough rationale to excuse him for exploiting people who want to support themselves while working at their craft too.

  6. Jennifer M Says:

    Hi, Aliya! I just want to first say that I just love reading your posts! They are always so eye-opening and always make me think, laugh or both!

    In regards to Tyler Perry and the Madea movies….yes I have seen all of them. I have seen a couple of his live plays as well. And I, just like many others, realize that his movies and plays are filled with steretypes and mindless humor but I think that is really part of the draw. It’s the draw because sometimes we just want to laugh. Sometimes we just want to go somewhere with friends and family and just laugh our hearts out. No political talk, no news, no serious issues…we just to want to gather, laugh and have a good time. I honestly don’t think everything we take in everyday has to be so serious and mind-boggling. Yes, we need to stay informed and current on issues that affect us but sometimes it is good for us to just rest and have a good time and I think that is what Tyler Perry brings to the table. I think all the Madea movies and plays are a much needed, temporary distraction from all the world’s current ills. And yes, I will be going to see the movie but not tonight; I will wait for the crowds to die down some.

    Take care!

  7. Heather F. Says:

    Looks like I’m riding upsteam on this one: I love Tyler Perry. He’s putting a lot of Black actors and actresses to work who would not normally be seen outside of BET. And his spat with his sitcom writers aside, he is a savvy business man who has changed the way the movie industry receives Black films. Most of the plays are too bootleg for my tastes but I thought “the family that preys” was great (!) and “why did I get married” was another solid pick. If you haven’t seen his work I would suggest seeing “Preys.” It’s sans madea (who can be overbearing) and features a diverse cast.

  8. Yolonda Says:

    William and Walnut Street…Big-Up EO…lol. Finish reading after I hit the movies and can really comment.

  9. Del Says:

    That picture is hilarious!

    I’m going to check out the film this weekend.

    I think his material is harmless, but it is definitely an acquired taste. As an actor, I love that he keeps most of Black Hollywood working. Let Tyler cast me in something. I’d be the first one on the set: Bright-eyed, bushy tailed, lines learned, moments worked out and ready for my close-up. But I do know tons of black actors who HATE his stuff. (Some have even worked with him! My lips are sealed.) They think his stuff is poorly written and directed, undignified and ghetto. And to some extent, I agree. I saw one his plays at Newark Symphony Hall. The hooping and hollering and folks falling out into the aisle laughing were a bit much. But I respect this man’s gangsta. He realized there is a market out there for this type of stuff and capitalized on it. At the end of the day, isn’t all about selling tickets and packing theaters? And like some of the other folks who commented, I thought Why Did I Get Married was actually pretty good. I could have done without Janet Jackson, but that’s a whole other post. LOL (Ooh Nytba, how about a post on why so many music artist segue into acting, when they shouldn’t. Janet Jackson, Beyonce (I know you love her but the chick couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.)

    As for Perry’s sexuality. That’s a no-brainer. He and a laundry list of other stars are tightly closeted. He goes on vacations with Oprah and Gayle! LOL! Duh! But his sexuality is a nonissue and has no reflection on his talent and business savvy.

    So I say all that to say, YES, I’m going to see the movie. NO, I don’t like all of his work. YES, I feel like his material is hood at times and I feel kind of uppity and out of place when I say I don’t care for the Medea stuff. But I think he is evolving as a mogul. I’m curious to see if I’ll like Medea Goes to Jail, but I’m even more excited to see the preview of Precious. Maybe that is a glimpse into the future of The Tyler Perry to come…

  10. Elise Says:

    dude! i looooove your commentaries! I actually HEAR you speaking when you write. I love that. I actually am not mad at Tyler Perry, his accomplishments nor how he goes about doing his business. Yes – in every movie, he does resort to some obligatory over-the-top scenes that obviously cater to his core chitlin circuit crowd. But for the most part, I liked “Diary of…..” and “Why did I get married….” I especially like the SHOCK AND CONFUSION that registers throughout Hollywood on Monday when they see these movies come in #1. Nah – this aint deep inspiring content like my girl Zora Neal Hurston ( my fave author), but the truth is, some people are LIVING deep sh*t (drugs, prostitution, jail) every day and they want something they can relate to and enjoy. Laughter through pain is good mede(a)cine. ;-)

  11. mike schreiber Says:

    i always thought he was just annoying for refusing to come out of the closet.

  12. Herndon Davis Says:

    I saw an advance screening of the movie. Although slightly more serious, its still very funny.

    Keisha Knight Pulliam portrays “Candace”

    David Mann portrays “Mr. Brown”

    Derek Luke portrays “Joshua”

    Madea Goes to Jail Movie Review

  13. Big Hass Says:

    Whatup Aliyah,

    I cant say that I agree with all of the hate mail on Tyler Perry. Not only has his career been lucrative but he’s told stories which have made millions laugh, cry and re-examine their lives.

    His first play was based on a real life story about the abuse he suffered, physical, mental and sexual. And yes, it flopped. In spite of that, he continued to tell his story, which ultimately helped others dealing with the same issues.( It helped them through music, laughter, and artistry. A complete independent production!

    Those who know his career know that Perry took on the role of Madea when a cast member became a “no-show.” So it wasnt his intention.

    People let’s respect this man’s legacy. Who else has created a place called Black Hollywood? Where black writers, actors, stagecrafts, and black janitors can get employment in this economy! Let’s be real!

    I have yet to see the movie so I am not commenting on that but I am merely saying that you gotta respect his art. Those same people on William and Walnut have stories as well. They’ve just got caught up and yes it’s sad but there’s beauty in the stories of those who rise above!

    WOW! Speechless! Hi Hater’s

  14. tlawrites Says:

    When I saw the heading of this post, which I happened to be reading on my phone while sitting in a room full of teenagers watching “A Family That Prays” I huffed under my breath. In the good way. I was so happy that someone like the good Aliya could put into words what I have always felt about my boy Tyler Perry.

    I can remember back in the day I had a boyfriend who “treated” me to a performance at Symphony Hall of Beauty Shop. He thought I was being high post (old school!) because I wasn’t laughing hysterically at all the foolishness I saw on that stage. Why didn’t laugh? It just wasn’t funny to me.

    My mother scrimped and saved when I was a child growing up in East Orange and Newark to take me to NY every year to see good theater. I saw Denzel when he played Malcom the first time. I saw the original Mama I Want to Sing. I saw Stephanie Mills in The Wiz. Shoot, I even saw Sandy Duncan fly out over an audience playing Peter Pan. I knew what acting was, and Beauty Shop wasn’t it. But I digress.

    I admire the hustle Mr. Perry (you know he has to be called Mr. Perry right?) has put into making his dreams of entertaining black people without cussing, fussing, and shooting up the big screen. Good black family films are few and far between. But what about those of use who want to be entertained with intelligent humor? Some of us don’t need the subliminal “MESSAGE” interjected in our movie watching. Everyone isn’t going to buy clean cut Rudy playing a ho. We just aren’t. Crackhead Halle Berry in Jungle Fever she just ain’t. Not yet anyway.

    Don’t get me wrong. I can zone out on silly movie every once in a while. But a man playing a woman in a dress getting all sassy with her family and doling out old school wisdom isn’t going to cut it for me. Sprinkling Maya and Cicely just isn’t enough either. Perry has become formulaic. Problems, secrets, foolishness, and a neat tidy ending just doesn’t do it for me.

    I repeat–I support the drive, vision, and opportunities that TP has created for black actors in the land of LA LA and Atlanta. I really do. I love supporting my people. But I would love for TP to give me a film (uh, Love Jones anybody?) with some real life situations and opportunity to see my people REALLY flex their acting muscles with some real life situations and I’m there. I’d even help write the script. Maybe even spring for popcorn.

    That’s just my two cents.

    Aliya, keep doing what you do. I’m loving it.

  15. Aliya S. King Says:

    @big hass: the movie is not. good. Full stop.

  16. Big Hass Says:

    Wow’s that’s terrible! I gotta check it and give you some feedback.

  17. Carolyn Says:

    Hey, girl:

    My first time joining in, let me say that I thoroughly enjoy your opinions and am PROUD OF YOU.

    I am continually disappointed with TP’s lack of full character development in his work. I’m NOT MAD at him: brother works hard (regardless of secret sexual orientation–you CRACK ME UP above with that!!) and his rags-to-riches story is inspiring. I give him his props. As others say above, there is indeed an audience for Madea and most of this type of stuff. I’m a little sad because for the most part it’s shallow, predictable, and quite ghetto.

    Look, I’ve not seen the corner of Walnut and Wms in a minute, but I REMEMBER. I’m not above it, but would really appreciate more TP work like “The Family That Preys” and “Daddy’s Little Girls” (the first TP production I actually liked.) I agree, Madea can be a bit much. I won’t lie, I’ve seen them all (with the exception of this latest) , and get some laughs out of them. But even House of Payne, my GOD, come on???

  18. Hanif Says:

    I think you made a mistake by going to see this movie with “expectations” that’s not the type of movie Tyler Perry does.

    And from the sound of it it’s chocked full of all the cheesy crap that makes me and the Mrs. Hire a babysitter so we could enjoy it on opening night.

    I think the god-fearing black people stereotyped films are as much a part of our culture as the blaxploitation films of the 60’s and 70’s. The positive is that one of us is making money from it. And every time one of his movies hits the box office, the critics try and kill it and it always ends up on top.

    This is one of those instances where you should call your mom and say “Tyler Perry’s movies is number 1.” (Like when you saw the black women on jeopardy).

    As for the Madea bit, It’s no coincidence. After Dave Chappelle came back from his sabbatical, he pointed out that almost every top black comedian who crossed-over dressed up like a woman in their biggest box office draw. I think it’s more of Hollywood emasculating the black male comedian than it is mocking women.

    Sometimes I feel like a “New Negro” too. But I think the whole feel of filling the movies up and it’s us in the seats and on the screen. The whole atmosphere has me kicking my shoes off, stuffing my face with greasy fish, peanuts and bananas (that I snuck in the theater) and enjoying a good time with “My People”.

  19. Wendy Says:

    Aliya- I so relate! I thought I would never see a TP movie: Too chitlin’ circuit, too “Parkers,” too low brow, backwards and filled with every oppressive stereotype we deconstructed in college.

    Then one jet-lagged night at a hotel I watched the first one and I got it. I understand the visceral appeal of TP’s movies first hand. Yes, the movies are simplistic (right is right and wrong is wrong), one-dimensional (character development is a non-issue), slap-stick (the story lines are predictable melodramas), unsophisticated affairs.. but the movies always end in blinding youcantmissit messages of hope. The good and righteous are rewarded; the bad guys never win or are redeemed; evil never triumphs; and the guy always gets the girl. His movies are like comfort food- empty and filling at the same time… at least the earlier ones were.

    Love your blog!

  20. la negrita Says:

    I am not going to see this film for the simple fact that while in college, my friends next door watched the play faithfully every. single. night. I kid you not. The first few times we all key key’d, but after that it was maddening. And I couldn’t tell them to stop watching it because it was their room. They could do whatever they wanted within those four walls. I think if I go see the movie I’ll have horrible flashbacks. But I know where those girls will be this weekend!

  21. AMD Says:

    great post. i thought i was the only black woman who’d never seen a tyler perry movie. for all your same reasons and then some.

    tonight i chose to support another black film that opened this weekend in la. ‘medicine for melancholy’ by a new black director named barry jenkins. a drama. character study. gorgeously photographed in desaturated black and white. it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a brother in a dress.

    i’m not mad at madea. but i just wish we’d broaden our view of black film these days. there’s more than the annual studio period piece about some ‘first’ in black history. more than the black hero biopic. more than the madea comedies and cheap knock-offs of perry’s formula.

    black contemporary lives on celluloid is what i crave. i want love jones, and love & basketball. hell i want boomerang! i just want variety. not 10 more madeas. please.

    oh – and i saw push (now ‘precious’) at sundance. its jawdropping. at least we have one thing to look forward to.

  22. Alexandra Marshall Says:

    aliya, i have never seen a tyler perry film. (this will probably not surprise you.) they always sounded hackneyed and awful. i’m commenting only to say YOU LOOK REALLY CUTE IN THAT HAT.

  23. Yolonda Says:

    The movie was HORRIBLE!!! Tyler missed it on all fronts with this movie, however, this reminds of why I NEVER watched those boot-legged scrapy copies of the plays that we got at the beauty palor. Like you, I hated Madea until she started showing up on the big screen. What I didn’t realize until last night was that all the other movies that I remember seeing Madea in had well written plots and much better acting…eventhough they had lesser know actors. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tyler Perry movies and his angle on them but this one here was OFF (don’t we all get one of those types of hiccups once in a while?!?). I will support more of the films that are like “The family the preys” and the other one with Sanaii Latham in it (can’t remember the movie title).

    PS. Glad you liked the “Precious” preview cause I surely missed what it was all about.

  24. Chad James Says:

    Hey Aliya!! mmm….mmm…. (remember that?) Anyway, I saw the Madea movie last night and I wish I would have read your review before I wasted my money. Two words to describe it “IT SUCKED!!!” Sorry to be so harsh but it was bad.

    I echo all the thoughts you expressed in your blog. I know Tyler Perry can make a better movie than that, IE “Why did I get married”. I will still support his movies but I will support them from the comfort of my home with DVD rentals.


  25. K Dubb Says:

    I doubt I’ll be able to catch it this weekend, so I’ll reserve my review, but I’ve enjoyed some of TP’s plays and movies in the past simply because I’m not going in with major expectations… I know one thing Madea is funny (IMO) and with all the drama in this world, I don’t need something else to trip over… It’s a character and when I need a laugh, I get one… BTW, great pic Aliya!

  26. Katura Says:

    “Why in the holy Luther Vandross are we not talking about this?”


    I’ve never seen a Madea movie either. They just seemed too slapstick, heavy-handed and stereotypical to me. I did see “Why Did I Get Married,” and that had a good plot and interesting characters (though I did not like Janet Jackson’s acting.) But it seems that all of us agree that Tyler Perry’s resilience, hustle, community-minded approach to business, etc., are to be respected and supported. And that’s what’s important–though I suppose box office receipts need to follow in order to keep all these people employed. Anyway…

    Important question: Aliya, where did you go where a matinee was $6? The lowest I ever paid was 8 and change.

  27. la negrita Says:

    @Katura, the very first showing of the day is the cheapest (Aliya, I didn’t know this either until one happy Christmas morn’!). They know most folk ain’t gonna get up that early to see a movie. It costs $5 ’round my way. Best thing ever!

  28. lucky Says:

    I feel you on the New Negro mentality and now I have to go get that book!

    I think Tyler Perry is hit or miss. for the most part, his movies are a bit too preachy and religious for me, although that’s good if you like that type of thing. But Why Did I Get Married was hilarious and not stereotypical–Jill Scott was AMAZING. And Diary of a Mad Black Woman, I just think every black woman should see that movie. very powerful. Other than that, I think Tyler Perry caters to a group of Black people that maybe sometimes us “northerners” take for granted. there’s a really huge niche that loves his films and likes that there’s something out there for them and I can’t be mad at that.

    however, “House of Payne” might be the worse black sitcom in history lol. yet it won an Image award. go figure

  29. 6 Things I Learned This Week « Aliya S. King Says:

    […] Aliya S. King Consider me a content provider. I write. You read. No pressure. Come as you please. I’m here. « The Critique: Tyler Perry As Medea […]

  30. Ms 20 Somn Says:

    I have actually enjoyed Tyler Perry movies, but I think I enjoy the ones where Madea isn’t present/merely a small fixture alot more.

    Diary of a Mad Black Woman
    Why Did I Get Married
    Daddy’s Little Girls
    Meet The Browns

    I really enjoyed those, Madea’s Family reunion not so much…and I’m yet to see Madea Goes to Jail.

  31. jackieholness Says:

    Hi Aliya,

    I’m new to your blog, but I am really enjoying your posts. Check out my blog and tell me what you think…

    so intros aside, I’m feeling what you’re feelin’ but I still want to support for the reasons you’ve mentioned and others…

    anyway, check out “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” It’s no masterpiece, but it was very entertaining…

  32. jackieholness Says:

    my blog is or


  33. jay1 Says:

    i’m baffled by tyler perry’s success. i’m happy for him i guess, what with having the studio and all that, which is great, but those movies suck.

  34. Jennife Says:

    I saw the movie on Friday at the first showing in Media, PA (right outside of Philly). The place was packed for an early afternoon of silliness. I think Madea is funny as hell but I don’t like all of Tyler Perry’s work either. Daddy’s Little girls sucked to high heaven and I wasn’t feeling Why did we get married either but I did see both in the movies. I do agree that it was a great escape just for a laugh. Rudy will always be Rudy no matter how grown she is with her pearly white teeth. I’ve watched hookers at the point on HBO and half them chicks didn’t have a tooth hanging in their head let alone a pearly white one. That’s all I’m saying.

    We all know what side of the fence Mr. Perry plays for and I’m sure he’ll make someone a great mate no matter whom that person may be. It is what it is. I just wish, they would spread the wealth over this way.

  35. Jennifer Says:

    I saw the movie on Friday at the first showing in Media, PA (right outside of Philly). The place was packed for an early afternoon of silliness. I think Madea is funny as hell but I don’t like all of Tyler Perry’s work either. Daddy’s Little girls sucked to high heaven and I wasn’t feeling Why did we get married either but I did see both in the movies. I do agree that it was a great escape just for a laugh. Rudy will always be Rudy no matter how grown she is with her pearly white teeth. I’ve watched hookers at the point on HBO and half them chicks didn’t have a tooth hanging in their head let alone a pearly white one. That’s all I’m saying.

    We all know what side of the fence Mr. Perry plays for and I’m sure he’ll make someone a great mate no matter whom that person may be. It is what it is. I just wish, they would spread the wealth over this way.

  36. Michael Says:


    I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Tyler for the longest. Loved Why Did I Get Married (no Madea) but hated this film. Love what he’s doing for black film but wishes the scripts were better written and more subtle.
    I won’t front. I did laugh, though.


  37. deannemarie Says:

    okay, you had my laughing so hard I’m surprised my girls didn’t come out here instead of going to sleep. I understand, on so many levels, I understand. but I have to say that you are better than me because I can’t even imagine spending the six.

    I was hoping to read a wonderful review that would somehow change my perception of Madea. . .

    and no, I don’t think that you’re wrong for asking the question or stopping to ponder why Tyler Perry seems more comfortable as Madea than he does himself. even when he’s just playing a man it seems like Madea is waiting to jump out of him, and that bugs me too.

  38. Aliya S. King Says:

    @deannemarie: yes!! when he’s playing a straight man, (ahem), I ONLY see Madea.

  39. John Threat Says:

    Tyler Perry is sort of the Master P of movies – except since he won’t inflict us with any undersized agented progeny since he isn’t a breeder. He has created an empire that will be with us for quite a while.

    Kudos to him to have the impetus to do this however. I’m impressed even though I won’t be seeing any movies emasculating men. My moms says Flip Wilson made and destroyed his career from Geraldine.

    Very funny piece King!

  40. Aliya S. King Says:

    @john: thanks! do you really think Geraldine killed Flip’s career? I only remember the show vaguely. Did it become all Geraldine all the time?

  41. Jovi Says:

    Not a Madea fan but love Tyler Perry and what he is doing for Black Hollywood. I have not seen the movie and probably will not but will be willing to send my matinee money to him. If I go I will have to purchase a soda, popcorn and candy, that’s about 25 bucks.

    I did see Why Did I Get Married and loved it. Could picture some of my friends as the stars in the film.

  42. Aunt Janna Says:

    First of all, I’m sorry but I do not want to watch a man in drag playing a woman, whether it’s Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence (with a mustache!) or RuPaul!!! Second of all, I loved Diary, but that was because of Kimberly Elise, who is a phenomenal actress (anyone see her in Girlfriends when she played a young woman with AIDS?). Third, I don’t want to see a man in drag playing, oh sorry, I already said that.

  43. miguel Says:

    that movie was so hilarious i laughed till i started to cry it was that funny.
    i think tyler perry is the most funniest actor in the world.

    P.S. please,please,please just keep on making movies like that but even funnier.

  44. A-O Says:

    I know this post is old and I’m mad late…but I love your blog..I am at my desk cracking up @ “Why in the holy Luther Vandross are we not talking about this?”. You are hilarious!! I feel the same about Tyler Perry movies havent really liked one yet.

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