“A Madea Family Funeral”
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2019
MPAA RATING: PG-13 (for crude sexual content, language, and drug references throughout)

Somehow it is appropriate that following the attention paid to many stellar motion pictures feted at the 91st Academy Awards, later that week resulted in the release of Tyler Perry’s latest movie endeavor, “A Medea Family Funeral.” The film is a cinematic palette cleanser that is about as far away from award-worthy as one can possibly get.

That’s not to say that the film is totally without merit. There is some entertainment value here, to be sure, as evidenced by its relative early box office success. I found myself laughing aloud for about the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film, then the only sounds emanating from me were those of yawns and sighs.

Perry wrote, produced, and directed the film in which he appears as several characters, including that of the title’s own Madea, a character Perry first created for theatre in the late 1990s and who made the jump to film in 2005.

While some of this movie is fun, it quickly gets bogged-down due to a cacophonous script, interminably lengthy scenes, poor pacing, and unnecessarily crude humor. One bright spot is a serious monologue delivered by the character Vianne (Jen Harper), a widow who reaches a breaking point and verbally unloads on her dysfunctional family near the end of the film.

During the showing I attended, no fewer than three couples never saw the end of the film since they walked out of the theatre about half-way in.

Perry has spent some 15 years bringing his Madea character to the big screen and claims that this offering is Madea’s farewell film performance. One can only hope.

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