When a new Tyler Perry movie is coming out, it is not a matter of who will see it in the black community-it is a matter of when. Black people support black business, especially in places where there aren’t many blacks present, like the movies. It is exciting and refreshing to see an all-black cast in the white-dominated world of Hollywood. Unfortunately, if you have seen one Tyler Perry film or play, you’ve seen them all.
There is the abused woman who is in search of her prince charming and the prince charming who comes in on his white horse, or maybe a bus. Someone is probably on drugs or selling them. Dash in a little bit of Madea’s humor if she’s in the film, a familiar black actor, sprinkle some gospel music, get to a happy ending from a depressing beginning and you have got a pot of Tyler Perry’s famous gumbo.
According to Yahoo Finance, “Perry has released nine films theatrically through Lionsgate since Diary of a Mad Black Woman in February 2005, and they have collectively grossed nearly $481 million at the North American box office.”
So why are Tyler Perry’s movies so successful? It could be the familiarity; the faces are recognizable because he doesn’t often venture off for a completely new cast. Maybe it is the predictability. The audience can predict what the outcome of the film will be without having seen the plays just by watching the trailer and with movie tickets being so expensive nowadays it is nice to know what you’re going to get before you spend $10 on a ticket. Or maybe the world just cannot get enough of the humor. Just like everything else, you are guaranteed at least one good, stomach clenching, knee slapping, obnoxiously loud laugh. Some just cannot get enough of that gumbo. If it is any of the reasons mentioned above, it is time Perry’s fans up their standards.
Regardless of the financial success of Perry’s films, the ratings he receives are still low.According to Rotten Tomatoes, all of Perry’s films have received a rating of below 50 percent with the exception of A Family That Preys, which received a rating of 51 percent, and I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which received a rating of 60 percent. People can call the critics racist all day, but the fact still remains: Perry’s films are really not that good. With the over-the-top acting, script predictability and sometimes not so funny humor, an Academy Award nomination is not in the near future.
With For Colored Girls coming out on Nov. 5, one can only hope that it will be better than his previous work. The fact that it is a film adaptation of a popular play that is not written by him gives the world a little hope; but there is no telling. Madea might pop out of nowhere and everyone will give Perry those cheap laughs that the world seems to love.