‘Madea’ addresses black social issues, gets two thumbs up

People came to see “Madea’s Family Reunion” as if they were going to their very own. Black families crowded the 11:15 p.m. showing dressed alike, with babies and young children and with Pizza Hut pizza.

They had good reason to be this excited because Tyler Perry, writer and producer of the film, had so much in store for the audience.

The movie is set in Atlanta and opens with a peek into Lisa’s life. Lisa is engaged to a very wealthy investment banker and lives in one of the premiere penthouse suites with her fiancé. She went to the best schools, always wore designer clothes and is very cultured. We are also introduced to her sister, Vanessa, who is an unwed mother of two, lives with Madea and Uncle Joe, played by Perry, and has a secret that causes her a massive amount of pain and emotional stress daily.

We also meet Madea in no place other than the courtroom. Her nephew Brian, also played by Perry, acts as her attorney in front of Judge Maybelline Eathrum. Instead of going to jail, her punishment is to become a foster mother to a disrespectful girl in her early teens who is tormented by her peers.

There is no challenge too great for Madea. With her “big disciplinarian” tactics, she gets the girl back into school, makes her very respectful and polite and shows her what family is all about.

All families have secrets and problems and this one is not exempt. Although Lisa lives the life people only dream of her fiancé, Carlos, beats her daily.

Their mother, Victoria, has alienated herself from the other side of the family (Madea’s side). She lives her life for money and through her daughter Lisa. She tries to keep the sisters apart in hope that Lisa will listen to her. What Lisa comes to find is not only a revelation, but also exposes family secrets to the audience.

The pain Vanessa caries with her is the result of her mother allowing her stepfather to rape her as a child. Her mother allowed this to persist because if she did not agree, he was going to leave her and take his money with him. In addition, Victoria only wants Lisa to marry Carlos so she can reap the benefits of his wealth. Lisa’s trust fun, which Victoria has been using to get by since her husband’s death, is about to run out.

Meanwhile, Vanessa finds love in a caring, Christian and handsome bus driver, Frankie (Boris Kodjoe) who wants nothing more than to love Vanessa and her children.

This movie was truly a feel good movie. Not only did I laugh and cry, but also I was also socially moved.

Cicely Tyson urged young men to take their place in life because the sons and daughters need them right now. She reminded women that they were made of more than their thighs and hips.

Madea left us with a few things to remember: “It ain’t where you came from, it’s where you goin’,” It ain’t what people call you it’s what you answer to” and “Don’t bring your baby to the movie!”

I give the movie two thumbs up for everything. My only recommendation would be to improve the movie’s soundtrack.

Contact Tenikca Morning at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com