Sunday, April 10, 2011

The five most WTF moments from Tyler Perry's films

Posted By on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM

DID I MENTION IM EVIL? Hope Olaide Wilson and Brian White
  • Credit:Quantrell Colbert/Lionsgate
  • DID I MENTION I'M EVIL? Hope Olaide Wilson and Brian White
The flip side of the frequently impressive performances in Tyler Perry films and videos is a tendency to push the audience's buttons in the name of melodrama. Sometimes Perry's attempts at manipulation memorably misfire. Here are the five least forgettable or explicable scenes from his films (and one play on video). Some of these may qualify as spoilers:

1. Madea's Family Reunion: The big wedding at the end has allegedly a “Springtime in Paris” theme that features an all-white color scheme and attendants dressed as white, feathery-winged angels hanging from the ceiling. It looks more like “Springtime in Heaven.” On the DVD commentary, Perry acknowledges that some viewers found it "the gaudiest thing they'd ever seen."

2. I Can Do Bad All By Myself: Perry's films regularly include despicable villains, but none might be so thoroughly awful as Taraji P. Henson's boyfriend here (Brian White), who attempts to rape the heroine's teenage daughter while she's trying to get her ailing younger brother an insulin injection. He's so bad, he's probably strangling baby kittens whenever he's off-screen.

3. Why Did I Get Married Too? This takes a little set up. By trying to show the damage that divorce can wreak, Perry shows a soft-spoken, civilized professional couple (Janet Jackson and Malik Yoba) go insane, with violent outbursts and sexual threats that come apparently out of nowhere. This culminates when Jackson, a successful psychology professor outraged that her husband wants a share of the profits from her books, shows up at his architecture film and presents him with a giant birthday cake. After a male stripper bursts out, accompanied by “It’s Raining Men,” Jackson says “You wanna be a bitch, here’s your man!” The husband flees the office as she yells "Run like the little bitch you are!" until he fatally wrecks his car.

4. For Colored Girls. The use of the original play's poetic monologues isn't even the oddest detail here. When Nyla (Tessa Thompson) seeks out a black-market abortionist (Macy Gray), she makes her way down a brightly-lit street full of so many clichéd, vice-ridden figures — including a crazy homeless person going "Heh-heh-heh!" — it may as well be Harry Potter's Knockturn Alley.

5. Madea's Big Happy Family. On the video of the stage play, Act One comes to its big finale when Chandra Currelly's character succumbs to cancer, then comes out amid fog effects to sing a farewell musical number. Currelly's solo is totally awesome, but the weird part comes at the end: on projected video, Currelly's character sprouts angel wings and flies up to a heaven of shiny clouds.

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