Saturday, March 07, 2009
Tyler Perry's film lacks Madea. She's not needed especially since there is very little humor in this serious film.
Selfish behavior and greed ooze out of the grown children's pores. The rich Cartwright family boasts of one tough mother (Kathy Bates) and one seedy son. The poorer Pratt family is a spicy and sweet mother (Alfre Woodard), a diner owner and neighborhood Mother Theresa, with two daughters who needed more spankings as children, or at least timeouts. The less obnoxious of the two daughters, Pam, is bitter. Andrea is all out selfish and disrespectful of all including her marriage, husband, mother, sister and anyone who crosses her path. Tyler Perry plays a common sense and kind character who is an asset to the families.
The mothers, nearly lifelong friends, are the bright spot in the film. A few pleasant surprises and some unpleasant ones make for a satisfying end, not necessarily happy, but satisfying. Good acting and honest consequences make the movie a good conversation starter for older teens. Drama and materialism isn't necessarily the secret of a successful life. A good think piece for adults as well. The PG-13 rating is appropriate.