June 3, 2019  (Web Review)

A Madea Family Funeral

Lionsgate, 109 min., PG-13, DVD: $29.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $39.99, June 4

Reviewer rating: 2.0/4

Writer-director-actor Tyler Perry has previously made 11 feature films that revolve around the sharp-tongued matriarch Mabel “Madea” Simmons. His latest opens as family members in Georgia are planning a 40th anniversary party for their parents, Vianne (Jen Harper) and Anthony (Derek Morgan). When Madea (Perry), Uncle Joe (Perry), Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), and Hattie (Patrice Lovely)—who have been driven to the festivities by Joe’s attorney son Brian (Perry)—arrive at their Atlanta hotel, they learn that Anthony has suffered a fatal heart attack while having an adulterous S&M-tinged affair with his wife’s best friend (Quin Walters). Cue the extended ribald joke about Viagra and why the lid of Anthony’s coffin will not stay shut during the ensuing, lengthy Baptist funeral, which is complete with a full gospel choir. Observing the multitude of women who appear at the service, Madea asks, “If you knew the deceased, raise your hand.” They all do. She then adds, “If you knew the deceased in the biblical sense, raise your hands,” and all comply again. So, does Anthony’s wife know all the sordid details of her husband’s demise? And what’s this about their older son A.J. (Courtney Burrell) shacking up with his younger brother’s fiancée (Aeriél Miranda)? Perry also adds a new face to his multitude of eccentric characters: Madea’s lecherous amputee Vietnam War veteran cousin Heathrow, a throat-cancer survivor who speaks through an electronic larynx. As usual, slapstick reigns supreme, peppered with sentiment, stilted melodrama, and social commentary. Optional. (S. Granger)