Madea Goes to Jail

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Madea Goes to Jail
Madea goes to jail-1-1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tyler Perry
Produced by Tyler Perry
Reuben Cannon
Written by Tyler Perry
Starring Tyler Perry
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Derek Luke
Robin Coleman
Jackson Walker
Viola Davis
David Mann
Tamela J. Mann
Vanessa Ferlito
Sofía Vergara
Bobbi Baker
Music by Aaron Zigman
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Edited by Maysie Hoy
Production
company
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • February 20, 2009 (2009-02-20)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17.5 million[1]
Box office $90,508,336[2]

Madea Goes to Jail is a 2009 parodic comedy-drama film written and directed by Tyler Perry, which was based on his 2006 play. The play and the film deal with Perry's recurring character Madea going to prison for her uncontrollable anger management problems. The play starred Tyler Perry as Madea, Cassi Davis as Ella Kincaid and Cheryl Pepsii Riley as Wanda.

Plot[edit]

After a high-speed freeway police chase (seen in Meet the Browns) results in Mabel "Madea" Simmons (Tyler Perry) arrest, she is placed in an anger management course. Riding home with her daughter Cora (Tamela Mann), another cuts ahead of them. After both of vehicles cross the intersection, Madea smashes her daughter's car into the car ahead, causing it to deviate sharply to the right into a church. Returning home from court, Madea finds a party taking place in her house hosted by her brother, Joe Simmons (Tyler Perry). Madea, who is not amused by the festivities, uses a machine gun to scare the party goers away.

Madea consults with Dr. Phil McGraw for anger management, but does not cooperate with McGraw. Returning home, Madea, needing to buy groceries, calls Cora to talk about sitting in her beauty salon, but Cora declines, angering Madea. Joe predicts that Madea will get into trouble if she goes to the store. Madea ignores him and goes anyway, driving in her car. At Kmart, Madea commandeers a forklift truck to remove another car out of a parking space Madea wants, and ruins the other car in the process. Madea is arrested and brought to court again, where Judge Greg Mathis sentences her to prison for five to ten years.

Meanwhile, assistant district attorney Joshua Hardaway (Derek Luke) is on the fast track to career success, but is given personal to handle: prosecuting a young prostitute and drug addict, Candace "Candy" Washington (Keshia Knight Pulliam), with whom he is already acquainted. Josh asks his fiancée and fellow ADA Linda Davis (Ion Overman) to fill in on his behalf, but when Josh takes Candy out to eat and gives her his business card in order for him to contact him for future assistance, Linda fears Josh may be cheating on her. Linda threatens to leave Josh, telling him that he should only socialize with a higher class of people.

Just before Madea's trial, Ellen (Viola Davis) asks Josh how he knows Candace. He tells Ellen that they were close friends from childhood through college, until one night when he took her to a party. He ended up going on a date and leaving Candace behind at the party, where a group of his friends gang raped her in his absence, for which Josh continues to harbor deep-seated guilt. After Josh asks Ellen to help Candace, Ellen gets her a job interview, but it results in sexual harassment by the interviewer, whom Candace kicks in the groin before storming out.

At the district attorney's office, Josh's best friend, Chuck (RonReaco Lee), runs into Linda, whom he discovers is falsifying Candace's file to deliberately get her sent to prison and away from Josh, a practice in which she has been engaged with other defendants as well, including Madea and Candace's friend Donna. Linda tells him to keep his mouth shut or she'll tell the head A.D.A. that Chuck cheated on his bar exam to get his job. Candace returns to prostitution, until she is arrested by an undercover policeman.

When Candace ends up in prison, she discovers that Donna (Vanessa Ferlito) and Madea are there as well. Madea is shocked meets her cellmate, a serial killer named T.T. (Sofía Vergara), who is serving time for murdering 18 men.

While in prison, Madea befriends Candace, whom and comes to her defense when she is sexually harassed by Big Sal (Robin Coleman). Candace, Madea, T.T., and Donna attend a class taught by Ellen at the prison, in order to have time reduced from their sentences. During a lesson about forgiveness, Madea notices that some of the inmates would rather play victim instead of take the blame for their crimes. She tells the class they need to stop seeing themselves as victims and forgive those who lead them on the paths they were on, as they weren't the ones who ended up in jail. Candace is moved by her words, and during a visit with Josh, Candace admits that back when she was raped at the party he took her to, she called his name repeatedly as the attack happened, but he never came for her. Candace held on to that anger for so long, she forgot how to move on. But with everything she learned from Ellen and Madea, Candace finally decides to forgive Josh and pick up the pieces of her life.

On Josh's wedding day, Chuck, serving as best man, tells him that Linda falsified Candace's file to get her sent to prison and away from him. During the wedding ceremony, Josh tells the entire congregation including his and Linda’s boss, what Linda had done, and leaves her at the altar. Josh then rushes to the prison where he admits to Candace that he loves her and the two kiss. Because of the now-revealed news of Linda's tampering with client files, there is a public outcry and a protest movement gains momentum to set Madea, Candace, and the others free. Candace, Madea, and some other women that Linda prosecuted, have their convictions overturned and are released, and Linda will be forced go to prison for her crimes.

Cast[edit]

Cameos[edit]

Release[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 30% based on 50 reviews, with an average score of 4.9/10. The consensus says, "Divided between sincere melodrama and populist comedy, Madea Goes to Jail fails to provide enough laughs -- or screen time -- for its titular heroine."[3] Another review aggretator, Metacritic, gives the film a score of 50%, based on 13 reviews.[4]

Sam Adams of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 2.5/4 stars and wrote that "if the movie is a mess, it's a purposeful mess, cannily, if not artfully, pushing all the right buttons to ensure Perry will be back for another round."[5]

According to a New York Times review,[6] the film gives Madea herself a much more central role than some of the previous Madea movies, in some of which she is merely a commentator on events.

The Boston Globe reported that "(Madea's) character epitomizes Perry's ongoing commitment to dramatizing as many rungs on the ladder of the black experience as he can. His aim never produces a completely satisfying or consistently competent-looking movie (his heart's in the right place, if not his camerawork)."[7]

Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, the film opened at #1, and grossed $41,030,947 (2,032 theaters, $20,192 average), the biggest Friday to Sunday take since Twilight in November 2008. It broke Madea's Family Reunion weekend gross at $30 million as the highest weekend gross for a Tyler Perry film. It broke Saw III '​s record at $33 million for the highest weekend gross for Lionsgate Entertainment. "We were cautiously optimistic we could do 30-plus," Steve Rothenberg said.[8] On its second weekend, it dropped 61 percent, but remained at #1 grossing another $16,175,926 (2,052 theaters, $7,883 average), bringing the 10-day gross to $64,525,548.[9] The film closed on April 23, 2009 with a final domestic gross of $90,508,336.[2]

Home media[edit]

An exclusive preview was included on the cinematic release of Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys.[citation needed]

Madea Goes to Jail was released on June 16, 2009 on DVD. According to DVDTown, the DVD included six behind-the-scenes featurettes. As of July 12, 2009, 1,125,422 DVD units have been sold, gathering revenue of $18,223,621.[10] A Blu-ray version was released on November 23, 2010.

References[edit]

External links[edit]