Madea Goes to Jail
|Madea Goes to Jail|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tyler Perry|
|Produced by||Tyler Perry
|Written by||Tyler Perry|
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Tamela J. Mann
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Maysie Hoy|
|Tyler Perry Studios|
|Running time||103 minutes|
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.
After a high-speed freeway police chase puts Mabel "Madea" Simmons (Tyler Perry) in front of Judge Mablean, her trial is short-lived because the police officers did not mirandize Madea, causing the judge to place Madea in an anger management course. The police chase, that Madea was involved in, was seen in the 2008 movie, called, Meet the Browns. After the trial, Brian (Tyler Perry) drives Madea, Mr. Brown (David Mann), and Madea's daughter Cora (Tamela Mann) back home from the court. After returning home, Madea finds a party taking place in her house hosted by her brother, Joe Simmons (Tyler Perry). Madea, who couldn't cope with the party goers and the loud music inside and around her house, uses a machine gun to scare the party goers away. In the car, Cora, who is driving, told Madea about her anger management resolutions. During the middle of the conversation, a Cadillac CTS cuts ahead of them. After both of vehicles cross the intersection, Madea smashes her daughter's Chevrolet Uplander into the car ahead, causing it to deviate sharply to the right into a church site. At Dr. Phil's office, Madea consults with Dr. Phil for anger management course, but the consultation came to a bad ending when Madea answered a question with the same question he asked. After returning home from her anger management counseling, Madea, needing to buy some food, calls Cora to talk about sitting in the beauty salon for over 5 hours (as Joe implied that Madea had neglected Cora that she left Madea to "starve to death one day"). While she is on the phone with Cora, Cora asks for some time with herself, causing Madea to get angrier than before. After Madea hangs up the phone, Joe predicts that she will get into trouble if she goes to the store. Madea ignores him and goes anyway, driving in her car. At the Kmart store, Madea uses the forklift truck to remove a red Pontiac Solstice out of a parking space, the space that Madea wanted, and ruin the red car by flipping over up-side-down. While the woman calls her husband, who is a police officer, and tells him exactly what Madea had done to her car, Madea escapes from the scene. Afterwards, Madea gets arrested by the SWAT team, like what Joe predicted before she left for the Kmart store. The next day, Madea goes to the court again, where Judge Greg Mathis sentences her to prison for 5 to 10 years for such dangerous behaviors.
Meanwhile, assistant district attorney Joshua Hardaway (Derek Luke) is on the fast track to career success. But, Joshua lands a case too personal to handle: prosecuting a young prostitute and drug addict, Candace "Candy" Washington (Keshia Knight Pulliam), with whom he is already acquainted. Joshua 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, just in case if she needs any help, Linda fears Josh may be cheating on her. Linda does not want Josh to spend time with Candy, threatening to leave Josh and telling him that he shouldn't be helping people like Candace. Linda tells Josh that he should only socialize with a higher class of people. Just before Madea's trial with Mathis, 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 leaving Candace behind at the party, where a group of his friends gang raped her, for which Josh continues to harbor deep-seated guilt. 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 ending it. At the district attorney's office, Josh's best friend, Chuck (RonReaco Lee), another lawyer, runs into Linda, whom he discovers is falsifying Candace's file to deliberately get her sent to prison, 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 runs away from Josh's apartment and is back on the streets, working as a prostitute, until she gets picked up and arrested by an undercover cop.
When Candace ends up in prison, she discovers that Donna (Vanessa Ferlito) and Madea are there as well. Madea meets her cellmate, who is named T.T. (Sofía Vergara), a woman with a thick Spanish accent. Madea, thinking she is so sweet and nice, asks her why is she in jail (confident it was something small, i.e. petty theft). T.T. actually reveals she's in prison for murdering 18 men, as she is one of the first female serial killers and is to spend life in prison, leaving Madea shocked.
While in prison, Madea befriends Candace, protecting her in a "motherly" way, and fights with Big Sal (Robin Coleman) who is always sexually harassing and flirting with Candace. Candace, Madea, T.T., and Donna all attend a class taught by Ellen at the prison, mostly to get time off of 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. Suddenly, she decides she has heard enough and tells the whole class they need to stop being the 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 obviously moves on by her words. During a visit with Josh, Candace finally lets out why she is how she is. Candace admits that she called his name repeatedly as it happened, but he never came for her (he didn't protect her, she puts it), and she held on to that anger for so long, that 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, Josh's best man at the wedding and best friend, tells him that Linda had falsified Candace's file to get her sent to prison and away from him. During the wedding ceremony, Josh tells the entire congregation with their boss in attendance what Linda had done, and leaves her at the altar while still in his wedding tuxedo. 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 it is revealed that Linda will go to prison for her crimes. Madea goes home with Mr. Brown, Cora, and Brian, along with Candace, going home with Josh.
- Tyler Perry as Madea, Joe Simmons, and Brian Simmons
- Derek Luke as Joshua Hardaway
- Keshia Knight Pulliam as Candace "Candy" Washington-Collins
- Tamela Mann as Cora Simmons
- Ion Overman as Linda Davis
- Sofía Vergara as T.T.
- Viola Davis as Ellen St. Matthews
- Vanessa Ferlito as Donna
- David Mann as Mr. Brown
- RonReaco Lee as Chuck Decatur
- Bobbi Baker as Tanya
- Jackson Walker as Mr. Brackman
- Robin Coleman as Big Sal
- Al Sharpton as Himself
- Whoopi Goldberg as Herself
- Sherri Shepherd as Herself
- Elisabeth Hasselbeck as Herself
- Joy Behar as Herself
- Tom Joyner as Himself
- Steve Harvey as Himself
- Michael Baisden as Himself
- Frank Ski as Himself
- Phil McGraw as Dr. Phil (Himself)
- Greg Mathis as Judge Mathis (Himself)
- Mablean Ephriam as Judge Mablean (Herself)
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 28% 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." Another review aggretator, Metacritic, gives the film a score of 50%, based on 13 reviews.
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."
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)."
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. 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. The film closed on April 23, 2009 with a final domestic gross of $90,508,336.
Madea Goes to Jail was released on June 16, 2009 on DVD. According to DVDTown, the DVD included six behind-the-scenes featurettes. No Blu-ray version was released. As of July 12, 2009, 1,125,422 DVD units have been sold, gathering revenue of $18,223,621.
- The Hollywood Reporter, 19 February 2009, p.26.
- "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- "Madea Goes to Jail (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS.
- "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail' stars Tyler Perry, Derek Luke, Ion Overman and Keshia Knight Pulliam". Chicago Tribune. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- Scott, A. O. "Plus-Size Matriarch’s Stretch in the Slammer", The New York Times, 20 February 2009.
- Morris, Wesley. "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail: Once again, Perry has his moments in 'Madea Goes to Jail'", Boston Globe, 21 February 2009.
- "Madea Goes to Jail Makes Out Like a Bandit". E! Online. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for February 27-March 1, 2009". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- Official website
- Madea Goes to Jail at the Internet Movie Database
- Madea Goes to Jail: The Play at the Internet Movie Database
- Madea Goes to Jail at AllMovie
- Madea Goes to Jail at Box Office Mojo
- Madea Goes to Jail at Rotten Tomatoes