Madea's Family Reunion

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Madea's Family Reunion
Madea's Family Reunion.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tyler Perry
Produced by Tyler Perry
Reuben Cannon
Written by Tyler Perry
Starring Blair Underwood
Keke Palmer
Lynn Whitfield
Lisa Arrindell Anderson
Jenifer Lewis
Rochelle Aytes
Boris Kodjoe
Tyler Perry
Music by Tyler Perry
Cinematography Toyomichi Kurita
Edited by John Carter
Production
company
Tyler Perry Studios
Reuben Cannon Productions
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • February 24, 2006 (2006-02-24)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Spanish
Budget $6 million
Box office $63,308,879

Madea's Family Reunion is a 2006 comedy-drama film adaptation of the stage production of the same name written by Tyler Perry and sequel to Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It was written and directed by Perry, who also played several characters, including Madea. It was released on February 24, 2006, nearly one year following its predecessor, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The independent film was produced by Lionsgate.

Plot[edit]

After Madea (Tyler Perry) violates the terms of her house arrest (which she was subjected to in the previous film), the judge orders her to take in a troubled foster child named Nikki (Keke Palmer) in order to avoid jail.

Lisa Breaux (Rochelle Aytes), one of Madea's nieces, is engaged to an abusive and controlling investment banker named Carlos Armstrong (Blair Underwood). While she desperately wants to get out of the engagement, her mother, Victoria (Lynn Whitfield), urges her to go through with the wedding, telling Lisa to avoid doing things that make Carlos angry. Vanessa (Lisa Arrindell Anderson), the other of Madea's nieces, who lives with her, has two children fathered by two different men, neither of whom is involved in their children's lives. Victoria regularly degrades Vanessa for this, even referring to her grandchildren as "bastards". Vanessa is successfully, though through struggles, wooed by poetry-spouting bus driver, Frankie (Boris Kodjoe), who is the single father of a young son, and has a passion for painting. As much as Vanessa likes Frankie, she is emotionally closed off and has a difficult time trusting him.

Lisa eventually leaves Carlos with the intention of calling off the wedding. She temporarily moves in with Madea. Carlos, eager to move forward with the wedding, dispatches Victoria to bring her back to him. Victoria confronts Carlos about the abuse, suggesting that insecurity about his masculinity is causing him to act out and that he needs counseling. It is then revealed that Victoria has stolen from Lisa's trust fund, leaving virtually no money left, and is now encouraging Lisa to marry Carlos in order to keep up her livelihood. Carlos makes it clear that he will not bail Victoria out unless the wedding goes forward. Victoria goes to Madea's house to fetch Lisa, only to end up in a passionate argument with Vanessa who has become aware of Carlos' abuse and is eager to protect her sister.

During the confrontation, Vanessa reveals a shocking secret to her younger sister: Victoria allowed her second husband (who was Lisa's father) to rape Vanessa in order to keep him in the marriage. Vanessa states that the sexual abuse occurred on a regular basis after that, which as a result, left her closed off emotionally and unable to trust the men in her life, including Frankie. Victoria makes no attempt to deny Vanessa's accusations. Instead, she rationalizes her actions, telling her daughters that they would have been destitute if Lisa's father had left, and that after going through a previous divorce with Vanessa's father and working two jobs, she felt that she deserved better. She even reveals that her own mother, a drug addict, regularly traded her for "ten dollars and a fix", almost mirroring what she'd done with Vanessa and Lisa's father.

Victoria then states that she would not allow Vanessa to ruin her happiness, and that she would not apologize for the choices she'd made. Victoria then turns on a horrified Lisa, demanding that Lisa begin taking care of her financially as she made sure that Lisa had the best of everything while she was growing up. Victoria then leaves and later lies to Lisa and tells her that Carlos has agreed to counseling. Lisa returns to Carlos and resumes her wedding plans. At the family reunion, held at the home of ninety-six-year-old Aunt Ruby (Georgia Allen), Vanessa and Victoria get into a fight after yet another verbal confrontation. The fight is broken up when the family members are gathered to an old shack the family's ancestors grew up in. The older members of the family are appalled by how the family has turned out and convince them to act better to each other and to themselves.

On the day of Lisa's wedding, Madea tells her to stand up against Carlos and fight back. When he finds her, he asks that he and Lisa be alone. Madea asks Carlos if he'd like something to eat, and tells Lisa to give him some grits on the stove, making sure to tell Lisa that they're hot. When Madea leaves the room, Carlos slaps Lisa in the face, but then, in retaliation, she throws the pot of hot grits in his face, burning him badly, and then she beats him with a frying pan, as Madea listens outside with laughter. Before leaving, she takes off her ring and throws it at an injured Carlos. At the church, Lisa announces that Carlos had been beating her every day since they were engaged and that the wedding is off. Frankie then asks Vanessa to marry him. She says yes, and they're married at the church instead. After the wedding, Victoria tells Vanessa that the two are a beautiful couple and they hug, signifying the first steps in a possible reconciliation.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was released by Motown Records on February 21, 2006.

Track listing
No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "Find Myself in You"   Brian McKnight 4:14
2. "We're Gonna Make It"   LL Cool J and Mary Mary 4:54
3. "Keep Your Head Up"   Chaka Khan 4:34
4. "Tonight"   Kem 3:55
5. "Everyday (Family Reunion)"   Chaka Khan, Carl Thomas, Yolanda Adams, and Gerald Levert 4:48
6. "Love and Happiness"   Al Green 5:02
7. "You For Me (Wedding Song)"   Johnny Gill 5:37
8. "Family Reunion"   The O'Jays 6:55
9. "I'll Be"   Will Downing 4:10
10. "Wounds in the Way"   Rachelle Ferrell 4:21

Release and reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Madea's Family Reunion was budgeted at $6 million and opened at #1 in its opening weekend (2/24-26) with $30,030,661[1] and eventually grossed $63,257,940 in North America with an additional $50,939 internationally, tying $63,308,879 worldwide after 9 weeks in theaters.[2]

Small independent filmmaker Tyler Perry has garnered one of the highest wide-release openings to date in 2006, in both gross ($30 million) and screen average ($13,687).[3]

"The number one movie is Madea's Family Reunion, a small comedy/melodrama which grossed an astounding $30.3 million from 2,194 venues. It had a super-hot venue average of $13,787...."[4]

"Playing at 2,194 locations across North America, the film averaged a remarkable estimated $13,788 per screen, demonstrating the enormous breadth and depth of Perry's audience. The debut weekend of Madea's Family Reunion outperformed the opening weekend of Lionsgate's first Tyler Perry film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, by nearly 40 percent."[5]

Audience[edit]

The reasoning for the film's relative success,[1] according to Steve Rothenberg, Lions Gate president of domestic distribution, is due to its targeted market appeal, "I believe that we're in all the right theaters...I'm not sure there's much room for expansion."[6] To illustrate the point, Lions Gate's exit polls[6] showed 52 percent of the audience were black women over the age of 35.

Critical reception[edit]

Madea's Family Reunion received mixed reviews from critics. Metacritic gives the film a score of 45% based on reviews from 18 critics.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]