Madea's Family Reunion

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Madea's Family Reunion
Madea's Family Reunion.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTyler Perry
Written byTyler Perry
Produced byTyler Perry
Reuben Cannon
CinematographyToyomichi Kurita
Edited byJohn Carter
Music byElvin Ross
Tyler Perry Studios
Reuben Cannon Productions
Distributed byLions Gate Films
Release date
  • February 24, 2006 (2006-02-24)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$63.4 million[1]

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, directed by, and starring Perry with the rest of the cast consisting of Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe, Henry Simmons, Lisa Arrindell Anderson, Maya Angelou, Rochelle Aytes, Jenifer Lewis, Tangi Miller, Keke Palmer, and Cecily Tyson. 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.


After Madea (Tyler Perry) violates the terms of her house arrest (which she was subjected to in the previous film) in order to get Joe (Tyler Perry) some medicine, Judge Mablean Ephriam orders her to take in a rebellious foster child named Nikki (Keke Palmer) in order to avoid jail. At first, Madea and Nikki clash due to the latter's bad attitude and disrespect, stemming from her poor life up to this point including an absent father, a mother in jail, and a slew of uncaring foster homes. However, Madea tells her that the only way to really overcome her poor life is to work to do and be better than the people who have let and put her down. Nikki takes Madea's words to heart and gradually reforms her behavior over the course of the film.

Lisa Breaux (Rochelle Aytes), one of Madea's grand-nieces, is engaged to Carlos Armstrong (Blair Underwood), an abusive and controlling investment banker. While she desperately wants to get out of the engagement, her conniving gold-digging 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), Lisa's older sister and the other of Madea's grand-nieces, who lives with her, has two children fathered by two different men, neither of whom are involved in their children's lives; Victoria regularly degrades Vanessa for this, even referring to her grandchildren as "bastards". Vanessa is successfully, though through some struggle, wooed by poetry-spouting bus driver Frankie Henderson (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, temporarily moving in with Madea. Carlos, eager to move forward with the wedding, dispatches Victoria to bring Lisa 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. Carlos counters this by suggesting that Victoria is controlling every aspect of her daughter's life because she wants to make up for all of the shortcomings in her own. It is then revealed that Victoria, with Carlos's assistance, has stolen from Lisa's trust fund over the years, leaving virtually no money left, and is now encouraging Lisa to marry Carlos in order to keep up her livelihood. Carlos makes it clear to Victoria that he will not bail her 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's 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, 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. Even more shockingly, 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 to support the family afterwards, she was tired of struggling and felt that she deserved better. She also reveals that her own mother, a prostitute and drug addict, regularly traded her for "ten dollars and a fix", essentially 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. She 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. Vanessa then derides Victoria for constantly controlling her and Lisa as her punching bag and puppet respectively, and how it has left her a mess; she vows not to let the pain and suffering her mother has subjected her to over the years hold her back any longer, and to break their family's tragic cycle by embracing the true love that she has found with Frankie and being a better mother to her own children. Victoria then leaves and later lies to Lisa, telling her that Carlos has agreed to counseling. Lisa eventually returns to Carlos and resumes her wedding plans.

At the family reunion held at the home of 96-year-old Aunt Ruby (Georgia Allen), Vanessa and Victoria get into another verbal confrontation, which eventually turns into a physical fight after Victoria insults Vanessa about her relationship with Frankie in front of the family. The fight is broken up when Ruby Madea's daughter-in-law Myrtle (Cicely Tyson) and Aunt May (Maya Angelou) gather the family members to an old shack the family's ancestors grew up in. They express disappointment at how the family has turned out, and Myrtle gives a long speech persuading them to act better to each other and to themselves.

On the day of Lisa's wedding, Madea tells her that it is time for her to stand up against Carlos and fight back. When he arrives at Madea's house, 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, noting to her that they're hot. When Madea leaves the house with Nikki and Joe, Carlos brutally slaps Lisa in the face. In retaliation, she throws the pot of hot grits in his face, scalding him badly, and then beats him with a frying pan as Madea listens outside with laughter. She then takes off her engagement ring and throws it at an injured Carlos before leaving.

At the church, Lisa announces to the guests that Carlos had been beating her every day since they first got engaged and that the wedding is off. Victoria sarcastically states that she feels sorry for her daughter, but Madea states that everyone here feels sorry for Victoria and tells her to find her own life instead of continuing to live through Lisa. As the wedding planner Milay (Jenifer Lewis) expresses disappointment that her work will now be wasted, Frankie then asks Vanessa to marry him. She says yes, and they're married at the church instead.

At the reception, Victoria tells Vanessa that she and Frankie are a beautiful couple and they hug, signifying the first steps in a possible reconciliation.


  • Tyler Perry as:
    • Mabel "Madea" Simmons, a tough old lady.
    • Joe Simmons, the brother of Madea.
    • Brian Simmons, a lawyer who is the son of Joe and the nephew of Madea.
  • Blair Underwood as Carlos Armstrong, a controlling investment banker who is loosely based on Reggie from the play.
  • Lynn Whitfield as Victoria Breaux, a gold-digging woman and a niece of Madea.
  • Boris Kodjoe as Frankie Henderson, a bus driver who is also a poet.
  • Henry Simmons as Isaac, a nephew of Madea who is antagonized by Joe when he was repairing Madea's lawnmower.
  • Lisa Arrindell Anderson as Vanessa Breaux-Henderson, the grand-niece of Madea and daughter of Victoria who falls for Frankie after two bad relationships.
  • Maya Angelou as Aunt May, a cousin of Madea.
  • Rochelle Aytes as Lisa Breaux, the grand-niece of Madea and daughter of Victoria who is to be engaged to Carlos.
  • Jenifer Lewis as Milay Jenay Lori, a wedding planner.
  • Keke Palmer as Nikki Grady, a girl who Madea takes in.
  • Tangi Miller as Donna, the love interest of Isaac and sister of Brian.
  • Cicely Tyson as Aunt Myrtle, Madea's daughter-in-law
  • China Anderson as Nima, the daughter of Vanessa.
  • Akhil Jackson as Jonathan, the son of Vanessa and the younger half-brother of Nima.
  • Alonzo Millsap as Tre, the son of Frankie.
  • Georgia Allen as Aunt Ruby, a 96-year-old aunt of Madea who is the mother of May and Sarah.
  • Cassi Davis as Aunt Sarah, a cousin of Madea and the sister of May.
  • Leon Lamar as Grover, a cousin of Madea and Joe.
  • John Lawhorn as Uncle Pete, a cousin of Madea and Joe.
  • Afemo Omilami as Isaac Sr., the father of Isaac and cousin of Madea and Joe.
  • Mablean Ephriam as Herself
  • Deanna Dawn as Tyrequa
  • Enoch King as Hykeem
  • Jennifer Sears as an unnamed female at the family reunion.
  • Elizabeth Omilami as Aunt Clara
  • Nicholas Ortiz as Himself
  • Johnny Gill as a wedding singer
  • David Wiebers as Wedding Trumpeter
  • China Anne McClain as Youth (uncredited)


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

Track listing
1."Find Myself in You"Brian McKnight4:14
2."We're Gonna Make It"LL Cool J and Mary Mary4:54
3."Keep Your Head Up"Chaka Khan4:34
5."Everyday (Family Reunion)"Chaka Khan, Carl Thomas, Yolanda Adams, and Gerald Levert4:48
6."Love and Happiness"Al Green5:02
7."You For Me (Wedding Song)"Johnny Gill5:37
8."Family Reunion"The O'Jays6:55
9."I'll Be"Will Downing4:10
10."Wounds in the Way"Rachelle Ferrell4:21

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[2] 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.[1]

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]


The reasoning for the film's relative success,[2] 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 showed 52 percent of the audience were black women over the age of 35.[6]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 26%, based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 4.47/10. The site's consensus reads "Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion is sincere in its positive intentions, but leaves something to be desired as a film."[7] On Metacritic it has a score of 45% based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an A grade.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Madea's Family Reunion". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Domestic 2006 Weekend 8". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Domestic Box Office For 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2006-03-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Brandon Gray (February 27, 2006). "'Madea' Drags Moviegoers to 'Family Reunion'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Madea's Family Reunion (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Madea's Family Reunion". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 8 August 2020.

External links[edit]