Friday, February 9, 2024

Review: "A MADEA HOMECOMING" Doesn't Come Out Quite Right

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 6 of 2024 (No. 1950) by Leroy Douresseaux

A Madea Homecoming (2022)
Running time:  105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for crude sexual content, language, and drug references throughout
PRODUCERS:  Will Areu and Mark E. Swinton
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Taylor Randall (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Larry Sexton
COMPOSER:  Philip White


Starring:  Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, David Mann, Tamela J. Mann, Gabrielle Dennis, Brendan O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Brandon Black, Isha Blaaker, Candace Maxwell, Geneva Maccarone, and Amani Atkinson

A Madea Homecoming is a 2022 African-American comedy-drama from writer-director Tyler Perry.  It is the 12th film in the Madea film series.  The film is a Netflix original and was released to the streaming service on February 25, 2022.  In A Madea Homecoming, family drama erupts and secrets are revealed during the celebration of Madea's great-grandson's college graduation.

A Madea Homecoming opens in Atlanta, GeorgiaMabel “Madea” Simmons (Tyler Perry) is preparing for the arrival of her extended family.  Uncle Joe (Tyler Perry) is criticizing people, and Mr. Brown (David Mann) is about to set himself afire while preparing the barbecue pit.  It is a special time for Madea's daughter, Cora Simmons (Tamela J. Mann), because of the impending arrival of her daughters, Laura (Gabrielle Dennis) and Ellie (Candace Maxwell).  Laura's son, Timothy “Tim” Marshall (Brandon Black), is graduating from college.  He is traveling to Madea's house with his best friend and fellow graduate, Davi O'Malley (Isha Blaaker), for a large family dinner before graduation day.

But there are some surprises arriving, also.  Tim has a secret to tell his family.  Laura has a secret.  Laura's divorce attorney, Sylvia (Geneva Maccarone), has a secret.  Richard (Amani Atkinson), Laura's ex and Tim's father, has a secret to tell, although Madea doesn't want him at her house.  Davi has a secret.  Davi's great-aunt, Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll), and Agnes' daughter and David's cousin, Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney), have a secret.  They're coming to Madea's, but they weren't invited.  And it isn't a secret that Betty Ann Murphy a.k.a. “Aunt Bam” (Cassi Davis) is usually high, and everyone else may have to get high to make it through the family drama that is about to erupt.

2019's A Madea Family Funeral was supposed to be the final film in the Madea film series, but I ain't complaining.  A Madea Homecoming is similar to A Madea Family Funeral in that it features a large cast of new extended family members that many of us didn't know that Madea had.  Unfortunately, the 2019 film is better put together than A Madea Homecoming.

First, it should be noted that A Madea Homecoming is a crossover with British-Irish sitcom, “Mrs. Brown's Boys,” which is headlined by the character, “Agnes Brown,” played by Irish actor, Brendan O'Carroll.  Agnes Brown has been called the “Irish Madea,” but because this is my first encounter with O'Carroll and his character, I can't say otherwise.  Truthfully, neither the Agnes nor Cathy characters really add that much to A Madea Homecoming, but they are a pleasant addition, at least.

A Madea Homecoming has many, many very funny moments, but the film seems too long and too much of a rehash of scandals that have appeared in earlier films in the series.  The main plot and subplot feel more flat and dry than lively and funny.  The most consistently funny part of this movie is Madea BeyoncĂ© parody that runs over the end credits, and Madea in a blonde BeyoncĂ© wig singing off-key with the “Marcella Band” is delightful.

When I reviewed A Madea Family Funeral in 2021, I said that if it were indeed the final Madea film, I could say that the series went out on a relatively high note.  Madea returns on an off-key note with A Madea Homecoming, and it isn't the final Madea film.  Coming sometime in the future is Madea's Destination Wedding.

5 of 10
★★½ out of 4 stars

Friday, February 9, 2024

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