A Madea Family Funeral Parent Guide
A painfully unfunny comedy which revolves around adultery and betrayal and which features non-stop sexual innuendo.
Parent Movie Review
Having never seen any of Tyler Perry’s ten Madea films, I was a bit apprehensive heading into the theater to review A Madea Family Funeral. But as this badly written, poorly acted, and often offensive movie dragged on, I became increasingly grateful that I hadn’t lost more than two hours of my life to Perry’s cinematic efforts.
The film opens in a Martha-Stewart-like haze of happy domesticity. Sylvia (Ciera Payton) is busily planning a party for the wedding anniversary of her parents (Vianne played by Jen Harper and Anthony by Derek Morgan). She is being helped by sister-in-law Carol (Kj Smith) and family friend Renee (Quin Walters). Younger brother Jessie (Rome Flynn) is buzzing with excitement about the impending arrival of his girlfriend – soon to be fiancée – Gia (Aeriel Miranda). Little do any of the characters know that their happy family is about to be torn about by adultery, betrayal, and death.
And the only thing that could possibly make this worse is the arrival of Vianne’s crazy relatives, the most appalling of whom are Madea and brother Joe (both played by Tyler Perry). Checking into a hotel, the relatives walk past an open hotel room door – and see Anthony dead in bed with a heart attack, brought on by a kinky affair with Renee. Gia has just fled from the neighboring hotel room, where she was having a fling with her fiance’s brother, AJ (Courtney Burrell). For the rest of the movie, various parties endeavor to cover up the sexual shenanigans until the truth finally erupts in a predictably messy scene. And through it all, Madea bustles around, giving dreadful advice, “comforting” people with blunt and insensitive comments, and inspiring the repeated question, “Why on earth would anyone invite this woman to a family event?”
The film may be focused on family interactions, but despite its PG-13 rating, it is emphatically not suited to family viewing. Parents will want to be warned about its 100+ profanities and its use of drugs as a comedic element. But the real issue in this film is sexual content. The plot revolves around adultery and much of the so-called humor stems from sexual situations and innuendo. Joe and his disabled brother Heathrow (also played by Tyler Perry) are constantly discussing sex and making creepily incestuous comments about their nieces and their nephews’ wives. Jokes about the circumstances surrounding Anthony’s demise are frequent, including a comment that his corpse is smiling because he died happy. His use of a drug for erectile dysfunction is treated as a source of humor and the lid to his coffin apparently keeps popping open because the effect of the medication persisted after death. The fact that he died while participating in bondage activities is also mined for laughs.
Not only is A Madea Family Funeral a poor choice for family viewing, it is a poorly made film. It feels like a television soap opera with the same type of canned dialogue and artificial situations. Madea and her fellow senior citizens overact and chew the scenery with gusto, but their lines are so bad that the comedy falls flat. And the glossy younger generation tries to put some life into their script, but their attempts are doomed to failure. The only plus side to enduring this painfully unfunny comedy is knowing that it is the last in the series. Having the Madea franchise dead and buried is long overdue.Directed by Tyler Perry. Starring Courtney Burrell, Tyler Perry, and Patrice Lovely . Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release March 1, 2019. Updated March 1, 2019
A Madea Family Funeral
Rating & Content Info
Why is A Madea Family Funeral rated PG-13? A Madea Family Funeral is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude sexual content, language, and drug references throughout
Violence: A woman jokes about killing her previous husbands and offers advice about killing or threatening men. A police officer pulls a gun, yells, and intimidates a man for no good reason. A character jokes about a disabled relative setting his hair on fire. An elderly woman slaps an elderly man so hard that his dentures fall out: she hits him again. She also hits an elderly woman twice, knocking her glasses out of place. A woman threatens to rip out another woman’s fallopian tubes. A man yells at his wife. A woman hits a man singing at a funeral to make him stop singing. A man dies while participating in BDSM activities and a comment is made about “the rope” being “too tight”.
Sexual Content: A man repeatedly makes crude sexual jokes, and makes lewd comments about his nieces and the wives of his nephews. Sexual activities are discussed, openly or in coded language. A woman grasps her chest and discusses her state of sexual arousal. A man jokes about getting a woman sexually aroused. A man reminisces about past experience as a pimp. A married man is seen in bed with his brother’s girlfriend. He is wearing briefs and she is in a bra and panties. They embrace before they are interrupted by the sound of sexual activity from the neighboring hotel room. A man dies while participating in an extramarital affair. A woman is seen in a leather corset and someone says her now-deceased partner had a rope tied too tight – the implication is sexual bondage activities. There is repeated mention of a sex aid lodged in a man’s throat at death. It is mentioned that a man took a drug for erectile dysfunction. A man’s erection is seen through his underwear. A dead man retains an erection that makes it difficult to close the coffin lid: this is played for laughs. People discuss removing “it”. A man has a cake decorated with a scantily clad woman riding a panther. Married and engaged couples are shown sitting in bed together. A woman asks how many women biblically “knew” a man.
Profanity: There are approximately 100 moderate profanities in this film as well as a handful of terms of deity, one sexual expletive and three racial slurs (the n-word). Characters frequently uses crude sexual euphemisms. A slang term for prostitute is used throughout the film. Characters use a crude term for male genitalia.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character mentions that he wants cigarettes, even though he is a cancer survivor. A man puts a cigarette in his mouth but doesn’t light it after he is told not to smoke. Characters are shown drinking socially. A character is shown to be intoxicated but he is not shown actually drinking. A character discusses his past dealing drugs: weed, dope and heroin. Characters repeatedly discuss drug use and one mentions that her marijuana is legal.
Page last updated March 1, 2019
A Madea Family Funeral Parents' Guide
A.J. derides his mother for what he sees as her weakness in putting up with her husband’s serial adultery. Vianne insists that what he sees as weakness is actually strength. What do you think? Do you think Vianne could have made different choices?
Academy Award winning director Spike Lee has criticized Tyler Perry for making films that portray African-Americans in demeaning ways. Do you agree with Lee’s perspective? Or do you think Perry’s movies deliver harmless entertainment?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Funerals are usually somber occasions, but, like in this movie, laughter is always around the corner.
For a comic spin on funerals, crack open Kathy Benjamin’s Funerals to Die For: The Craziest, Creepiest, and Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions and Practices Ever. This non-fiction book searches the globe and history for unusual funerary stories. For stories from our day and time, you can look for Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra.
Younger readers will doubtless get a laugh out of Richard Peck’s The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts. Set in the early 1900s, the novel features Russell Culver, a teenager who can’t wait to quit school and head for the prairies. But when the teacher dies, her replacement is Russell’s sister – and she has different plans.
Gayden Metcalfe brings gentle humor to Southern customs in her book, Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral. (Recipes included.)
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