Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Recipe for disaster
If any of you have read some of the other comment threads that I’ve been a part of on Pajiba, you know that my loathing of Tyler Perry is well documented. HOWEVER, this motherfucker (hey my spell check didn’t catch “motherfucker’, weird) has sunk to a new low. I picked up on the synopsis for his latest cinematic bowel movement whilst perusing WorstPreviews:
Official plot synopsis: "Wealthy socialite Charlotte Cartwright (Kathy Bates) and her dear friend Alice Pratt (Alfre Woodard), a working class woman of high ideals, have enjoyed a lasting friendship throughout many years. Suddenly, their lives become mired in turmoil as their adult children's extramarital affairs, unethical business practices and a dark paternity secret threaten to derail family fortunes and unravel the lives of all involved. Alice's self-centered newlywed daughter Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) is betraying her trusting husband Chris (Rockmond Dunbar) by engaging in a torrid affair with her boss and mothers best friends son William (Cole Hauser). While cheating on his wife Jillian (Kadee Strickland) with a string of ongoing dalliances with his mistress Andrea, William's true focus is to replace the COO of his mothers lucrative construction corporation. Meanwhile, Alice's other daughter Pam (Taraji Henson), a kind but no nonsense woman married to a hard working construction worker (Tyler Perry), tries to steer the family in a more positive direction.
While paternity secrets, marital infidelity, greed and unsavory business dealings threaten to derail both families, Charlotte and Alice decide to take a breather from it all by making a cross-country road trip in which they rediscover themselves and possibly find a way to save their families from ruin."
The previous was the synopsis for “The Family that Preys”. Did that not sound like the kind of shit you find on really bad day time television? Go ahead and read it again if you need to (or if you’d like to know what it fees like to have the left side of your brain collapse in on itself), I’ll wait. Done? Good. So am I. For one thing, I am tired of this self righteous bastard taking the same tired, trite film concepts he’s been recycling ever since he got up enough scratch to start his own production company and repackaging them, hoping that somehow he’ll be able to generate enough buzz for people to forget that if you’ve seen one Tyler Perry play, you’ve seen them all and don’t even bother seeing the movies. Not familiar with the Tyler Perry Quick and Easy Recipe for Plays and Four Alarm Chili? Well, here’s the quick version:
A Handful of C list Black actors/actresses
1 Plot line from previous film/play or R. Kelly’s “In the Closet” video series.
1 Random white devil
2 Cups Maple Syrup for overly sweet and sticky emotional throughline
1 Bible passage
Add Prosthetic boobs to personal taste
Take Black actors/actresses and direct them to overact and adopt a Black stereotype (preferably “upstanding blue collar worker”, “playuh” or “ho’”)
Combine actors/actresses with plot line in bowl and fold in maple syrup.
Mix in evil white actor/actress and direct them to “look evil. And white.”
Once the mixture is complete, sprinkle Bible passage over entire mixture and allow to form a thin, flaky and easily poked through crust.
Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s become old hat for Perry to recycle the same tired, trite Black stereotypes in slightly different packages each and every time he gets behind the camera. There is nothing new in his films, there is no unique directing style, no challenging of the preconceptions about black film makers. Perry simply panders to his established audience and pats them on the head while his other hand is in their pocket. On the other hand, he has succeeded in creating a veritable money making machine by turning out the same banal crap that he knows his fans will flock to with blind abandon.
Or perhaps he's conducting a study to see if all black men that become rich really do turn into wife abusing, philandering, money hungry assholes like in his plays, with him as the subject.