“Tyler Perry’s The Family that Preys” Laughs, Loves and Cares
Genres: Comedy, Drama and Kids/Family
Running Time: 1 hr. 51 min.
Release Date: September 12th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material, sexual references and brief violence.
Directed by: Tyler Perry
JJ Rating: A+
Charlotte Cartwright (Kathy Bates) is a rich business woman. Alice Pratt (Alfre Woodard) is her well rounded, not so rich friend. William Cartwright (Cole Hauser) wants to be the boss but has to get through his mother. Andrea is the self-centered daughter of Alice (Sanaa Lathan) who can’t seem to think of anyone but perfecting her own self destruction. The problem children create more of a problem than their parents could have predicted. The Family that Preys.
Normally I just stray from seeing his films. I don’t really know why I just have this aversion to names in titles. It’s silly, mostly. I do like this kind of humor, though. I like hearing people talk to the screen, because that adds to the ambiance of the film. I knew there would be people speaking to the screen as the film was going on, and I prepared myself for what surely happened.
I like Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates. They were the best part of the entire film. They had great chemistry and created a comfort feeling that made the entire movie enjoyable. Tyler Perry was also good in his small role, especially when he had to have a conversation with his on screen wife Taraji P. Henson (who played Pam). They had a small fight and it was hilarious because she picked up on a single phrase he said out of a slew of words. This coupled with the people talking to the screen made for a great scene that was laugh out loud funny. Rockmond Dunbar played Chris who was husband to Sanaa Lathan who played Alice. He was a good aloof person. I’ve seen him on “Prison Break” and his character there was far beyond aloof or weak like this Chris. Lathan was just plain pleasantly obnoxious, which, of course, means she did a good job with her role.
The Family that Preys is a very good family and friend film. There are a lot of good family moments and moments of strong friendship. It was way better than I had thought. I had wanted to see it because of Bates and Woodard. I saw them on the poster and that was an instant yes from me. It is a humorous film that has heart and character. It is a different kind of humor, though. Some people just don’t get black (race) humor. If you are one of those kinds of people then this film will certainly be to you like “what is going on?” It is that over exaggerated “I know you didn’t” kind of talk going on and sometimes it’s mainly in facial expressions than in actual words. That’s one of the great things is that the face was doing some major acting in this film. There were good humor moments that were caught in the facial twist of some actors and especially the actresses.
The lines were quick and witty. There are a couple of references that are awesome to events and a famous past movie about a man who drives an old white lady around town, even though she don’t want that air conditioner running.
I sit here and I can’t think of a single bad thing about The Family that Preys, which would be why I gave it an A+. I know that others might find flaws, but I think this is one of the better made movies of this year. The humor is crisp and hard hitting with truth and wit. Comedies seem to go the way of the trash dump to the lowest common denominator and viewers are far smarter (might be a stretch for some) than that. This is a good laugh and a warm hearted film. The Family that Preys (I could do without the unnecessary [though I understand the need] mention of Tyler Perry in the title) has good laughs, good love and is handled (by Tyler Perry) with great care. It’s a film I will surely own when it comes out on DVD (screw Blue Ray) so that I can learn and repeat some of those great lines.
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