“Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns”

Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns

By Jae-Ha Kim
Theatrical release: March 21, 2008

Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns is a sitcom taken to the nth level. Brenda (Angela Bassett) is a single mom struggling to raise her family in Chicago.

When she receives a letter inviting her to attend her father’s funeral, she’s not sure how to feel: Brenda never knew the man and hadn’t interacted with that part of her family. But when she loses her job, she decides that now’s the time to shake things up. (And, as a friend suggests, there’s always the chance her father left her a little money.)

While the film’s central character grew up with incredible hardships (a prostitute for a mother and a pimp for a father who didn’t stick around), writer-director-actor Perry takes every opportunity to inject a little humor into the vignettes.

It is not her fault that she is too gorgeous and regal to be believable in the role, but Bassett–a superb dramatic actress–is sorely miscast here in a role where her subtleties are lost in all the fuss.         

Meet the Browns isn’t Perry’s best piece of work, but the fast-paced action and raucous dialogue provide enough fun to make the film worthwhile.

With his name prefacing each movie, Perry has developed a franchise that doesn’t fail to deliver what his fans are accustomed to: some variation of a dysfunctional family comedy and the appearance of his most famous character Madea–a cranky grandmother played by Perry himself that manages to draw laughs, even when her inclusion sometimes is superfluous.


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