Dude, what made you refuse to screen your film for critics before it opened Friday? I'm betting you would have received an earful of praise for your writing and directing.
Praise for the sweet relationship between Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates as mothers occasionally shamed by their children. Praise for making venality your dominant theme without falling into the ditch of soap opera. Praise for constructing characters whose yearning for more rings true. Praise for integrating your cast without using race as a crutch. (You're forgiven for the moment when Woodard, as Alice, the owner of a struggling diner, sees the new car that Bates's Charlotte, a wealthy matriarch, has bought and says: "I never saw you drive. Where's Morgan Freeman?")A few other critics have swatted it down for its pulpy, melodramatic machinations, but that's the point — that's the fun of it! Anyway, we'll find out soon enough if Perry comes around; his third film in 12 months, Madea Goes to Jail, opens Feb. 20, 2009. For all that preaching of forgiveness on which his empire's built, we hope he can find it in his heart to at least think about kicking us a DVD screener by Feb. 19.
- 'The Family That Preys' [Source]