Madea Goes To Jail Movie Review

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[Entertainment: Film Review]

Madea is back and stirring up trouble in Tyler Perry's new film " Madea Goes To Jail".

The film which was released by Lionsgate films on February 20th, and took in over $41 million over it's opening weekend follows Tyler's beloved character Madea as she is finally sentenced to serve time in prison for her numerous crimes over the years. The film is based on Tyler's 2006 play of the same name.

However besides the storyline about Madea finally being sent to prison another storyline takes place in the film at the same time, in which the two stories combine. Candice, played by Keisha Knight Pulliam is a prostitute on the streets of Atlanta, and when she is arrested she comes into contact with a former friend Joshua, played by Derek Luke who is now a successful lawyer and tries everything in his power to help Candice, but she still winds up serving time in prison where she befriends Madea who protects her as well as gives her wisdom to help turn her life around.

Even though the film is loosely based on the play it is very different from the play the only central element that remains from the play is the idea of Madea being put in jail. Also Madea's storyline is not the central plot of the film as with all other films in which Madea appears, in terms of the movie focusing on the relationship between Candice and Joshua. Instead Madea serves to bring comedy, as well as motherly wisdom to the dramatic elements of the film, hence the film switches at times from being pure comedy to pure drama. However a few of the characters in the film are very one sided like the villain Joshua's fiancée Laura who tries everything in her power to separate Candice and Joshua, and put Candice in jail forever.

Likewise Candice is portrayed as someone who has been a victim all her life, so the film has us cheering for her to finally find peace and happiness while wanting the villain to be exposed and brought to justice.

There are numerous cameos by notable celebrities in the film such as Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Harvey, Tom Joyner, and Sherri Shepherd, just to name a few. Television judges Greg Mathis and Mablean Ephriam make appearances as judges who try to put Madea in prison. Dr. Phil McGraw makes a notable, but yet funny appearance in a scene where he argues with Madea about getting her to explain why she acts the way she does.

I had the chance to interview a few celebrities at the New York premiere of the film, one being Naturi Naughton who recently portrayed Lil Kim in "Notorious". I asked her what impact does she feel Tyler's films have on the African American culture, and why does she feel Tyler's films are so successful and she stated, " He has a huge impact, he touches on issues that we can all relate to." I also asked Tyler himself what message would he like the viewers to receive from this film and he said, " Forgiveness; learning how to forgive yourself and others".

After viewing the film I feel that Tyler does get his message across of trying to forgive others and moving on with one's life. I also liked the fact that he adds the comedy element into the film, which makes the film worth watching. My only criticism would be that I would have liked to have seen more scenes with Madea, but I highly recommend this film which will definitely have the audience rolling of laughter.

4 stars.

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