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Where have I been?

I'm a bit late on this, but Terry Mattingly recently made a good post about the mainstream media's handling of last weekend's top box office play-to-film, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? Interestingly, like Mattingly, I recently watched for the first time (most of) Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman on television and must admit I was floored. The portion of the film where the jilted wife "takes care of" her sorry-excuse-for-a-man and recently crippled husband is, well, powerful. That it is in the middle of a mainstream overtly God-talking film is all the more amazing. While I agree the films suffers from cliches, stock characters and some not-so-original dialogue, I'm pretty much with Mattingly when he says:
Holy smokes (literally). That has to be the most overtly Christian movie that I have ever seen from a “mainstream” operation. In terms of its faith language, that flick makes Tender Mercies look like a Woody Allen movie. If you go to Amazon.com and look at the comments left by consumers, you can tell that something in Perry’s work is getting people really turned on and really turned off (other than his strange mix of sentiment, wild humor and heavy drama), and I suspect it’s the faith element.
Right after the movie, I watched a couple of episodes of Perry's House of Payne sit-com, also for the first time. Not only were God and Jesus mentioned (and not as swear words) and prayer handled seriously, but in the midst of the humor was a painful story about a mother estranged from her family because of her drug addiction. Again, all the more amazing when you take in the fact that the stories are laced with faith and carried on mainstream television.

Granted, Perry's work isn't Oscar material (yet), but I really like his storytelling and admire how his faith informs his craft. He bears watching. And the stuff I've seen so far from Perry (who works in the mainstream industry) is miles beyond what I've seen come out of the Christian filmmaking industry. I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to catch on.

(Images: Lions Gate Films and TBS)

Comments

SolShine7 said…
Pretty much every black Christian knows about Tyler Perry's movies and plays. You need some black and other ethnic friends. But at least you're catching on. ;)

The white church, the black church, the Hispanic church and the world church really need to come together and be ONE Church body. We need to know what's going on with others.

Good post!!!
Carmen Andres said…
heh, you are so right. thanks for stopping by!
Adleane said…
Yes, indeed. Tyler Perry is a cultural phenomenon for many groups in the voice(s) that he represents: the church, african americans, women, all of whom are woefully underserved by hollywood at the present. If you have an opportunity to see one of his plays live, you really should. They are far superior to his films IMO.
Carmen Andres said…
i'd like to - and i'll look for the opportunity, thanks!