Multitalented screenwriter, director, playwright, and actor Tyler Perry delivers yet another comedy feature from his popular MADEA film series. Largely concerned with African American family life, Perry splits his efforts between the outrageous Madea films and other, slightly more serious features such as 2008’s THE FAMILY THAT PREYS. As the name suggests, MADEA GOES TO JAIL, based on the 2006 play of the same title, once again stars Perry himself as Mabel B. Simmons (nicknamed Madea), the feisty, gun-loving grandmother audiences have adored on stage and screen since she first appeared in the 2002 play MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION. When Madea ends up in jail following a series of violent outbursts, she finds herself in equally eccentric company and causes chaos among her fellow inmates. In a fat suit and women’s clothing, Perry keeps things light while exploring signature themes of redemption, such as the young attorney (Derek Luke, NOTORIOUS) who sets out to help a prostitute (Keshia Knight Pulliam, THE COSBY SHOW) who holds a special place in his heart. The New Orleans-born Renaissance man once again proves himself to be comfortable wearing many hats: as star, producer, writer, and director, Perry retains a constant presence but is careful not to outshine his talented co-stars, including Viola Davis (Oscar-nominated for her role in 2008’s DOUBT) as a determined social worker. Rivaling Woody Allen with the speed at which he releases films, Perry manages to pack Christian values, positive messages regarding the power of forgiveness, and plenty of laughs into his quickly produced features. This is all communicated through his signature blend of outrageous comedy and almost soap-operatic drama.
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