Wayne Hodges, Topeka Democrat Examiner, April 18, 2011
In a few days, two African-American films, for better or worse, are set to hit the box office. ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family’ will reach the big screen on April 22nd. And ‘Jumping the Broom’ will premiere a couple weeks later on May 6th. Haven’t seen the trailers. Haven’t read a synopsis.
But I’m willing to bet your paycheck (and mine) both films will showcase the typical, boring, mundane relationship theme that has dissolved into the comical norm of contemporary black films.
QUESTION: Are there any black writers in Hollywood mentally capable of putting together a decent movie script?
How many relationship flics do we need?
Perhaps the excess supply of romance films would be a little easier to stomach if we weren’t forced to endure the same damn cast of characters over and over again. If you watch a black film today, it will most likely feature an actor or actress from a short list of candidates that includes Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Angela Bassett, Morris Chestnut, Regina King, Anthony Anderson, Gabrielle Union (which is ok, lol), Taraji P. Henson, Jenifer Lewis, Bow Wow and a few others.
Film producer Tyler Perry must have them all on speed dial.
Speaking of Perry, my opinion of the soon-to-be billionaire is bittersweet. For starters, I commend his efforts in addressing the black unemployment problem (something the Obama Administration refuses to do). Word on the street claims Perry has an African-American staff managing his operation.
With black joblessness marinating at a swollen 16%, Perry is obviously the only one hiring Negroes.
Conversely, Perry’s movies depict the same, tired “lonely woman meets desperate male darkhorse” theme. My goodness. Dr. Seuss has written more intricate storylines than Perry. And it’s really getting old.
Why not write about business, parenting, education, sports, action-adventure, etc.
After all, building healthy relationships is obviously not our area of expertise.