14 November 2014 | brchthethird
Bland, but still better than I expected
Even though the trailer I saw for this looked pretty good, I wasn't exactly expecting too much given this was produced by Tyler Perry. Thankfully I can report that while his influence can be felt, this movie stays away from the overt messaging and preachiness of his other work (directing, mostly). To concisely describe this movie, it's like an African-American version of MEET THE PARENTS, although it isn't quite as funny. The humor comes in fits and spurts, but when it does come it is really hilarious. The plot also feels kind of episodic, moving towards a finale that you can see coming a mile away. Still, the journey there is quite an entertaining one. The acting is just fine for this kind of material, and Craig Robinson does bring this nice everyman comic persona to the film, but I thought that David Alan Grier and Malcolm Barrett (playing Craig Robinson's brother) were the standouts here. Kerry Washington also does a nice job, although this isn't some of her best work. Some other downsides include a rather trite treatment of homosexuality (one of the Peeple daughters is a lesbian) and the way the plot is tied up in a nice ribbon at the end almost too quickly. However, the camaraderie and chemistry in the cast is palpable and this makes all of the shortcomings liveable. Overall, given its rather lukewarm reception, I feel that this is an underrated gem and one of the better entries in Tyler Perry's filmography.