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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What is the appeal of Tyler Perry’s movies?

The final weekend numbers are in, and Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail is now confirmed to have sold an astonishing $41 million worth of tickets, down just a tad from Sunday’s estimated number of $41.1 million but still remarkable. (I’ll have my weekend box office roundup late this afternoon — I’m off to screenings this morning and into lunchtime — along with more of the mucho catching up I have to do.)

I hate to think it’s merely the dearth of black faces on movie screens that draws such enormous crowds to Perry’s flicks, but I can’t imagine another reason. Perry’s movies are not only crude and obvious, but — a far worse crime — they’re slapdash cinematic Frankenstein monsters that violate all sorts of rules of storytelling, not to make any kind of point or to break artistic new ground, but merely to cram as much into each movie as possible. Melodrama! Slapstick! Action! Romance! Perry’s movies are practically incoherent to anyone with an attention span greater than that of a gnat.

What am I not seeing? What is the appeal of Tyler Perry’s movies?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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