I watched the theatre version first, and then I was tempted to watch the movie because it has a different cast and thought it might slightly be different, but it wasn’t. Tyler Perry was a writer and producer for stage plays before he moved into the film industry. From his range of movies, I loved Why Did I Get Married? & Why Did I Get Married Too? (should have put that in my sequels list). His writings & productions focus on different themes: life, love, family, religion… There’s always a moral to his stories.
In Big Happy Family- the play, the comedy is more natural and maybe sometimes improvised, and I found it much more dramatic than the movie. Only downside for me was the gospel music- I felt like I was watching another Disney movie where they sing every 15 minutes…
In this movie/play, Tyler Perry is not the main character, and just plays the recurring role of Madea as the aunt trying to help out a dysfunctional family. The movie is about Shirley who is trying to gather her family together to break down some bad news, that she’s dying from cancer. However, family secrets emerge from this gathering – drug use, relationship issues, etc. and this delays Shirley’s announcement of her illness. I think everyone can relate in some way because let’s face it, no one has a perfect family. My family definitely falls somewhere close to dysfunctional, but that’s my family, and I think we all have learned to except it as it is. It helps us get along better when we have accepted each other as we are. And in this movie/play, all the secrets are aired out and only after the death of Shirley, they all learn the value and meaning of family.
All the actors in the movie are different from the play except for Tyler Perry & Aunt Bam (who was funnier in the play). The acting performances in the play were stronger than in the film itself. I’m not a big fan of musical plays but because I saw the play before the movie, I have to admit the play is better. The movie’s cast also includes Loretta Devine & Bow Wow. I never really liked the character Madea, maybe because, unlike Mrs. Doubtfire, she really resembles a man, but she’s still funny with her wise-cracking jokes.
Things you won’t catch in the play but is in the movie – Madea on the Maury Povich Show for DNA testing LOL, and her new method on quickest way to get what you want at a fast food’s drive-thru.
I rate both the movie and the play 8/10