As another month of February arrives I am constantly reminded by mainstream media that it is black history month. As much as I despise the idea of using one month, the shortest of the calendar year mind you, to try and sum up the entire history of African-Americans, that’s not what I’m here for. I am here to speak of my undying dislike of Tyler Perry movies.
This is a picky topic within the black community. Tyler Perry has an incredible rags’ to riches story of going from being homeless to arguably the most recognized African American writer/director of current times. He does a lot for his community, is a God fearing man and for the most part a positive influence. I’m all for that. But in the end, it doesn’t make up for his lack of range in films.
I’ll admit I hopped on the Ty Perry bandwagon when he first emerged on the scene. We as African Americans don’t get a lot of positive representation on the big screen. Your average African American actor is always type cast in one of a few roles. The “tired of being in these streets” ex hustler, the athlete, the token black friend amongst his group of caucasian pals, or my favorite, the take no shit horror flick Negro that never makes it past the opening credits. So to see a new black director with the power to tell his own stories to movie goers across the nation was empowering and refreshing. What we’ve gotten though time and time again is the same melodramatic, male hating, made for TV special, keep hope alive Negro spirituals.
Now that last statement may be a tad harsh and opinionated but I feel as if Tyler Perry has found a niche, a comfort zone and he will not challenge himself to step out of that box and try something innovative. I applaud Spike Lee for stepping out of his comfort zone many of times throughout his career. After constant tales of race relations within the inner city of Brooklyn, Spike branched off and tried new things. I remember when I went to see “Inside Man” starring Denzel Washington in theaters, because it looked like a bad ass bank robber movie, and was blown away when the credits rolled and stated “Directed by Spike Lee”.
In the end, that’s all I ask of Tyler Perry. I know you can write “that” story, show me something new or find yourself holding the next black director back from having the chance to show what the African American culture can truly bring to Hollywood.
So Tyler Perry I will not be spending any money on your upcoming film Good Deeds, because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it already. I much rather save my money for Hungry Games…
That is all..