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    Posted December 14, 2013 by
    San Diego, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    I remember when I was working at the local Sports Arena about 10 years ago. A play about someone named Madea was featured and I had the pleasure of selling beer and snacks to the crowd at the concession area.


    I had no idea what this Madea was all about. I asked a fellow worker what the play was about and she told me that "Madea was a popular figure with African-Americans."


    Eventually, Tyler Perry began to film his Madea character and I got curious. So a few years ago, I thought I would go check out "Madea Goes to Jail." It was hilarious and the character Perry plays in drag--Madea--was a hoot and a half.


    I have since come to really enjoy the Madea character. Buried inside every crazy story about Madea is usually a tale that involves redemption or families coming together. So beyond the craziness of the character Madea, one can look forward to something redeeming coming from the hijinks.


    That trait held in the latest Madea offering, "A Madea Christmas." Here we take a look at interracial relationships and how black folks can often look down on their daughters for marrying a white man. The character of Eileen's daughter, Lacey, has taken a job at an Alabama school and lives on a farm with what she tells her mother is a farmhand. This farmhand turns out to be Lacey's new husband, Connor. Hilarity ensues when mother Eileen, with Madea in tow, turns up on the farm to visit her daughter. Along comes the outrageous family of Lacey's secret husband--played by Larry the Cable Guy and Kathy Najimy, who are fabulous!


    In an unusual twist, it would seem that the redneck hicks played by Larry the Cable Guy and Kathy Najimy would be the ones to have a problem with interracial unions. However, it is just the opposite here--a disappointed mother Eileen shames Lacey for taking up with this white man and hiding the fact from her!


    To me, the best part of the movie was the comical interactions between Madea and Larry the Cable Guy. I also found the little boy named Bailey, who is picked on at Lacey's school classroom, to be moving. The poor little boy was so tired from being over-worked on his poor white trash daddy's farm, that he couldn't stay awake during the day at school. But Bailey was rewarded with the solo song at the school's Christmas Jubilee and he sang like a little angel--making his father proud and bringing his family together again.


    Such is the case with a Madea movie. Lots of laughs but ALWAYS a message . Many times the "message" is Christian-themed. Though I did not laugh as much at this Christmas Madea movie as I have previously when Madea went to jail or had a family reunion, my affection for the character is true and deep.


    The Washington Post reviewed the film and said "Bah, Humbug" to the "garish grandma" Madea. I don't expect the snooty movie critics from the prestige papers back east to get the "cringe-worthy" Madea humor. I, myself, did not "get" Madea at first. But I love her now and see every Madea movie, come what may. As that busy-body Eileen said about the impervious Madea: "Something’s wrong with her. But we accept it.” I accept it, too. This white chick LOVES Madea!

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