Tyler Perry Moved to Tears Over God’s Goodness
By Jessilyn Lancaster
Director, writer and actor Tyler Perry was moved to prayer, tears and thanksgiving on his commute this week.
Perry was driving to work when he saw signs for Tyler Perry Studios, but the physical signs meant something spiritual for the star.
“Atlanta has truly been the promised land for me. I came here with nothing, lived off Sylvan Road, ended up homeless and starving, but I was always praying and believing. I was always keeping the faith, knowing that if I worked hard, did my absolute best, kept my integrity, honored every blessing, and remained grateful through it all that everything would work out. And, it has, thank God,” Perry wrote.
But to all of you looking at my life now, I want to share a scripture/prayer that helped me keep going from St. Mark 9:23-25. It’s a simple prayer by a man who had faith, a man who believed, but still had doubts. He said, “LORD I believe but help my unbelief.”
Even in my darkest times when I wanted to give up, I kept believing, and I asked God to help me to believe past any naysayer, any doubt, and any problem.
Just know that it is possible to believe in your dream and still wonder how or when it’s going to happen. Stay the course. Pray, work, believe, and repeat. You’ll get there. Just believe for as much as you can, and ask God to help you believe for the rest!
Perry’s movies often have strong faith-based elements and Christian worldviews. His 2008 FAMILY THAT PREYS was one of Movieguide®’s Top 10 Movies for Mature Audiences.
“We’re Christians, and it’s great to say it,” THE FAMILY THAT PREYS co-producer Roger Bobb said at the 2009 Movieguide® Awards. “We believe in films that support spirituality and virtues of family and faith and forgiveness. That’s what film and family and everything is about at Talla Praise Studios. We strongly adhere to those tenets of family and faith and love and forgiveness. It’s an honor for us just to be here and to be with other filmmakers who have the same type of beliefs.
“Tyler Perry wanted to make a movie that spoke to the whole family theme, about families that came from different backgrounds and so we did, and of course he wanted to infuse the spirituality in it, and we were able to do that clearly successfully,” Bobb said. “He brought the script to me and I thought it was fantastic. I’m his producer, and we got a fantastic cast and that’s really what made this movie work.”
Movieguide® awarded THE FAMILY THAT PREYS four stars for quality and a -1 for content.
This movie is well made and very enjoyable. The acting, especially by Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard, is exceptional. They bring their characters to life. The story is also engaging, both humorous and moving. All of it is backed by a great Gospel music score.
That said, the movie feels more like a TV movie or TV soap opera than a theatrical film with all of the dramatic entanglements of the characters. It’s not a subtle movie by any means, and the plot unfolds in something of a workmanlike manner.
As in many Tyler Perry movies, faith plays an important role in the movie. Alice is a strong Christian role model in the movie and takes out her Bible when she is dragged to a male strip club. In one scene while in a church, Charlotte asks Alice if God can forgive her, and Alice tells her, “Yes.” It’s implied, though not shown, that Alice then asks God to forgive her. The movie would have been stronger had viewers seen that scene. Later on the road trip, Alice invites, and then forces, Charlotte to be baptized, which is a bit disturbing, since Charlotte was so reluctant to do it.
THE FAMILY THAT PREYS is an enjoyable movie that should be approached with caution due to some of the above noted comments and because of some foul language and other immoral behavior.
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