"Powerful Melodrama with Uplifting Moral Values"
What You Need To Know:
MEET THE BROWNS is more dramatic than comedic, so Tyler Perry fans looking for comedy might be disappointed. Angela Bassett’s heartfelt performance as Brenda holds the movie together. MEET THE BROWNS deserves credit for providing viewers with powerful melodrama extolling moral values. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, however, for pre-teens because of some obscenities, references to prostitution in two scenes and the movie’s references to substance abuse and dealing drugs, which are, however, rebuked.
(CCC, BBB, P, Ab, LLL, V, S, AA, DD, M) Very strong Christian worldview where prayer to God despite difficult circumstances is encouraged that, however, focuses more on its moral, pro-family messages that reflect positively on American life rather than making theological points about the need for salvation through Jesus Christ, but there is some immoral, unbiblical behavior that is often rebuked throughout; 21 mostly light obscenities (mostly the “h” word but a few “d” words) and eight light profanities such as Oh, Lord! And God!, plus angry man starts to say MF but stops before getting to the “f” word; a scene where a person is shot once in the back but survives; lightly implied sexual immorality in verbal references to illegitimate children, a reference in one scene to other unseen women who are able to pay for childcare because they sell their bodies, and references in one scene to a dead patriarch being a pimp before he got saved by Jesus, plus two women admire a man’s muscles and build; no nudity but some female cleavage and one minor female character wears tight pants, yet no salacious images; alcohol use and one older female character is a lush but her drinking is rebuked but grudgingly put up with by her relatives; a character’s use of marijuana is rebuked and the local drug dealers trying to ensnare the heroine’s son are rebuked; and, gossip rebuked, a deadbeat father is mean to his son and the son’s mother, and managers of a factory sneak out on the workers when the plant is closed.
Despite the comedy he puts into his movies, Tyler Perry has a flair for melodrama that is beginning to remind one of the critically acclaimed 1950s melodramas by Douglas Sirk, IMITATION OF LIFE, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and WRITTEN ON THE WIND. This seems especially true in his newest movie, MEET THE BROWNS.
Angela Bassett stars as Brenda, a single mother with three children trapped in poverty in Chicago. Though her son Michael is a grown teenager who can help support the family, Brenda wants him to focus on his schooling and his basketball talent, either of which may help him get out of the ghetto. When the factory where she works closes down, Brenda begins to lose hope, despite her prayers to God.
Then, a letter arrives announcing the death of the father she never met. The letter comes with three bus tickets to Georgia for the funeral and the reading of the will. Desperate for any kind of help, Brenda takes her family there, where she finds love, hope and the caring concerns of a family she didn’t know existed.
MEET THE BROWNS is more dramatic than comedic, so Tyler Perry fans looking for more comedy might be disappointed. The movie’s melodrama focuses on the trials and tribulations of Brenda and her son, Michael, who feels the pain his mother is undergoing trying to make ends meet. Angela Bassett’s heartfelt performance as Brenda holds the movie together. When Michael gets too upset about the struggles his mother faces, he considers trying to sell drugs with his childhood friend, Calvin. This only greatly increases his mother’s pain, and Angela Bassett’s portrayal here is so compelling that it makes one believe that this is what many single mothers in the inner city must face. Without the talent she brings to the table here, MEET THE BROWNS would be a much lesser film.
The worldview in MEET THE BROWNS is Christian. Prayer to God in the face of continuing struggles is lifted up, but the movie focuses more on the moral messages in its story. Thus, the movie encourages kindness and rebukes using and dealing drugs as well as gossiping. Mostly, however, the movie stresses the biblical principle that family members should help family members who are in need. MEET THE BROWNS also extols the biblical principle of churches helping needy people.
All in all, MEET THE BROWNS deserves great credit for providing viewers with powerful melodrama that serves up positive moral messages, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teens because of some obscenities, references to prostitution in two scenes and the movie’s references to substance abuse and dealing drugs, which are, however, rebuked. As always, please peruse our special CONTENT section, which summarizes what’s in the movie.