A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although family relationships can be messy, hurtful, and dysfunctional, the movie makes the point that love and faith can see families through the worst circumstances.
Positive Role Models
The matriarch at the heart of this dysfunctional family is pious and kind-hearted to a fault; she lets her own kids disrespect her even when she’s at the most difficult junction of her life. Her patience is amazing, as is her willingness to accept her children for who they are. On the down side, many women are portrayed as shrewish, and some characters place a lot of value on owning nice things and having lots of money to purchase them.
Violence & Scariness
Men joke about shutting up their wives; a woman disciplines everyone, even kids, with insults and slaps. The same character rams her car into a fast food restaurant and pelts a worker with food. A brief discussion about how an uncle raped his niece. Lots of yelling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A retiree attempts to fondle a doctor in an examination room. Much discussion about baby mamas and their attempts to figure out the father of their children. A few innuendoes.
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One "s--t," plus “damn,” “ho,” “hell,” "ass," “jackass,” "oh my God," and a number of bleeped-out words during one scene meant to take place on a TV show.
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Mercedes Benz.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character smokes weed like a chimney; another character reluctantly sells drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family is a dramedy very similar to its predecessors, with lots of family dysfunction and some fairly adult themes amid the jokes -- including questions about paternity, drug abuse, and drug dealing, marital woes, and references to rape. There's a fair amount of swearing, though no F-bombs, and one character loves to smoke weed. Nevertheless, there are also a lot of discussions about faith, forgiveness, and the importance of family. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
You've seen it all in other Perry movies: juvenile jokes, marital woes, family strife, uplifting singing, and the pushy, bombastic, and sometimes wonderful Madea. Refreshing and surprising this movie is not, so if innovation and vision are what you're looking for, you'll have to move on. What's more, feminists may be taken aback by the shrewish portrayal of most of the women, and how their deference toward their husbands is not-so-subtly advised as the key to marital bliss.
Madea's Big Happy Family feels a bit schizophrenic: Serious issues are fodder for jokes, while funny moments suddenly take a dramatic turn. Still, there's something appealing about Perry's freewheeling style. Anything can happen, and anything does happen: cancer, skeletons in closets, drug deals, Maury Povich leading paternity fights, a rousing church service. For Madea fans, it's just another day at the movies.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate