Brenda (Angela Bassett) is a single mom living in the big city; thus it goes without saying that she is struggling mightily to make ends meet for herself and her three kids--Michael (Lance Gross) Tosha (Chloe Bailey) and Lena (Mariana Tolbert)--each of whom has a different father. Brenda’s problems come to a head when she goes in to work only to learn that her office has been shut down and moved to Mexico. Now it’s not so much her young daughter’s daycare that she can’t afford; it’s electricity and food! With literally nothing else to lose Brenda takes the advice of her friend (Sofia Vergara) and heads down to rural Georgia where Brenda just found out her estranged father is going to be buried. It is there that she also learns about her long-lost gigantic family and her father’s clandestine life. Most importantly though she meets a very persistent charmer (Rick Fox) who may or may not change her life in more than one way. Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett takes a huge step down in giving in to the hit machine that is Tyler Perry. Her bad decision to take on the role of an emotionally and financially battered single mom turns into an equally subpar performance. She is overly made-up both character-wise and physically--Brenda appears better-suited for one of Perry’s stage productions--and Bassett greatly overacts albeit somewhat appropriately for such a melodramatic film. Former Los Angeles Laker/Mr. Vanessa Williams Rick Fox playing a somewhat fictional version of his own life (i.e. retired basketball star) continues to attempt in vain to prove himself as an actor and not just a jock. Unfortunately he again comes off as an athlete trying his hand at acting with an emotional range and vocal monotone that make Shaquille O'Neal seem worthy of another acting gig. The lone bright spot is House of Payne (Perry’s TBS sitcom) star Gross who as a high school basketball star/super-son is thankfully unwilling to indulge in the overacting that surrounds him. In supporting roles the countless Brown family members are good for a few laughs but little else. And Perry himself pops up as the beloved Madea character for what can only be considered a cameo. As sure as a new spoof from the Scary Movie guys an under-the-radar Woody Allen film and a Saw flick Tyler Perry will put out at least one film a year these days. Between his own movie productions acting gigs on the side and hit TBS sitcom House of Payne Perry is clearly the busiest man in showbiz--gotta give him that. What’s not so clear however is how he has such a loyal fervent fan base. Meet the Browns like every other movie he’s written and/or directed (five of them) is very occasionally silly-funny or touching but otherwise verges on absurd and not the good There Will Be Blood kind of absurd. It’s everything that probably makes Perry’s plays--which are the basis for almost all of his work and his subsequent meteoric Hollywood rise--successful: histrionics theatrics melodrama and preaching. None of those elements translates to anything more than an uneven film yet apparently throngs of moviegoers couldn’t disagree more--and hey at least it’s a (welcome) change from almost everything else at the local multiplex.
Denzel Washington's 2007 movie The Great Debaters took the top prize at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards in Los Angeles.
The movie--which Washington both directed and acted in--was named best film, with acting prizes also going to its stars Washington, Jurnee Smollett and teenager Denzel Whitaker.
As he collected his award at Thursday's ceremony at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Washington was keen to point out that the NAACP Image Awards mean much more to him than the Oscars.
He said, "I'll be at that other show (the Academy Awards) next week, but my heart is here. I'm just so happy to see these young people get recognized."
Singer/actress Janet Jackson landed the award for best supporting actress in a motion picture for her turn as a psychiatrist in Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?.
Perry was also a big winner in the TV categories, with his sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne taking the honor for best comedy series, and stars LaVan Davis and Lance Gross given nods in the acting categories.
Medical drama Grey's Anatomy won the award for best drama series, while the show's star Chandra Wilson landed an acting prize and creator Shonda Rhimes was honored for writing.
The best actor in a drama series trophy went to Hill Harper of CSI: NY, and Ugly Betty's Vanessa Williams also took home a gong--winning the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series.
Stevie Wonder was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame, and special honors were given to Aretha Franklin and Oscar-nominated actress Ruby Dee.
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