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"TYLER PERRY'S THE FAMILY THAT PREYS"
(2008) (Alfre Woodard, Kathy Bates) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Extreme Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Extreme Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two long-time friends set off on a cross-country trip while their adult children's behavior adversely affects members in both families.
PLOT:
Alice Pratt (ALFRE WOODARD) and Charlotte Cartwright (KATHY BATES) have been friends for 30 years, but live completely different lifestyles. Alice runs a small diner with the help of her adult daughter, Pam (TARAJI P. HENSON), serving the likes of homeless man Nick (SEBASTIAN SIEGEL), while Charlotte runs her late husband's multimillion dollar construction company where their adult son, William (COLE HAUSER), is one of the executives.

He's married to Jillian (KaDEE STRICKLAND), but is secretly having an affair with Andrea (SANNA LATHAN), his snooty subordinate who's married to Chris (ROCKMOND DUNBAR), a worker at one of William's construction sites. His best friend and fellow coworker is Ben (TYLER PERRY) who's married to Pam and is satisfied with his comfortable, but far from rich lifestyle. Chris repeatedly tries to convince him that they should ask William to invest in their business idea for their own construction firm, but the executive has bigger fish to fry in the form of Abby Dexter (ROBIN GIVENS).

She's just been hired by Charlotte as her company's new COO, a development that doesn't sit well with William. Nevertheless, Charlotte finally convinces Alice to join her on a cross-country road trip to see the sights and live a bit. As they make their way on that journey, the actions of their adult children come to a head and affect all of the family members.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast or films by Tyler Perry, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material, sexual references and brief violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALFRE WOODARD plays the owner of a diner who tries to keep the peace between her adult daughters, but is obviously disappointed in Andrea's attitude and behavior. Realizing life is too short, she goes on a cross-country road trip with her best friend, Charlotte, but behaves in a straight-laced manner.
  • KATHY BATES plays her wealthy friend who wants to see the country one last time, and convinces Alice to accompany her. She must also contend with her son's actions and her dislike for her daughter-in-law. She drinks to the point of being a bit intoxicated, wants to live it up while out on the road, and uses some profanity.
  • SANNA LATHAN plays Alice's snooty daughter who's mean to most everyone (especially her husband who she constantly belittles) save for William with whom she's having an affair. She uses some profanity and does some brief drinking.
  • ROCKMOND DUNBAR plays her blue collar, construction worker husband who's blind to her infidelity, possibly because he's fixated on starting his own construction business. He uses some profanity and gets violent with Andrea and William once he learns of their affair.
  • COLE HAUSER plays Charlotte's business-minded but conniving son who's positioning himself to take over the company. Married to Jillian, he cheats on her with Andrea and basically is a jerk. He drinks some.
  • KaDEE STRICKLAND plays his wife who's pretty much content with their life until she learns of his affair.
  • TARAJI P. HENSON plays Alice's other daughter who works at the diner with her and doesn't look highly upon her sister. Married to Ben, she's a little disappointed that he no longer dreams about getting ahead.
  • ROBIN GIVENS plays the new COO at Charlotte's company who immediately clashes with Williams and his way of doing business. She uses some profanity and also confronts Andrea about her behavior.
  • TYLER PERRY plays Pam's husband who's content with their life and his job doing construction work. He uses some profanity and does some brief drinking.
  • SEBASTIAN SIEGEL plays a homeless man who reluctantly accepts Alice's generosity toward him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of various mild expletives, while colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, while an affair occurs off-screen. Varying amounts of cleavage (some times a lot) are present, as are some shirtless male strippers doing their thing in front of women.

    Violence consists of the hitting of others (a man backhanding his adulterous wife over a counter, and later punching her lover in the face), while an overdose-based suicide takes place off-camera. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while all sorts of tense family material also occurs.

    Drinking is present in various scenes (with a few characters appearing somewhat intoxicated), while thematic material (including talk and signs of early onset Alzheimer's) is also present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some handheld camera footage from time to time in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jillian asks if she can get a drink.
  • Ben tells Chris he's going to buy him a drink to help him relax (before Chris' wedding), but then adds that he thought Chris had enough the night before at his bachelor party.
  • Pam states she needs a drink.
  • Jillian hands a drink to William and then makes one for herself.
  • Andrea has a drink.
  • Ben has a beer.
  • Charlotte asks a housekeeper to bring her bourbon.
  • Charlotte has a drink.
  • Charlotte comments on William's three years in rehab some time in the past.
  • Charlotte states that she feels closer to Heaven when she drinks.
  • We see beer advertisements in a gas station market.
  • People drink in a honky-tonk bar, including Charlotte who orders two shots of tequila for her and Alice (who says she only wants water). Later, we see several empty shot glasses by Charlotte who appears to be somewhat intoxicated.
  • William, Jillian and others have drinks at a fancy reception. Later, one of the company receptionists is somewhat intoxicated and laughs that maybe Andrea is with William.
  • After being baptized, Charlotte states she needs a drink.
  • Miscellaneous women have drinks in a strip club.
  • About William's affair, Charlotte tells Jillian to go home and make herself a stiff drink.
  • A person commits suicide via an overdose (off camera, via prescription medication that we see her collecting from her medicine cabinet).
  • William and Jillian have wine with a meal.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Seeing William and Jillian, Charlotte states that here comes her son and "his dreadful wife." We then learn that she's still upset that they eloped some time in the past.
  • Andrea thinks Charlotte's funding of her wedding is a racist action, commenting on playing "Mammy" and "Stepin Fetchit," and that Charlotte is only doing this to tell her white friends that she helped the poor "colored" people.
  • Chris refers to an unseen construction foreman as being an "idiot."
  • Andrea and Pam don't get along as sisters, with the latter being upset with the former about owing her money for watching Andrea's child at work (as well as not helping their mom financially).
  • About Chris' idea to start his own business, Andrea tells him not to be stupid.
  • William isn't happy that his mom has hired Abby as the company's new COO, with Charlotte telling him that he isn't qualified for the position. As a result, William and Abby clash over business decisions.
  • Chris discovers that his wife has a secret bank account with more than $286,000 in it. He's upset about that, as is she when she later comes home to find that he's gone through her papers to look at the financial records.
  • Andrea isn't happy to see Jillian, while the latter smells a familiar scent on her.
  • Andrea tells Chris that he'll never be like William who she says is smart, charming, and can talk business with others without stuttering.
  • When Chris shows up at her workplace, Andrea refers to him as "this gentleman" rather than introduce him as her husband.
  • Charlotte states that she feels closer to Heaven when she drinks (some viewers might not like that comment, which also holds true for Alice's reaction to that).
  • At a fancy company reception for which she wasn't going to invite him, Andrea tells Chris to not do anything to embarrass her and for him not to talk to anyone.
  • After Chris asks William if he'd like to invest in his fledgling construction company, William isn't happy and orders that Chris be fired. Andrea is pleased by that news, saying that gives her more ammunition to leave her husband.
  • We learn that William and Andrea are having an affair.
  • Andrea lies to Abbie about having an affair with William and the two then clash about Andrea using sex to climb the corporate ladder.
  • Ben is fired along with Chris for the latter's business proposition to William.
  • Andrea is mad at Chris for taking all of the money out of her account and using it to start his business. She states that she's sick of him and that he's weak. When she admits to having an affair and that their son is actually William's, Chris backhands her hard enough to send her over a diner counter. He then later confronts and punches William.
  • When Jillian informs Charlotte that William is having an affair and that she's found the hotel room number where the trysts take place, Charlotte states that's the same room her husband used for his affairs. She then states that as such wives they have to endure a lot of things to enjoy their creature comforts, and then admits to having her own affairs in the past.
  • Alice asks Andrea when she started sleeping with William. Andrea then turns that back on her about Alice's husband's affair in the past, "You damn near pushed him into her arms." Alice then wonders where she went wrong with her daughter.
  • William tries to do corporate maneuvering to retire Charlotte against her will, but she outflanks him and then fires him.
  • When William calls off his affair with Andrea, she says they have a son, with him replying, "Do we?"
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screwing your way to the top," "Freaking out on me," "Freak out," "Idiot," "Keep your damn money," "She's an ingrate," "Shut up," "Where is Morgan Freeman?" (about Charlotte driving her old car), "I know we ain't (what sounded like) balling out of control like your sister," "Hit the damn ground," "What the hell /you talking about?" "Where in the hell she get that money from?" "I'm a grown ass man," "If you burn me, I will nail your ass to the wall," "You tell me what the hell is going on," "None of your damn business," "If you keep pissing me off," "Screw up," "The hell he put me through," "Where the hell have you been?" "I worked my ass off," "This ain't no damn sign," "You bastard," "You go to hell," "Loser," "You damn near pushed him into her arms," "You son of a bitch" and "You're pathetic."
  • Some women doing line dancing wearing midriff-revealing tops.
  • A person commits suicide via an overdose (off camera, via prescription medication that we see her collecting from her medicine cabinet).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song repeats the line "Shake that thing."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 slang terms for sex ("screw" and "screwing"), 8 damns, 8 hells, 5 asses, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Lord have mercy," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Andrea shows varying amounts of cleavage (some times a lot) in various outfits. Pam and Abbie also show cleavage in various outfits.
  • William kisses Jillian on the lips and then neck. He then tells her to let him get cleaned up and that he'll meet her upstairs.
  • Chris kisses Andrea on the side of the face, but she says she's had a long day and nothing else happens.
  • Alice shows a little cleavage.
  • After alluding to the affair earlier in the day (regarding appointments the same night of the week), an intoxicated company receptionist later laughs that maybe Andrea is with William (meaning sexually).
  • When Charlotte states that the backseats of cars aren't as comfortable as when she was younger, Alice jokes that's because Charlotte was always on her back on them.
  • Abbie tells Andrea that women like her (Andrea) give a bad name to "sisters" (black women) by "screwing your way to the top" rather than doing it the right way. Andrea then asks Abbie "Who did you screw?" to get where she is, but Abbie replies she got where she is because "I worked my ass off."
  • We see a shirtless man on a billboard for a male strip club. We then see such male strippers entertaining women in that club, including Charlotte who looks pleased and places money somewhere on a dancer's body (we don't see the actual contact, but Alice tells her to wash her hands when they leave). One such man then approaches Alice and asks if she wants to rub oil on his body, with her throwing what's perhaps holy water on him, while she waves her Bible at another shirtless man (in suspenders) who similarly approaches her.
  • When Jillian informs Charlotte that William is having an affair and that she's found the hotel room number where the trysts take place, Charlotte states that's the same room her husband used for his affairs. She then states that as such wives they have to endure a lot of things to enjoy their creature comforts, and then admits to having her own affairs in the past. Later, we see Andrea waiting in that hotel room for William, but she's surprised when Jillian shows up and tells her the affair is over.
  • Chris confronts William and yells at him for sleeping with his wife.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Seeing William and Jillian, Charlotte states that here comes her son and "his dreadful wife." We then learn that she's still upset that they eloped some time in the past.
  • We hear that some time in the past, Nick was fired, his wife died, and he lost custody of his children, resulting in him now being homeless.
  • Andrea and Pam don't get along as sisters, with the latter being upset with the former about owing her money for watching Andrea's child at work (as well as not helping their mom financially).
  • About Chris' idea to start his own business, Andrea tells him not to be stupid.
  • William isn't happy that his mom has hired Abby as the company's new COO, with Charlotte telling him that he isn't qualified for the position.
  • Chris discovers that his wife has a secret bank account with more than $286,000 in it. He's upset about that, as is she when she later comes home to find that he's gone through her papers to look at the financial records.
  • Andrea isn't happy to see Jillian, while the latter smells a familiar scent on her.
  • Charlotte is forced to sell some of her company shares to cover her son's business dealings, but she tells him, "If you burn me, I will nail your ass to the wall."
  • Andrea tells Chris that he'll never be like William who she says is smart, charming, and can talk business with others without stuttering.
  • When Chris shows up at her workplace, Andrea refers to him as "this gentleman" rather than introduce him as her husband.
  • At a fancy company reception for which she wasn't going to invite him, Andrea tells Chris to not do anything to embarrass her and for him not to talk to anyone.
  • We hear that Charlotte has been divorced three times.
  • After Chris asks William if he'd like to invest in his fledgling construction company, William isn't happy and orders that Chris be fired. Andrea is pleased by that news, saying that gives her more ammunition to leave her husband.
  • Jillian walks in and catches her husband kissing Andrea.
  • Andrea is mad at Chris for taking all of the money out of her account and using it to start his business. She states that she's sick of him and that he's weak. When she admits to having an affair and that their son is actually William's, Chris backhands her hard enough to send her over a diner counter.
  • When Jillian informs Charlotte that William is having an affair and that she's found the hotel room number where the trysts take place, Charlotte states that's the same room her husband used for his affairs. She then states that as such wives they have to endure a lot of things to enjoy their creature comforts, and then admits to having her own affairs in the past.
  • Alice asks Andrea when she started sleeping with William. Andrea then turns that back on her about Alice's husband's affair in the past, "You damn near pushed him into her arms." Alice then wonders where she went wrong with her daughter.
  • William tries to do corporate maneuvering to retire Charlotte against her will, but she outflanks him and then fires him.
  • We briefly see a funeral attended by family and friends.
  • Chris and Andrea's young son sees his parents not getting along.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Andrea thinks Charlotte's funding of her wedding is a racist action, commenting on playing "Mammy" and "Stepin Fetchit," and that Charlotte is only doing this to tell her white friends that she helped the poor "colored" people.
  • Affairs and their impact on families.
  • Corporate maneuvering and business deals.
  • Homeless people.
  • Starting one's own business.
  • Pam being concerned that Ben no longer has dreams about a better life, while he says he's comfortable with their lifestyle.
  • Charlotte admits that her family preys on the weak.
  • Charlotte admits that she has early onset Alzheimer's disease.
  • The comment that you can't make yourself happy bringing misery to others.
  • A person commits suicide via an overdose (off camera, via prescription medication that we see her collecting from her medicine cabinet).
  • The question of whether one is living or just existing.
  • The comment that death is a tragic thing if you haven't really lived.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Andrea is mad at Chris for taking all of the money out of her account and using it to start his business. She states that she's sick of him and that he's weak. When she admits to having an affair and that their son is actually William's, Chris backhands her hard enough to send her over a diner counter.
  • Chris punches William, sending him falling back to a safety cable at the edge of the floor of a building under construction. He's then pulled away and flips over a table or just a piece of plywood in anger.
  • A person commits suicide via an overdose (off camera, via prescription medication that we see her collecting from her medicine cabinet).



  • Reviewed September 12, 2008 / Posted September 12, 2008

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