Friday, January 9, 2009

The Family That Preys DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Tyler Perry Dysfunctional Family Drama Due on DVD

This Tyler Perry offering is a slight variation on his familiar formula in that white actors have been added to the principal cast. But the film otherwise relies on the staples of a typical Perry production, namely, well-crafted female characters summoning up the gumption to deal with dysfunction in real-life crises pitting good versus evil.
The story revolves around Alice Pratt (Alfre Woodard) and Charlotte Catrwright (Kathy Bates), Southern matriarchs presiding over a couple of families about to be embroiled in scandal. Socialite Charlotte is the CEO of a construction company, and Alice owns a down-home diner called A Wing and a Prayer. Despite the difference between their financial fortunes, the widows’ have remained best friends over the years, a relationship about to be sorely tested.
The point of departure is the wedding of Alice’s daughter Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) to Chris (Rockmund Dunbar), an unemployed blue-collar worker. During the reception, Charlotte’s son, William (Cole Hauser), promises both the bride and the groom jobs with the Cartwright Corporation.
The film then fast-forwards four years, and we discover that Andrea is already unhappily married, and there are signs that she might be secretly sleeping with her new boss. The overplotted production has creepy William not only cheating on his wife (KaDee Strickland), but planning to fleece his mother out of her controlling interest in the family business.
Meanwhile, clueless Charlotte talks Alice into joining her for a cross-country trip in her classic convertible. Fortunately, they return just in time to right the wrongs and to tie up the rest of the loose ends oh so satisfactorily. That’s the magic of the Tyler Perry genre.
A pat cautionary tale which manages to push the right emotional buttons every time.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, sexual references and brief violence.
Running time: 111 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes and four featurettes.

To see a trailer for The Family That Preys, visit:

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