The swine flu is not the only disease that seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. Black films have become infected with a virus that is spreading like a wild fire. Lacking plot, predictable endings, and over-emotional acting are the major symptoms. However the new strand is laced with so much stereotypical humor that only very few will be aware that they've been infected. People leave the theater believing what they saw was a legitimate film and on the surface that's what it is, but If movie goers actually analyzed movies with some second level thoughts they would see how crappy these films really are.
I diagnosed these types of films with a disease called black film Atrophy(BFA)- an over dramatic black film lacking plot then covered with humor. BFA has increased exponentially in the past five years. Not so long ago, the black community produced respectable films such as "Brown Sugar" and "the Love of Basketball." Nowadays it seems we can not make one film without there being someone going through the emotions of getting out of a bad relationship or trying to get in a good one. These films exploit some of the black communities problems that were not previously highlighted in films, but for some reason forgot to add a actually story line.
This was most evident in Preston A Whitmore's, "This Christmas," staring Regina King, Chris Brown, Delroy Lindo, and some other well known black actors. BFA ran ramped killing the respectability of many award winning actors. The first half of the move was spent establishing character background and the second half was spent throwing a story line together. I found myself asking without answer, "SO...what is this movie about" and "when is something worth watching going to happen." Maybe it was how it was written, or filmed, or edited, but someone needs to be held responsible, someone needs to lose a career over this atrocious mess.
More recently, T.D. Jakes film, "Not Easily Broken" helped launched Taraji P. Henson's career giving her a oscar nomination. She and Morest chestnut did an awesome job acting and there performances deserve the recognition. They merit the most acknowledgment for masking one of the worst cases of BFA. Kevin Hart's comedic performance did a great job covering some of the hemorrhaging plot line, which seems to be headed in a downward direction for the entire movie. Heres the summary of the movie: The marriage is good, the marriage goes bad, he has problems with the father of a boy on his baseball team, he randomly, yet magically fixes his marriage, the father helps his son. There is a complete disconnection between the problems and the solutions. They seem to just fix themselves offering no real solution. If you look at this movie on the surface or from a psychological stand point, it is great because the movie focuses more on the day-to-day emotions rather than the big picture. This is a classic case of BFA.
If BFA is the AIDS then Tyler Perry is definitely the HIV. Tyler Perry has done an excellent job establishing a career for himself considering his background. His plays were hilarious, but when he started making movies is when his creditability, in my opinion, began to slowly drop then free fall. Tyler Perry's, "Diary of A Mad Black" was a decent film to begin his movie making debut, but some of his follow up films like, "Meet the Browns," "Daddy's Little Girls," and "Why did I get Married," were festering with BFA. "Meet the Browns" being the worst case I have ever seen. In addition to the usual signs of BFA, "Meet the Browns" was also poorly filmed. For instance did anyone else notice the microphone at the top of the screen in random scenes throughout the film. This amateur work discredits black films, but it didn't seem to slow Mr. Perry's career.
I could break down each of Tyler Perry's films and reiterate and analyze the symptoms of the BFA, but I'll spare you the reading, suffice it to say that once you know its there you will be able to see it for yourself.
The purpose of this post is not to dissuade you from seeing black movies, but rather inform you or make you aware of the of the BFA crisis. Black film Atrophy is not curable, but it is containable. We as a community need to expect more from the black film makers and writers. Just because they try to relate to black people by adding some of the struggles that affect black people today, it does not excuse them from having decent plot lines. My challenge to you is to see past conventional black humor, the strong christian over tones, and the over emotional acting and see these films for what they are, meat-less.