Some viewers would constitute most of Tyler Perry’s movies as religious. With the occasional presence or cameo of Madea, it almost shakes the notion off completely, but not apparently so. You have to admit, the questionable but lovable character makes it difficult to say that Tyler Perry’s film is Christian.
Not all movies or plays that Madea shows up in are secular or Christian in the entirety. To make it fair, we can just assume that Tyler Perry’s works are somewhere along the line with an awesome salty twist. Madea’s character is completely contrary to what Christian films are about and are meant to deliver. Aside from the fact that she smokes, drinks and threatens people with her gun bravely, Madea also has a tendency for taking advantage of religion.
In addition to that, the big woman’s family isn’t anywhere close to Christian. Joe, her brother, for one thing makes a lot of typical, moderate but masculine jokes. There’s a constant mention of viagras, and strange jokes about incest. If anything, that would have been a very anti-Church and anti-Christian point to help conclude a movie is completely unreligious, even blasphemous.
In Madea Goes to Jail, Madea resulted into a ridiculous defense mechanism; oddly and cynically using religion to avoid being thrown into jail. In her usual, loud but un-Church-like voice, Madea exaggerated on her religious bout at the court. There was no sincerity whatsoever and it’s easy to see she was making fun of or imitating how stereotypical, devout Christians act.
It becomes more apparent that Madea is quite anti-religious in Madea Goes to Jail when she called Cora’s WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelet useless. To top that off, she also causes a rude driver to crash into a Church announcement sign. Normally, that would have been a coincidental scene in any movie but since Madea sarcastically commented to her daughter about her bracelet’s message, it’s hard to ignore the truth. “Did you show him your bracelet, Cora?” was what Madea said after the guy who cut them in traffic yelled at her daughter for trying to talk it out.
To make things fair for Tyler Perry fans, his movies are not central to Madea. In fact, there’s hardly any of her in it besides Madea’s Big Happy Family where the story is all about her. Even the movies where titles include her name don’t have much of her presence in them. Some movies even only show about ten minutes’ worth of cameo appearances.
Apparently so, one can’t entirely tie Madea with the Christianity or secularity of Tyler Perry’s movies. Individually, her character is extreme and every time the scene transfers to her, the audience is suddenly swept off into an absurd but entertaining moment. It’s like experiencing a complete change of country in an instant; you get cultural and religious shock but recover in laughter.
No matter how Madea undercuts Tyler Perry’s messages, there’s always some way that he gets it back on track. Tyler has admitted being tired of Madea at times. Even so, her appearance as a contrasting nature to the message preached somehow emphasizes its severity by making it out as the prevalent truth despite her absurdity (dressed in humour).