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Film / Madea's Family Reunion

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A 2006 movie directed by Tyler Perry. While planning her family reunion, the pistol-packing grandma, Mabel "Madea" Simmons, must contend with the other dramas on her plate, including the runaway who has been placed under her care, and her troubled nieces, half-sisters Lisa and Vanessa.

Associated Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Victoria is emotionally abusive to both her daughters even though they're now adults. She makes it perfectly clear to Vanessa's face that she thinks her children are bastards and wishes she never gave birth to her, and keeps Lisa wrapped around her finger so she can use her trust fund. There's also the fact that she let Lisa's father rape Vanessa with a clear conscience. And to really drive it home, Victoria is encouraging her “favorite” daughter to marry someone who is beating her just so she can get more money.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: A very disturbing example occurred to Vanessa as a child. As a child, her mother allowed her stepfather to rape her in order to stop him from leaving the family and she cleaned her and dressed her up before he committed the act.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Parodied when Madea tells the wedding planner "I shot Tupac!" and then mentions she's referring to a separate incident other than the performer's death.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lisa is friendly and calm, but at the end of the movie, she finally has had it with Carlos' abusing her and fights back with a pot of hot grits.
  • Blaming the Victim: Victoria tells Lisa to stop doing whatever she’s doing that pushes Carlos to hit her because she cares more about getting money for herself than her daughter’s life.
  • Broken Bird: Vanessa, and she is trying very hard to overcome it. She eventually does.
    • Victoria herself has been broken since her junkie and prostitute mother sold her for "ten dollars and a fix."
  • Bully Hunter: The school bully on the bus discovers what happens if one fails to know who the foster parent when targeting Nikki. He should have been on the look out for three simple words: Mabel “Madea” Simmons.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Madea tells Lisa a story about how she handled a person that was similar to Carlos by scalding him with a pot of hot grits and beating him while he was in pain. You think she was just exaggerating as usual. But near the end of the movie, when Carlos comes to Madea's home to reclaim Lisa and Madea heads out to give them privacy, she reminds Lisa of said story and motions to the pot on the stove. Take a wild guess what happens next?
  • The Dog Bites Back: Lisa makes sure Carlos strikes her for the final time by taking Madea's advice and throwing a pot of hot grits in his face before beating him with a frying pan and taking off her engagement ring.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: When Nikki has been cutting classes and lying about it, Madea resorts to this.
  • Dirty Old Man: Joe, Madea's brother, like usual.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Carlos painfully squeezes Lisa's back just for yawning while having a late evening out with friends.
  • Domestic Abuser: Carlos, Lisa's fiance. She tries to cover it up, sure enough, at her mother's behest and his Establishing Character Moment has him slapping her after a bachelorette party.
  • Establishing Shot: A very long one at the beginning to show that it is in Atlanta.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite justifying it to her daughter's face, Victoria's collusion with Carlos goes as far as learning that he beats her daughter and she tries to insist that he stop... from now on. Everything else is ready to keep going.
  • Evil Matriarch: Vanessa and Lisa's mother, Victoria and how.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Vanessa and Frankie, and an inversion later on with Carlos and Lisa showing how much he abused her.
  • Family Disunion: The events really come to a head at the eponymous reunion, with Lisa and Vanessa's abusive mother, Victoria, starting a physical fight.
  • Food Slap: A brutal one in the end when Lisa throws hot grits in Carlos' face.
  • Gold Digger: Victoria was so desperate for her second husband's money that she allowed him to rape her daughter. In the present she pushes Lisa to marry Carlos, despite knowing that he is abusing her, because she has squandered all the money in Lisa's trust fund.
  • Good Parents: Vanessa and Frankie are this to their respective children.
  • I Have This Friend: This is how Lisa and Vanessa tell Madea that Carlos is beating Lisa. Madea is too sharp to fall for it, but goes along with it anyway and still gives Lisa advice on how to deal with Carlos.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Victoria tries to rationalize the fact that she let her second husband, Lisa's father and Vanessa's stepfather, rape Vanessa in order to get him to stay, saying that Vanessa "saved the family". Vanessa flat out asks Victoria if she's insane. Victoria responds, "I'm a realist".
  • Insult Backfire: When told by Vanessa that she was going to rot in hell, Victoria responds "I vacation there!"
  • It's All About Me: Victoria is unrepentant about the absolute hell that she put her daughters through from letting Vanessa be raped by her second husband so that he would stay to forcing Lisa to marry a man who abuses her so that she could get more money due to squandering Lisa’s trust fund for herself.
  • Marry for Love: Vanessa dates the local bus driver and loves him regardless of his profession. They get married at the end.
  • Narcissist: Victoria has many traits of being a narcissistic mother, such as verbal abuse and wanting to live vicariously through her daughters.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: After smacking one of Nikki's bullies, Madea does a hilarious Shout-Out to The Color Purple...which is completely lost on the middle school children, one of whom asks "Who's Harpo?"
  • Rape as Drama: Vanessa was dolled up for her stepfather to rape her so that he wouldn't leave her mother.
  • Rich Bitch: Victoria, or more rather, she has the "Bitch" part down pat but for "Rich?" She's pretty much broke and has been draining the trust fund Lisa's father set up for her to maintain her wealthy image, which is why she's so desperate to make sure Lisa marries Carlos.
  • Shout-Out: Madea quotes The Color Purple:
    "All my life, I had to fight. I loves Harpo, but I kill 'em dead 'fore I let 'em beat me!"
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Vanessa is very cynical about love and is apprehensive about committing to Frankie. This is attributed to not just her children's biological father walking out on her, but also her mother allowing her stepfather to rape her when she was a child.
  • Single Parents Are Undesirable: Discussed while Vanessa rides the bus home by a few patrons when Frankie flirts with her and they learn she has two children. Turns out, this was not a turn-off for him, as he's a single father himself.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Vanessa and Frankie.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: The wedding planner tells Madea this, specifically tired of other black people showing up late (and "ignorant").
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: "I left some grits on the stove. They're nice and hot."
  • Teeny Weenie: Victoria pegs Carlos (investment banker with a history of personal abuse) as an insecure "overachiever" driven by this. He doesn't deny it.
  • Too Much Information: Joe to Frankie, whom he told he had once passed gas on an airplane. Justified in that Joe's an elderly man and not exactly the epitome of tact.
  • The Unfavorite: Vanessa is this to Victoria, as the latter has hated her from childhood because she hated her father for leaving them.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, Carlos isn't the film's antagonist for nothing...
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Invoked by Victoria, who tells Lisa to simply stop doing whatever it is she does that makes Carlos hit her when Lisa tells her Carlos has been abusing her. This is during the first few minutes of the film and acts as Victoria's Establishing Character Moment when immediately after Victoria orders her lunch as if Lisa just commented on the passing weather.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Near the end, Lisa decides to cut Carlos loose and cancel their wedding. The wedding planner laments that her lavish Paris-themed wedding will not be used. Vanessa's boyfriend Frankie decides to propose to her right then. She accepts and they get married.


Video Example(s):


Lisa Can't Leave

Carlos starts out apologetic, but he makes it clear he won't let his fiancee Lisa leave him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DomesticAbuse

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