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Madea Goes to Jail 

Tyler Perry’s latest film makes use of an obvious gimmick, as the writer-director dresses in drag to portray the loud-mouthed old woman who won’t take no for an answer. And while a man in women’s clothes always guarantees a laugh, there’s also something about the ugly and overweight Madea that makes you like her despite her obvious flaws (an uncontrollable temper, a propensity for troublemaking, etc.). Too bad the Madea plot (she’s in trouble with the law — again) takes a back seat to the storyline about Joshua (Derek Luke) and Linda (Ion Overman), two lawyers in love. Filled with the kind of soap opera-like drama that’s become a cliché of a Tyler Perry film (Josh wants to stay true to his roots, while Linda has become so obsessed with wealth and power that she could care less about what goes on in the ghetto), Madea Goes to Jail really gets bogged down by its polarizing politics. HH

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