If you're a good actor, you tend to get defined by your signature roles. For heart-shaped face hottie Lynn Whitfield - she got defined by two. One where she put her foot all into the role of the internationally renowned singer/dance Josephine Baker. The other was where she put her foot all up Martin Lawrence's a$$ in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Even though that joint was a comedy - Lynn's off the deep end character gave me more willies than Glenn Close's bunny boiling turn in Fatal Attraction. Yeah - I know Lynn has kicked it in a ton of stuff since, but I can't shake off those two images.
LW is about to pop back up on the silver screen next February when Tyler Perry debuts the next installment of his Grandma-ma series - Madea's Family Reunion. That's right, y'all. Not only do we get to sample another serving of crazy a$$ Madea, who stole the show in Diary of A Mad Black Woman (which remains in eternal repeat in Pheeb's DVD player...), we get a sweet shorty side dish of tight Lynn Whitfield to set the party off right...
A quick peek over at blackfilm.com reveals a serious casting line up for Family Reunion. Such south side notables as Boris Kodjoe, Blair Underwood and Henry Simmons star (I can hear y'all shortys out there swooning) as well as Tyler Perry himself reprising his trifecta of characters - Madea, Uncle Joe and Brian. The shorty side is held down by Lynn, Tangi Miller and Jennifer Lewis - wouldn't be a south side flick without Jennifer, y'all. That's like having a catfish fry without the catfish! Hopefully the joint is good. I was struck by the even division among the south side nation to Diary. I was middle of the road on it, myself. It had it's moments but it kind of seemed more like a home video rather than a commercial movie but that's just me being bourgoise, y'all. Truthfully the split seemed to fall between the suburban and urban camps. Regardless of your thoughts on the movie as a whole, I have to admit that Madea was funny - "go on and call the po-po, ho".
That said, maybe some of you more astute readers can solve this mystery for me. If you peep that glossy of Perry dressed as Madea, that character looks almost *exactly* the same and the Grandma-ma character that Larry Johnson dropped courtesy of Converse back in the day. If I'm not mistaken, LJ's Grandma-ma showed up in the early 90's. So did Tyler Perry cop the concept or was Madea already cooking? If anyone knows - holler back and drop some knowledge on a brother! Truth be told - both those characters crack me up and make me thankful that I never ran into either one at a dimly lit house party....