Death At a Funeral: But Love Lives

April 22, 2010
chris rock regina hall
Like death, life can often be unpredictable.

My boyfriend and I had planned a Caribbean getaway to celebrate our first anniversary in April, and I could already taste the pina coladas. But circumstances changed and he had to be in town for a work project, so we had to postpone. On the verge of a "woe is me" party, I checked myself (with his help) and had an awesome celebration right in Harlem doing what we love best: laughing.

We were front and center opening weekend for "Death at a Funeral." After seeing the slapstick trailer and feeling let down with the Why Did I get Married sequel, we weren't expecting much.

But the movie turned out to be well-made, REALLY funny . . . and include functional couples (you know I was looking:).

My heart went out to Chris Rock's onscreen wife Michelle, played by Regina Hall. At 37, her clock is ticking loudly after trying for a baby, and when her calendar says she's ovulating she tries to coax Chris Rock to try for their baby, before heading to his dad's funeral downstairs.

Before we can judge her for being so persistent, we see why when her mother-in-law played by Loretta Devine won't let her forget she hasn't reproduced. Trying to fix the grieving wife a plate, mom-in-law tells Michelle, "You can't comprehend death until you have give life." Ouch. I would have been meditating for my neck not to swivel at that comment.

Through the many snubs from her mother-in-law, Michelle stays strong for her husband on what is obviously a rough day, including being outshined by his little brother, played by Martin Lawrence. And I felt their stress of possibly not being able to get the house they've been saving for with a possible unforeseen expense.

This is a real couple with real problems, while trying to make it work. I could relate.

I respect Tyler Perry for his hustle and have laughed at the movies, but this family was a lot more like mine and my friends than any TP sitcom, family reunion or mad black woman diary. . . . Folks going for their dreams and making each other laugh along the way. I dig it.