Armond White rides to the defense of mediocre black director Tyler Perry. Why is Perry consistently slaughtered by the critics? Yep, you guessed it. If you have an ear for the absurd with an intellectual bend, this may be one of the funniest articles you ever read. Some excerpts [including a spirited defense of R. Kelly’s “vernacular”]:
"Most critics don’t “get” Tyler Perry basically because most critics are whites who are not only clueless about Perry’s African-American culture, but unsympathetic to his particular expression.
"It’s alarming that American film critics alienate themselves from the aspects of Perry’s films that should be universal.
"Perry’s critical beat-down isn’t an issue of knowledge—or taste—so much as cultural preference.
"Nothing in Knocked Up is as meaningful as Perry’s spectacle of men who must restrain their anger physically or his politically incorrect fashion show of women proudly, luxuriously wearing furs as signs of pleasure and achievement.
"This happens to be the basis of R. Kelly’s extraordinary music-video opera, Trapped in the Closet—a work of true genius that the media has also underrated and ridiculed. The media mocks R. Kelly’s vernacular (calling it “crazy” is the easiest way to avoid its daring and brilliance) just as Perry’s comedy and Eddie Murphy’s in Norbit are disdained as unsophisticated or vulgar.
"Besides, Denzel will take us back to modern slavery next month.