Appreciating Tyler Perry, Sort Of

You can't be too much of a snob about films like "Why Did I Get Married, Too" because they serve a need.

Special Screening Of "Why Did I Get Married Too?"

Not that’s likely to change any time soon. Tyler’s got his formula and he’s sticking to it. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem isn’t that there is a Tyler Perry out there making movies. It’s that there aren’t enough cinematic August Wilsons. Or Suzan Lori Parks. Or Lynn Nottages. Give me a healthy dose of smart, insightful, highbrow black creativity, and I can laugh right along with everybody else on the lowbrow stuff and its folk-wisdom truths. The problem is when there's too much low brow, I begin to resent it. White Hollywood leaves me out. Wit them, I don't feel seen or represented. With Tyler Perry, I-we-are indeed represented. And I give him props for that. I just wish that, in his representation of us, we weren't so continuously and cartoonishly exaggerated.

Teresa Wiltz is The Root's senior editor. Follow her on Twitter.