A Family that Preys is a movie that is by far a prime example of an emotional rollercoaster ride. It twists your sentiments and thoughts in such a way I never thought was possible, by way of film.  One quote from the film that resonated with me the most, and pretty much serves as a summary for the overall moral of the story was, “You can’t make yourself happy by bringing misery to others.”   The two main characters that were trying to bring forth misery and pain were William Cartwright (Cole Hauser) and Andrea (Sanaa Lathan). William is the son of, southern matriarch, Charlotte Cartwright (Kathy Bates), who owns a construction empire. Andrea is the daughter of a very righteous diner owner, Alice (Alfre Woodard). It just so happens that Charlotte and Alice have been best friends for the better part of 30 years, and William and Andrea are, both, co-workers at his mother’s company. Throughout the movie, William and Andrea become the two characters you love to hate by creating a very destructive, money hungry, and morally absent way of life. Both of them have loving families at home who they constantly prey on. William has a wife who loves him dearly, but soon becomes suspicious of an affair he may be having. Andrea has a hard-working husband, who also works as a construction worker in Charlotte’s enterprise, and a son. Andrea is very neglectful towards her husband, and it becomes obvious that she is emotionally disconnected from the relationship, and uninterested in her husband’s hope to, someday, own his own company. William’s wife and Andrea’s husband are, in fact, the prey; they are portrayed as weak, and both of them are in need of an epiphany. Aside from the drama with the families, the movie takes you on a hilarious, yet, serious, “Thelma and Louise”-type, road trip with Alice and Charlotte. It becomes apparent that Charlotte is very interested in living life everyday like it is her last. The film raises the question, “Are you living or just existing?” Another moral of the story forms with this road trip the women take; I think the point was to stress that, in life, you should not just exist because you have to, you need to live because you want to. Alice’s commitment to her faith is a moral grounding in the film because she serves as a sort of angel to Charlotte, encouraging her to embrace God and all of his beauties. However, Charlotte is Alice’s angel, as well, because she encourages her to love God and Life as well. During this trip, truths and revelations are revealed from every character, which makes the plot even more compelling.

Other characters, such as Abby (Robin Givens), who is an equal to Andrea, prestigiously, but a better counterpart, ethically, takes control of the company, which thickens the plot even more. Nick (Sebastian Siegal), a homeless man who Alice provides hospitality for, is the “angel in disguise,” who will end up becoming a front man in the conclusion. Tyler Perry plays a well-rounded loving husband of Andrea’s sister, who has lost sight of his dreams because of his past. This film has a lesson for everyone to take heed of, whether it be having faith, ceasing attempts to bring misery to another’s life, or just living life to the fullest. It will make you smile, and it will make you cry. It evokes many thoughts and emotions, and sends out the, overall, message that provoking misery and having money is not what constitutes a good life or a good heart.