In Chicago, Brenda Brown-Davis (Angela Bassett) is a struggling single mother of three (Mike Jr, Lena, and Tosha). One day she receives a letter stating that her father, whom she has never met, has died. On the same day, the plant where she and her friend Sheryl (Sofia Vergara) work closes so she loses her job which adds to her existing financial difficulties. As they discuss how they will get by, Brenda is approached by Miss Mildred, the woman who watches Brenda's youngest child in her home daycare center. Miss Mildred is upset that Brenda has not been paying for daycare and states that she will no longer watch Tosha.
Later, they all go to Mike Jr's school basketball game where he is a star. A scout, Harry (Rick Fox), takes notice of Mike Jr and comes to his house to speak to him about his future and ends up asking Brenda out. Brenda has no interest in hearing about the possibility of going pro and walks away. She takes her daughter to Miss Mildred and begs for her to watch the girl so she can go get money from her ex and pay the woman back. Miss Mildred relents and Brenda and Sheryl go to the construction site where Mike Sr works. It is revelaed that Brenda has never received any assistance from her ex and he again refuses to provide any financial support.
Brenda decides to take her children to Georgia to attend her father's funeral. She is met by his other children who were unaware of her existence. As she gets to know her newfound relatives, she is surprised to run into Harry but learns that he lives in the same town and is on good terms with her father's family. At dinner, it is revealed that the eldest son of "Pop" Brown, LB, was the only one who knew about Brenda. On his deathbed, their father confessed to LB that he had been a pimp in Chicago and that Brenda's mother, his mother, and a number of other friends of their father's that they had known were all his working girls. The family now recognize Brenda as one of their own and offer their support and encouragement.
Brenda and her children return to Chicago. Mike Sr has considered Brenda's words and attempts to take an interest in his son's life but is still not willing to provide much assistance. Mike Jr rejects him and leaves. In an attempt to make money to help his mother's situation, he turns to his friend Calvin who is a drug dealer. Harry sees Mike Jr selling drugs and counsels him. While Harry and Brenda go on a date, Mike Jr tells his friend that he no longer wants to take part in illegal activities and he is shot. This leads to a further breakdown in the relationship between Brenda and her ex.
Harry reaches out to the Browns to ask for help in getting her father's old place for her and her kids. They renovate the home and surprise Brenda. Despite this gesture, Brenda's insecurities and family gossip lead to her having doubts about Harry's motives and they split up.
A league representative comes to visit Brenda and Mike Jr and offers him a million dollar contract. She finds out that it was Harry who referred Mike Jr to the league. On signing day, Mike Sr shows up to be photographed with his ex and son but Mike Jr announces to the press that he doesn't know his father and that his mother had raised him without support. Upon leaving, he tells his mother that Harry is a good man and more of a father figure than his actual father had been. Brenda goes to see Harry and they reconcile, ultimately leading to marriage.Angela Bassett as Brenda Brown
Rick Fox as Harry Belton
Lance Gross as Michael Rhodes Jr.
David Mann as Mr. Brown
Sofía Vergara as Cheryl Barranquilla
Margaret Avery as Sarah Brown
Frankie Faison as Larry "L.B." Brown
Tamela Mann as Cora Simmons
Phillip Van Lear as Michael Rhodes Sr.
Kristopher Lofton as Calvin
Mariana Tolbert as Lena Rhodes
Chloe Bailey as Tosha Brown
Brandon Richardson as Officer Thompson
Irma P. Hall as Miss Mildred
Lamman Rucker as Will Brown
LaVan Davis as Henrys
Tyler Perry as Mabel "Madea" Simmons, and Uncle Joe Simmons (cameo)
The film's plot mainly comes from another Tyler Perry production called What's Done In The Dark. That particular play has a subplot where a single parent trying to raise a teenage son who gets involved in drug dealing in order to help his mother get out of financial ruin. That plot element is used heavily in Meet the Browns.
The Browns are only a part of one of the film's subplots instead of being the central focus like the stageplay and TV series.
Mr. Brown is not the protagonist or focal character of this film. He is one of the supporting characters along with the other Brown family members. He is primarily used for comic relief. He later becomes the central character again in the TV series.
The characters Kim, Milay and Gerald do not appear in the film. Nor do they exist. Kim is later replaced by a new character named Sasha in the TV series.
In the stageplay, Will is married to Kim with children, and has cheated on Kim. Though in the film, none of that has happened because Kim is absent from this film and it appears that he is not married. However, in the TV series, Will has a wife named Sasha.
Meet the Browns completed filming on October 26, 2007.
The film is based on the play of the same name. The film altered almost all the plot details found in the play.
Meet the Browns currently airs on TBS starring David Mann and Tamela Mann. The show's plot is different from the play and movie. Mr. Brown has opened up a senior citizens' home with the help of Cora, his nephew Will and his wife Sasha. Storylines involve the various zany residents of the home. The series, however, is a spin-off of the film, the stageplay and three episodes of Tyler Perry's House of Payne where Mann guest-starred as Mr. Brown, who learns that his deceased father states in his will that he wants him to open a senior citizens' home. Brown enlists the help of the Paynes, Cora and Will. The other characters from the play and film are neither mentioned nor seen. However, Brown's sister Vera made a guest appearance in the third season of the series.Most of the Brown family members in this film do not appear in the series.
In the film, Will has a minor role as Vera's son. In the series, he is one of the main characters.
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. As of February 17, 2015, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 32% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 57 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 45 out of 100, based on 14 reviews.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed an estimated $20 million in 2,006 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office behind Horton Hears a Who!. Although the film ranked second at the box office, it ranked first in average gross per theater, grossing $9,977 per theater compared to Horton's $6,336 per theater. When the film ended its run at the box office, it had grossed $41,975,388 over its $20 million budget, making the film a success.
The soundtrack was released by Atlantic Records on March 18, 2008.
- People Everyday (Metamorphosis Mix) – Musiq Soulchild feat. Estelle
- Face To Face – Coko & Case
- Sweeter – Gerald Levert
- Dig This – Brandy
- I'll Take You There – Kelly Price
- Love Again – Kelly Rowland
- This Gift – Deborah Cox
- Angel – Chaka Khan
- Alright – Ledisi
- Unify – Wynter Gordon
- My Love – Jill Scott
- Hallelujah – Tamela Mann
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns was sold in 1-disc and 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray on July 1, 2008. DVD sales have so far gathered $17,810,803 in revenue.