Posts Tagged ‘Good Deeds’


tyler-perry-good-deeds-big“Good Deeds” will make you laugh, but you’ll be laughing at it rather than with it as this movie plays out. It may also make you cry, but they will be tears of frustration at a story so predictable that it makes the “See Spot Run” books seem complex by comparison.

Director Tyler Perry is not doing audiences a good deed by releasing his latest film in general release.

In the opening minutes we are introduced to Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) and his perfect life. He has a hip apartment, a beautiful fiancée (Gabrielle Union) and is the CEO of a major software company. Trouble is he isn’t sure if he is living his own life or the life he was raised to have. He’s a child of privilege, unlike Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton), a single mom on the verge of eviction and possibly losing her little girl to Child Welfare Services. A chance meeting between the two — she works as a night janitor at the company he runs — leads him to slowly begin unbuttoning his buttoned-down life. It also leads this young woman to see her life in new terms, beyond living out of her car.

The script is filled with the kind of banal chatter people engage in every day. In fact, a drinking game could be built around the amount of times Wesley says, “Are you serious?”

What banal here is ridiculous. Check out this exchange: “How much is a gallon of milk?” asks Wesley. “I don’t know…you’re lactose intolerant.” Don’t expect Noel Coward from this mess.

The story claims to examine the gap between rich and poor, but it fails to make any social commentary worth noting. Instead, “Good Deeds” is a bland transformational fairy tale filled with clichés.

Phylicia Rashad is so cold in her role that when she cries in one scene I half expected crystals of ice to form on her cheeks.

Newton slides by on her looks. She’s given nothing else to do except mouth poorly-written dialogue. Brother Wayne also has one of the most unintentionally funny breakdowns in the history of cinema.

Only Perry as Wesley escapes with his dignity somewhat intact. His banal dialogue is just as painful to endure, but his gentle giant approach is appealing. Less appealing, however, is his carefully manicured bear and Tom of Finland motorcycle outfit, but those are the least of this movie’s problems.

Ultimately, “Good Deeds” is what I call a “Seatbelt Movie.” This film so bad you’ll need a seatbelt to keep you from walking out halfway through it.

Will Tyler Perry’s latest Good Deeds go unnoticed? In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: February 21, 2012

good-deeds06Most “name” directors have a trademark that makes their movies instantly recognizable.

Is there a long tracking shot? Must be Scorsese. How about a blue sun flare? That’s Spielberg. A car trunk shot? Thanks Tarantino.

A man in drag as a pistol-packing grandmother? Well that would be Tyler Perry. His trademark isn’t as auspicious as, say, John Woo’s slow motion doves, but what Tyler’s movies lack stylistically they generally make up in box office success.

This weekend’s Good Deeds isn’t likely to make Tyler’s name synonymous with auteur, but when Forbes calls you the highest paid man in entertainment — he took home $130 million between May 2010 and 2011 — no other title really matters.

But what if you’ve never seen a Tyler Perry movie? For the uninitiated, here’s a checklist of how to spot a Perry film:

1. Is there a character named Mabel (Madea) Simmons? She is the cornerstone on which Perry built his empire.

Perry has played the argumentative character in dozens of productions on stage, TV and in movies like Madea Goes to Jail.

Entertainment Weekly put the character on its end-of-the-decade “best-of” list saying, “Tyler Perry’s Madea is the profane, gun-toting granny you never had but (maybe) wish you did.”

Weird accent — she says things like, “Halleluyer! Praise da lort!” — and bad behaviour aside, Madea is usually used to teach a lesson.

2.   Is the story melodramatic, up-lifting and/or redemptive?

While none of those traits are exclusive to Perry’s films, he manages to highlight the melodramatic aspects of his stories in ways not usually seen outside of The Young and the Restless.

As for uplift and redemption, Perry’s deeply held religious beliefs bleed into his films and plots, which frequently reference Christian values.

“I don’t want to do movies just to do movies,” he says. “I want to do movies that inspire, motivate and change lives.”

3.   Do the critics hate it? If so, it might be a Perry film.

His average Rotten Tomatoes rating clocks in around 50 per cent, and The Times suggests that his movies have “a little something for everyone, as long as you’re not expecting too much.”

Does Perry care? Not so much. “The highbrow. They don’t get it,” he says.

4.   Lastly, and this is the dead give-a-way, most of his films have his name in the title.