Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

2012, PG-13, 110 min. Directed by Tyler Perry. Starring Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Brian White, Eddie Cibrian, Phylicia Rashad, Jordenn Thompson, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 2, 2012

Branching out from his previous films, which feature the writer/director playing his man-in-drag alter ego, Madea, or faith-based romantic comedies and family dramas, the one-man movie conglomerate that is Tyler Perry here goes for a family and relationship drama sans holy redemption from the Good Book. Perry also plays this movie's lead character, Wesley Deeds, a son of privilege who inherited his father's successful business in San Francisco and has made the company even more successful. Except for his problem brother Walter (White), his fiancée Natalie (Union) whom he likes but is not passionate about, and his autocratic mother (Rashad), Wesley’s life appears perfect. Yet he is bothered by the thought that the life he is living is not the one he has chosen.

While going through his paces, Wesley meets Lindsey (Newton), an Iraq war widow and single mom who cleans his office. Lindsey is in dire financial straits but tries to hide it, while Wesley’s initial libidinous interest grows into something deeper as he begins to understand her situation. Mr. Deeds ultimately goes not to town or to Washington, but to a place where he can flee his sense of inauthenticity.

The melodramatic film has numerous light and comical touches, and the performances are uniformly good. The film’s pace, however, has the consistency of molasses, and there’s hardly a scene that wouldn’t be improved by judicial trimming. Dramatically, the characters’ actions are frequently unbelievable, particularly the female characters. In a couple instances, Lindsey changes her mind on a significant issue with implausible rapidity, and bride-to-be Natalie is unrealistically sanguine about the sudden changes in her life. Yet, as Wesley, Perry shows more range as an actor than any of his previous roles have allowed. Good Deeds, nevertheless, is a fairly predictable slog.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Tyler Perry Films
Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
The original mad black woman faces her mortality, and the end of the series

Steve Davis, March 8, 2019

Nobody's Fool
Tiffany Haddish can't beat the Tyler Perry equation

Steve Davis, Nov. 9, 2018

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Stardust
Bowie before he became Ziggy in this less-than-glittering docudrama

Nov. 27, 2020

Sound Unseen Review: <i>Stardust</i>
Sound Unseen Review: Stardust
The birth of Bowie the icon retold with more glimmer than glitter

Nov. 16, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds, Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Brian White, Eddie Cibrian, Phylicia Rashad, Jordenn Thompson, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle