Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33% (Critics) / 81% (Audience)
Directed By: Tyler Perry
Written By: Tyler Perry
Starring: Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Brian White and Phylicia Rashad
Studio: Lionsgate Films

Synopsis: Businessman Wesley Deeds is jolted out of his scripted life when he meets Lindsey, a single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. (Source)

The Good:
The best thing about this film were the performances of two of the supporting actors: Gabrielle Union and Phylicia Rashad. Union, while being very underutilized in her role as Tyler Perry’s characters fiancee, did show a nice bit of pent up despair. She conveyed her character’s unhappiness with her choice of partner and the direction that was being mapped out for her life. Its just too bad we weren’t given more of her.
Ms Rashad showed and entirely different side of herself as Perry’s character’s mother. It was a shock seeing Claire Huxtable (my favorite TV mom ever!) being such a steely, stuck up bitch to everyone around her. One of those prime-time soapy shows news to snatch her up because she makes a good villainess.

The Bad:
There was a lot bad with this film that is pretty routinely bad in all Tyler Perry written and directed films, namely the writing and directing is hamfisted and amateurish. But the biggest faux pas in GOOD DEEDS is the casting of the two leads. Tyler Perry is just not a good actor and his Wesley Deeds was a dull, uninteresting human being with no spark to him at all not even when he came to  his big realization about following his own path instead of the path that everyone else had mapped out for him. And the idea that Thandie Newton and Gabrielle Union’s characters would fall for this drip was totally unrealistic.
As for Newton, I consider her to be a very talented actress with a pretty nice range but if I were casting a sassy, down and out single mom from the wrong side of the tracks she would be the last actress on my list. Everything about her performance made me cringe from the way she spoke, to the constant in your face attitude, to the frenetic way she moved at times that made her seem like a recovering drug addict in need of a fix. She was woefully miscast in this part.

The Ugly:
Watching poor Tyler Perry try and look convincing while kissing Newton and Union was so sad. The guy looked so uncomfortable and awkward. Michael Jackson looked more at ease making out with Lisa Marie Presley than Perry did in the (very) few kissing scenes that were in this film.

Final Verdict: Bad casting, bad writing, and bad directing serves to create a bad film that I am sure will be well-received by the Tyler Perry faithful but not so much by anyone else. This film was overly melodramatic and in dire need of some humor injected in it. At times I was wishing Perry would duck out of a scene, throw on his Madea drag and come back in cracking wise just to break up the monotony. At least some good actors were able to display their talents (and cash a check!) even though I have no clue what the hell Eddie Cibrian and Rebecca Romijn were doing in this movie. C-

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