No 'Good Deed' Goes Unpunished
Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Tyler Perry wrote, directed, and starred in his most recent film Good Deeds, which was greeted at the cinema by absent crowds. Far fewer people than usual packed into cinemas to view Perry in his most recent endeavor: a tear-jerking drama unlike his usual comedic escapades. In the past, Perry starred in his films as multiple characters, including the well-known Madea, which added originality to his motion pictures. Any sense of nuance or creativity is lacking entirely in Good Deeds. Instead, Perry's flick collapsed, perhaps due to the ham-fisted, blatantly melodramatic script complete with a predictable plot line and overpowering tears.
Instead of allowing you to develop your own emotional connection to this film, each emotive scene was awkwardly elongated. These specific scenes became tediously apparent, and more frustrating than gripping. To enrich what was already obvious, during these poignant sections an intentionally moving, emotionally-consuming song would emit from the speakers and force its way into your ears, as if shouting, "here's how to feel!" The most memorable was a beautiful but unfitting cover of Cindi Lauper's "Time After Time" that clumsily wove its way into a pensive passage. Ultimately, if you even found the plot believable, the movie forced you to feel specific sentiments throughout its entirety.
Tyler Perry plays the protagonist, Wesley Deeds–a good-hearted, ambitious man who has done everything his parents wanted since he was born. Now, as CEO of his father's computer software company and fiance to the lovely Natalie (Gabrielle Union), Deeds realizes that he has never done anything for himself and is irrefutably miserable. Then he meets "the girl." Lindsey (Thandie Newton) is an ambitious but unlucky single mother of six-year-old daughter Ariel. She lost her husband to the Iraq War and has found herself working as a night janitor, instead of finishing nursing school, so that she can pay the bills and keep custody of her daughter. Unfortunately, Lindsey and her daughter are evicted from their apartment within the first 15 minutes of the film.
Lindsey and Deeds meet accidently when she parks in his assigned work parking spot, and negative first impressions suddenly form—how original! They meet again inside the building where Lindsey is the night janitor. Second impressions override any prior negative feelings and from this point on, Lindsey's ruthless attitude and reckless nature mold Deeds into a new man. As expected, the predictable ensues and they form an unwholesome friendship. Their unbelievable bond ultimately leads Deeds to leave his fiance, job, and family, because she convinces him to do what he has always wanted: fly to Africa where he will enjoy life and ride around on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
In case you didn't already surmise it, Lindsey and her daughter leave everything behind to go to Africa with Deeds, a predictable pitfall of Perry's overwrought script. The admirable understanding shown by his family and Natalie (Deed's ex-fiancee) at the film's close was one of the only unpredictable plot swings. It is expected that concerned families would do whatever they could to at least understand a life change this drastic. One can discern that the soap opera feel of Good Deeds earns it the label of a melodrama with a half-hearted script.