When you see the name Tyler Perry attached to a movie nowadays, most people thoughts are going to be “Ah, not this shit again”. As you are expecting another crappy comedy directed mainly toward the black community, and probably more times than not, Tyler Perry in a fat suit. Well, thankfully, Perry decided to leave Madea at home and attempt to work out the drama side of him. Good Deeds is his movie to be serious; hopefully he resists any sort of fat suit.
Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) is rich. Oh you needed me to elaborate more? Mr. Deeds (No relation to the Adam Sandler movie) is a rather wealthy businessman who is CEO of his father’s company. He and his brother Walter (Brian White) were both bred and raised to work at this company. Wesley has shown to be the most efficient brother as he is CEO while his jealous brother sits in the back and drinks his problems away.
Wesley’s life is rather predictable, from his morning routine, to his breakfast choice, to his decisions to stay late at work. He works hard for his company, but that makes him lose grip of everything else. Wesley is set to marry his fiancé Natalie (Gabrielle Union), but looks at it as more of a business transaction. Wesley is living a life that others tell him to live, until he starts to break through when he meets a girl, Lindsey (Thandie Newton).
Lindsey is having the worst day she could possibly have. Life has taken one big dump on her as she loses her apartment, half her paychecks to the IRS, and has to work night hours as she tries to be single mother for her daughter Ariel (Jordenn Thompson). Lindsey is constantly hiding these ugly truths from the ones around her because she is too proud of herself and she won’t let anyone help her.
Wesley and Lindsey meet on rather bitter terms, as Deeds finds her parking in his executive spot at the office (where she works as a janitor). His hot tempered brother Walter threatens to get her car towed and even gets a truck to take her van away. Wesley gives them a fair warning and lets her go. They would meet multiple other times in the office late at night as Wesley works hard through the night.
With befriending Lindsey, Deeds finds himself searching for individuality for once in his life, though others may not agree with it.
Good Deeds isn’t as awful as how Perry’s other movies look, but that doesn’t make it very good. Good Deeds is skin deep. Everything said and done is so obvious that it’s hard not to follow the story. Perry’s opening narration gives you all the details about his character so you don’t have to spend the time putting the pieces together yourself. It leaves nothing to the imagination.
The movie also loses concentration of what it is. Part of the movie is the romance between Perry and Newton. The beaten subject matter of the money-inequality love couldn’t have been staler. The characters don’t get into each other that much; in fact, Perry gives more lovin’ to his fiancé that he is losing interest in.
The other side is the self-discovery that Perry’s character goes through. With meeting Lindsey, Deeds turns into the person he wants to be; a generous man who isn’t afraid to go out in to the real world. He does this by doing casual Friday’s at work and going on a brief motorcycle ride. Simple enough.
Those two things could be blended together to make the movie more enjoyable, but unfortunately, they are spaced away from each other and they were both left stale and underdeveloped.
Tyler Perry is a fucking stiff board. He really shows no real emotion besides neutrality. Sure there are moments where the scene is about emotionality, but he hardly delivers. I get that Wesley has been told how to act and has been taught proper manners, but not once does he show any sort of give through his thoroughbred attitude.
I think at the end of the day, Tyler Perry should stay out of his own movies (and have someone help him write a story). He really just messes them up. Good Deeds had the potential to be a good movie, but Tyler Perry couldn’t give any depth to the story. The movie is as straightforward as you can get, and Perry’s triple duty of Writer, Director, and Star proves he needs help: either hire another writer or seek mental therapy. I’d like to say mental therapy.
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds – 6/10