|Tyler Perry goes overboard, but it’s worth it|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 12:00|
Film: Good Deeds
Cast: Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Phylicia Rashad, Gabrielle Union, Jessica Stamper, Crystal Stewart.
Writer, producer and director: Tyler Perry
Type of film: Human interest story for our time
Running time: 108 minutes
Age restriction: Adults only
I WILL readily admit that I approached this film with seriously negative feelings. The reason for the negative feelings remained present and constant to the end. But they are now met with equally strong feelings of redemption. I accept that for Tyler Perry — writer, producer, director and star — to make his point it was necessary to “go overboard”.
And in accord with the vital truth found in the expression “Nothing succeeds like excess”, he is forgiven. The film is excellent and worth in so many ways of such value to its viewers that it’s excess is now viewed as a virtue.
We are in San Francisco; the rival of Los Angeles neither is its capital as California’s major city. Wesley Deeds the character’s name was carefully and meaningfully chosen (Tyler Perry) is the head (and just about the rest of the body) of a highly successful corporate entity. He is living with the young woman to whom he is a engaged; their wedding is planned for any day now.
Entirely unknown to him, one of the women on the overnight cleaning staff, Linsey (Thandie Newton), is about to have every thing in her life go astray. (For this alone the film is recommended to those whose lives have come unstuck, making the comparison will elevate your spirits.)
The mother of a six-year-old adorable daughter, who is in kindergarten we are told nothing of her father and due to a series of financial mishaps they are living in a motorcar parked on the open street. The viewer of this film will, as a result, learn a great deal about the efforts and failures of the social services available to a mother in this plight.
But, it is important to note that Thandie Newton’s character, Linsey, is “her own worst enemy” for choosing badly and resisting sincere help and guidance.
And this is at the heart of this very worthwhile film. Unbiased and generously motivated offers and desire to aid in a given situation are almost always taken the wrong way. The film is open to criticism for being over the top, and even more for insisting on a happy (and romantic) ending. But along the way the viewer gains significant insight into the American way of handling family disruption. But being a Hollywood film and not a sociological tract, it inevitably displays its genre.