Tyler Perry

The wife and I don’t get out as much as we should. Jobs, kids, business, life … it gets in the way. This is a problem most married-with-kids couples face, so I’m certainly not complaining. It is what it is.

Last night, we were able to have some time to ourselves. So we decided to see a movie.

I wanted to catch The Artist, which has been hailed as the great film of 2011-12.

The wife, who was under the weather and, in her words, “not in the mood to think,” wanted to see Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds.

So we went and saw Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds.


I had never seen a Tyler Perry film before. Not because I have anything against Tyler Perry. Hell, before last night I wouldn’t have recognized the man. It’s just that, with rare exception, his films get crap reviews. They go under the category of “emotionally exploitative, predictably lame comedies—twisted with a heart of gold.” I also have a number of African-American friends who abhor the way black producers like Perry aim their films toward the community—then earmark every cliche, every stereotype, every lame Tupac-related joke and half-baked hiphop reference.

Which is exactly what this film does.

I can’t say Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds is the worst film ever made. But it was awful and brainless and lame and flat and—toward the end—unwatchable. In fact, the only redeeming part of the evening was the environment. I’d say, oh, 80 percent of the audience was African-American, which—stereotypes be damned—usually results in a much more fun, more engaging cinematic experience. I know certain people who walk into such a cinema environment and cringe—not because of pure racism, but because they like movies to be accompanued by 100 percent audience silence. I am often that way, too, but not with stupid comedies. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, talk all you want. It makes the time go faster.

Hence, when a woman screamed at the screen, “Take your hands off my man!” everyone chuckled aloud.

Which was wonderful, because this was a movie void of laughs.

Final thought: When it comes to crud like Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, I often wonder whether the director/creator knows what he’s giving us. In other words, does Perry know his movie blows chunks of crud, or is he just naive?

I just don’t know.