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Movie Review

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, language, some violence and thematic material.

Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Romance Comedy Drama
1 hr. 51 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 24, 2012 (wide—2,000+ theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer


Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Tyler PerryWesley Deeds
Thandie NewtonLindsey Wakefield
Rebecca RomijnHeidi
Gabrielle Union … Natalie
more »
Director: Tyler Perry
Producer: Tyler Perry Studios (TPS)
Ozzie Areu … producer
Paul Hall … producer
Tyler Perry … producer
Distributor: Lionsgate

“Wesley Deeds is about to discover the person he was meant to be.”

Tyler Perry proves once again that he is a force to be reckoned with in (actually, outside) Hollywood—especially when he isn’t in a wig and body suit. His latest film, “Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds” opened this past weekend with respectable box office returns from his legions of dedicated followers. This feel-good film is sure to have some staying power as the central message of “doing what is right” will resonate with American audiences.

Once again, Perry wrote, directed, and stars in this Lionsgate release (there is something to be said for loyalty to one distribution company). Perry plays Wesley Deeds, a business executive who is at a crossroads in his life. The company he heads, that was passed down to him by his father, is in financial distress; he is engaged to a woman who is bored by her life with him; and he’s got huge family issues (a brother who has eyes to take over the company and a mother who dictates his every move). The venerable Phylicia Rashad (Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”) aptly plays the matriarch of this well-to-do family.

If that weren’t enough, Deeds’ life is made even more complicated when he befriends a down on her luck janitor who works the night shift at his company. Thandie Newton (“Crash,”Norbit,” “Beloved”) co-stars as single mother Lindsay Wakefield who loses virtually everything, until Deeds steps into her world.

Overall, there is a positive vibe in this film. The title is appropriate, as the central message seems to focus around how Deeds is willing to use his prestige and power to change one person’s life for the better. Perry certainly seems to have his hand on the pulse of the nation’s economic crisis and how it impacts the working class, who are struggling to make ends meet. Lindsay is getting hit from all sides, and she is an inspiration, of sorts, of what it means to do whatever it takes to stay afloat and to take care of your children.

So many of these themes will resonate with Christian audiences, and the film is relatively safe, but definitely not for the entire family. As with most of Perry’s more serious offerings (see my reviews for “Why Did I Get Married Too,” “For Colored Girls”), bad language and sexuality are par for the course in this film. While there is no nudity, the film opens with a naked silhouette of Deeds in the shower (seen through a translucent shower door); this shower image is repeated during the film, as this seems to be the place where we get the inner thoughts of Deeds (who narrates the film). Deeds and his fiancée, Natalie (Gabrielle Union), are sexually intimate during the film. Many of Perry’s critics continue to question Perry as a “Christian” writer and director, when his films portray co-habitation and sex before marriage, use of bad language, and mature subject matter. I recommend parents watch the film first, to determine if their more mature teens should watch the film.

Should we save sex for marriage? Answer

One final note: Perry is a great storyteller, a visual artist behind the camera. In this film, however, he shows his lack of acting chops to be a leading man. He has had smaller supportive roles in his own films, even branching out recently in the last “Star Trek” remake, but without that dress and wig for which he is most widely known, Tyler Perry struggles to carry this movie. It’s a good thing that he was wise enough to populate the film with great actors (although I am tired of seeing Gabrielle Union playing the same-old-same-old cold and mean role).

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—A good movie but should have been rated R. The sex scene (although there was no nudity) was the most graphic for PG-13 that I have ever seen. It definitely went too far and was unnecessary.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Christy, age 41 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this movie. I was glad that the two main characters didn’t really “get together” until the man broke up with his girlfriend. It was rather refreshing that way. I also liked how the engaged couple broke up, in mutual friendship rather than a huge fight. It’s usually the norm in these types of movies for the fiancée to be either really mean or really dumb, so I was glad that wasn’t the case in this film. The one thing that irked me a little was the ending. It just seemed a bit too outlandish, and a little foolish of the lead female character to just pack up and leave for another continent with a man she hasn’t known very long.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kadie Jo, age 20 (USA)
Neutral—I was hoping for a morally uplifting movie and was disappointed. I fast forwarded through the sex scene, but even then it seemed extremely pornographic. The most disappointing part to me was the idea that a woman can be verbally abusive, downright disrespectful to her employer, rude, mean spirited, and this “amazing man” is going to love her and win her over… really? Is that the kind of guy a woman wants? Is that healthy?

As a mother of 2 boys, I can’t imagine raising them to think so little of themselves that they need to rescue a woman from herself and think that abuse is attractive.

If the role was reversed, women would be up in arms about it, but put a man in the role, and he’s showing “true love.” What a joke. That is not the kind of man we need as a role model, and that is not what “good” looks like. He could be “good” and have healthy boundaries with a true identity of who he is in Christ, and choose a woman that does not need to be rescued and put together again, but one his equal.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Deborah, age 42 (USA)
Neutral—The movie “Good Deeeds” didn’t show a good thing. It showed a man who was thinking about someone else when he was with his fiancé. …the Bible says if you look at a woman lustfully, you have already committed a sin. And on a second note, he wasn’t married, which is against Jesus Christ, for it is “better to marry than to burn.” He was living with her and having sex with her, and he wasn’t married to her. I would say this movie was very Offensive; it didn’t display a good viewpoint on marriage and trust.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Talena, age 19-20 (USA)
Negative—I usually like Tyler Perry films, but not this one. I couldn’t find anything redeeming about it. First of all, the couple is living out of wedlock. There is a sex scene that was too graphic for me, and he practically admits he was thinking of another woman during it. No heroes in this film. I didn’t like him, his brother or his mom. He falls in love with a woman who is obnoxious. She was having a tough time in life, but I don’t think that is an excuse to be mean and rude. Instead of having sympathy for her plight, I was annoyed by her. They don’t get married either—instead leave for a trip out of the country together.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Mimi, age 52 (USA)
Negative—The filmmaking quality of this film seemed good, at first, but, later on, the acting started to go downhill, and the plot was too predictable for me to really enjoy it, but I would have been okay with that, had this movie had better moral content. It may portray a good message and good lessons to learn, but I had to turn it off when the sex scene came on. I am so incredibly disappointed!!!…

I like to watch movies that have a good message, some humor, some action, but most importantly good moral content. As a Christian, I feel very limited in the movies available that have the content I am willing to watch. Tyler Perry is a Christian and happens to be a producer/actor, but, because he’s Christian, I would expect him to be above reproach, especially with the leadership position he has taken on—see Titus 1:7 and I Cor. 9:27. He is disqualified to be a leader after taking part in a sex scene in this movie. I watch Christian films expecting them to be morally adequate, but now I’m not even safe doing that. I can no longer watch his movies for this reason.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Carolyn, age 32 (USA)

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