Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson
difficult family relationships
pride vs. humility
GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.
Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality
Tuffy Questell … Taxi Driver
Ana Gasteyer … Mayor Hodge
Tyler James Williams … Simon Peeples
David Alan Grier … Virgil Peeples
S. Epatha Merkerson … Daphne Peeples
|Director:||Tina Gordon Chism|
|Producer:||34th Street Films
Peeples Productions Inc.
“Not everyone is a Peeples person.”
“Speak it, don’t leak it!”
These words, penned by Wade Walker, a would-be child psychologist, were designed to help kids overcome urinary accidents, but they speak to a much larger truth for the characters of The Peeples who each wrestle with hidden secrets.
Wade (Craig Robinson) has been dating Grace Peeples (Kerry Washington—“Ray,” “Django Unchained”) for over a year, but has yet to meet her family. When Grace goes home to visit her family, Wade decides to surprise her at their summer home in the Hamptons. Wade plans to propose marriage to Grace, but he has to get the approval of Grace’s father, Virgil Peeples (David Alan Grier), a federal judge who has set standards of perfection for his entire family. No one can meet his expectations, not his wife, Daphne (S. Epatha Merkenson), his other daughter, Gloria (Kali Hawk—“Bridesmaids,” “Couples Retreat”), his son, Simon (“Everybody Hates Chris” star Tyler James Williams); only Grace seems to meet his approval, and there is NO WAY Wade is going to get Daddy’s blessing, despite his many attempts to impress the judge.
Robinson has played a supportive role in numerous box office hits with objectionable content (“Hot Tube Time Machine,” “Pineapple Express,” “Zack and Miri…”), and it is a relief to see his first leading role be in a film that shows some restraint. That is not to say that “Peeples” is without adult themes and language, but the content is nowhere near what Robinson’s films usually portray. In the role of Wade, Robinson plays a sympathetic hero who wears his heart on his sleeves; he is in love with Grace and has no problem showing it to the world. Grace, unfortunately like many of her family members, has several skeletons in her closet and she is not prepared to introduce Wade to the scrutiny of her family members. No nudity is shown, but there is certainly a steady stream of sexualized content; Wade and Grace have a sexual relationship, sister Gloria Peeples has a secret lesbian relationship, and father Virgil is a member of an underground nudist colony.
This is a funny movie, and it speaks to the importance of family. Additionally, the themes of truth and honesty in relationships are recurring themes. Sadly, everyone except Wade seems to be leading some sort of double life.
Tyler Perry of “Madea” fame has used his considerable fan base to introduce a blossoming writer and director, Tina Gordon Chism, to the world. “Peeples” marks her debut as a writer and director. She actually does a fantastic job; the story is believable (certainly a bit over the top comedically, but it’s too be expected when you’ve got David Alan Grier attempting to play the straight-laced Judge Peeples). With cameos from Melvin Van Peebles and the stunning Diahann Caroll as the elders of the Peeples clan, “Peeples” is a respectable first time showing. In many ways, Perry could learn some lessons from his young protégé.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate to heavy—“Oh G*d” (2), “My G*d,” “What in G*d’s name,” hell (2), damn (6), s-words (5), “b**bies,” “*ss” (8)—incl. 3 “*ss-h*le,” “d*ck” (4), etc. / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.