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Good Deeds Reviews
Feb 27 12
By Thomas Leupp
Actor-director-mogul Tyler Perry didn't come to preside over a vast media empire by paying much heed to the tastes of critics. His 10 feature-film releases to date – churned out over an eight-year span – have drawn mostly jeers from reviewers, with his Madea comedies, starring Perry in drag as a tough-talking southern matriarch, singled out for special scorn. His latest effort, the romantic drama Good Deeds, isn't likely to change many minds, but it's not for lack of effort from co-star Thandie Newton, whose performance a struggling single mother stands out amidst the film's otherwise crudely wrought melodrama.
Trading his Madea getup for the less-familiar guise of a leading man, Perry stars as Wesley Deeds, the scion of a wealthy family and whose lofty expectations have begun to wear on him. Beneath his sheen of polished affluence exists a man who draws little satisfaction from running Deeds Inc., the software giant his father built, and who tires of shouldering the demands of his overbearing mother (Phylicia Rashad), the burden of his bellicose and oft-intoxicated bother (Brian White), and the monotony of his loveless engagement to his similarly well-bred fiancé, Natalie (Gabrielle Union).
Trapped in a stultifying routine seemingly mapped out for him at birth, Wesley longs to escape his gilded prison and trek across Africa on a Harley, digging wells with his college buddies. Seriously, that's his dream: digging wells on a Harley.
Situated firmly on the opposite end of the socio-economic spectrum is Lindsey (Newton). Left alone to provide for her daughter after the death of her soldier husband in Iraq, she has little time for fanciful visions of Harley-riding and well-digging. She's too busy trying in vain to make ends meet as a janitor at … you guessed it: Deeds Inc. Despite her lowly status, Lindsey clings fiercely to her independence, which places her in stark contrast to Wesley.
Good Deeds (2012)
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