If Misery, Diary of A Mad Black Woman, Law & Order: SVU and my niece’s first-grade school Easter production had a baby, it would be Tyler Perry’s latest Netflix thriller, A Fall From Grace.
The movie centers around Grace Waters (Crystal Fox), a law-abiding depressed divorcée, whose ex-husband leaves her for a younger woman. Her friend, Sarah (Phylicia Rashad), encourages her to get her fire back and see what’s out there, so she attends an art show where she meets Shannon (Mehcad Brooks) and his incredibly bad hi-top fade wig (see Leon in The Temptations miniseries for reference).
She falls hard for her much younger paramour who at first is attentive, sweet and considerate. But, she quickly realizes, he’s not who he seems to be (see every Tyler Perry drama for reference). From there, we see how Grace, falls from Grace (Badum-bum). See what I did there?
There were so many things that disappointed me about this film that I don’t know where to begin. Oh, wait! I know where I’ll begin. At the beginning.
The movie opens on a distraught elderly woman standing on the ledge of a building. Not a skyscraper, not a 15-foot building, but rather on the second story of a suburban home. Despite the fact that I could stand on the ground floor and catch this woman if she falls, here comes a helicopter. A helicopter, my nigga? If you have a second story home, do me a favor. Go upstairs. Ok, now imagine a helicopter hovering outside your window. Who gave clearance for the chopper to be there? Anyhoo.
I understand Perry shot this movie in five days. It shows. It seemed rushed, slapstick at times and the plot exhausted the amount of holes any Hollywood movie is allowed to have.
The movie made no sense. Like literally . . . it made no sense. It was filled with scenes that were not only campy, but just simply unbelievable, from the cartoonish police arrests to the dating scenes to the physical attacks and sex scenes.
We even witness the most ludicrous court scenes in the history of court scenes in this movie.
Attorney Jasmine (Bresha Webb) who is appointed to represent Grace, is just awful. She has never been to court, it seems. She is what is known as a plea dealer. She gets her clients to cop to plea deals and never makes her way to court. But, for Grace, she has to. Grace is accused of killing her husband who did many heinous things to her. However, not ONCE does Jasmine mention those things.
Any first-year Eugene Dupuch Law School student would have brought those things up.
This movie was clearly shot at Perry’s Atlanta new studio lot. The problem is, every scene looks the same – gray, drab and dated. It might have benefited him to shoot some scenes at real restaurants and offices. All of the big studios do it all the time because some things cannot be recreated on a backlot.
Cicely Tyson, Perry’s longtime friend and collaborator, makes an appearance in this film. She is a disheveled elderly woman living with Sarah. At first she seems skittish, but eventually holds the clue to a lot of the shenanigans that are taking place in the house.
There are some plot twists and surprise endings that may entertain the audience. I watched this movie alongside my husband, who got mad because I kept pausing Netflix to point out the ridiculous scenes. A Fall From Grace nearly came between my marriage.
Perry has taken a lot of flak in the media lately for his decision to write all of his movies and TV shows himself. Many believe the Hollywood juggernaut could benefit from having a writer’s room. I am one of those people.
Perry has done incredibly well for himself. But, he will ultimately be his own undoing because he refuses to use much-needed writers. A Fall From Grace could have been much better had the right people been involved.
This is why I don’t get upset every time a black film isn’t nominated for some big-time award. I do not support movies just because black people are involved. I am an art lover and a film lover and I expect work that blows me away.
Perry’s audience seems to be split. There are people who loved the movie and others who panned it. If this does well with the ratings, I assume there will be a part 2: Tyler Perry’s “I’ve Fallen From Grace And I Can’t Get Up.”
I rate it, 2.5 out of five stars.
This Bahamian Gyal