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"Tyler Perry's Good Deeds": The Only Novelty Is the Setting 

Wednesday, Feb 29 2012

Set in San Francisco, Good Deeds is the rare Tyler Perry film—his 11th—not to take place in Georgia. Despite the new location (soon made old after several cutaway shots of cable cars and the Transamerica Pyramid), the storyline will be familiar from previous Perry movies, both those that feature the multi-hyphenate wearing prosthetic bosoms and those that don't: A proud poor person brings happiness to a dispirited rich one. Other Perry signatures recur, including a complete disregard for plot logic and dialogue as feeble as the title. Wesley Deeds (Perry), a "fifth-generation Ivy League grad," runs the software company founded by his father and is soon to wed — more out of class compatibility than love — real-estate broker Natalie (Gabrielle Union, essentially reprising her icy bourgie role from Perry's 2007 Daddy's Little Girls). A cleaner in Wesley's building, Lindsey (Thandie Newton, as twitchy here as she was in the director's calamitous 2010 adaptation For Colored Girls) and her 6-year-old daughter are living in their car after being evicted — the earlier cut-to envelope stuffed with $100 bills kept under the mattress in their apartment apparently forgotten. Lindsey will listen empathetically to the CEO's tale of a traumatic childhood incident that occurred while on vacation in the Maldives and introduce him to 2Pac's "How Do U Want It?" Wesley will provide mother and child first with pizza and then an unused corporate apartment. Even the loosest rules of melodrama are more flagrantly disregarded here than in previous Perry titles, ensuring that no viewer of Good Deeds goes unpunished.

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Melissa Anderson


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