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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Fall From Grace Review: Tyler Perry attempts to break his movie format

January 29, 2020 | Michael Foster-Sanders | multimedia editor
Photo courtesy IMDB/Netflix. “A Fall from Grace” tells a tale about what everything that glitters isn’t gold. Starring Crystal Fox as Grace and Mehcad Brooks as Shannon, this is Tyler Perry’s first Netflix-exclusive film.
Photo courtesy IMDB/Netflix. “A Fall from Grace” tells a tale about what everything that glitters isn’t gold. Starring Crystal Fox as Grace and Mehcad Brooks as Shannon, this is Tyler Perry’s first Netflix-exclusive film.

Tyler Perry is a polarizing creator when it comes to the content he creates. 

From the black woman caricature with his character of Madea, to the problematic movies where black men are evil, thrown under the bus, and the reason why black women are hurt and damaged, he’s been a one-trick pony with his films. 

Will his new film “A Fall from Grace” diversify his creativity with storytelling, or will it be regurgitated cheap garbage that he puts out to turn a quick buck with a certain demographic? Well, yes and no.

“A Fall from Grace” tells the story of Grace, a woman who’s in a vulnerable place in life due to a failed marriage after discovering her husband’s infidelity with a younger woman, and a strained relationship with her adult son. She coasts through life on cruise control until her friend Sarah tells her to live a little and give love another shot before it’s too late. She takes the plunge, goes to a photo exhibit and meets Shannon, a charismatic gentleman that gives her the keys to the car of predictability that viewers are about to ride in.

 Perry gets lean and mean with this movie and it’s budget. The movie was shot over the span of five days, and it shows in the production value and continuity errors in this film. From the horrible wigs that adorn the characters to the massive plot holes in the story, Perry needs to consider having other writers help him flesh out his ideas and consultants to help him make a quality film. 

A funny scene in the movie where Shannon is courting Grace takes place in a Steak ‘n Shake converted to a “restaurant’’ for the film. Wine is served, and a person is eating with no food on his fork. That’s not even an excusable mistake for a Lifetime or Syfy film budget.

The acting in the movie is a miss, but this weakness is not the actors’ fault. Some of the characters are not fleshed out well enough, which makes some of the performances cringe-worthy. 

Veteran actress Cicely Tyson is severely underused in the film, but Phylicia Rashad comes in and puts on a clinic and shows why she’s a mainstay in the entertainment business. Also, rising star Mehcad Brooks gives a hell of a performance as the character Shannon that will have you dying laughing from the extra hamming that he provides to make the character work, especially when the subject of ashtrays is brought up in a conversation with Grace.

It seems like this movie is a train wreck due to the faults listed above, but it’s not. Someway, somehow Perry weaves us a tale that would come straight from the archives of Alfred Hitchcock, and that’s where the magic happens. And, it works on a low-budget level, straight-to-Netflix way.

If Perry can learn how to relinquish some of the control, put some money into the production and allow people to help when it comes to the art of filmmaking, maybe he can one day get out of the typecasting hell his filmography is usually relegated to. 

Should you rush to fire up Netflix and watch this movie? No. But put it in your queue for a slow Sunday to be randomly entertained.

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