Tyler Perry writes and directs most of his dramas from a soap opera perspective.
With his latest, A Fall From Grace, Perry tries his hand at a Tyler Perry Production by way of Lifetime where logic or common sense are discarded for the sake of drama no matter how ridiculous or forced.
Jasmine (Bresha Webb) is an attorney whose specialty is plea deals. Her boss (Perry) doesn’t have any time or patience for seemingly anyone on his staff. Jasmine gets what should be a slam dunk plea case with a woman Grace (Crystal Fox, The Haves and the Have-Nots) who killed her husband.
Grace is reluctant to open up, but after some prodding from Jasmine, is miserable after her divorce and her son got married. Perfectly lonely, Grace starts to think her friend, Sarah (Phylicia Rashad, Creed II) might have a good suggestion in meeting a new guy.
On a chance visit to an art gallery, she meets the too-charming to be true photographer Shannon (Mechad Brooks, Supergirl). After a whirlwind courtship, things predictably go bad and Grace finds her life spiraling to the point she’s wasting away in prison.
Jasmine starts to question Grace’s guilt and decides to fight to get Grace acquitted. The only problem is Jasmine isn’t the best attorney and her inexperience seems poised to doom the case despite help from her co-workers (Donovan Christie Jr. and Angela Marie Rigsby) and police officer husband (Matthew Law).
There’s a twist here, but I use that in the most liberal sense of the word as Perry does back flips to have characters ignore the most logical and obvious conclusion. None of these decisions do Jasmine any favors as she comes off like one of the most clueless and out of her element attorneys in a courtroom drama.
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Perry proudly considers himself as a writing team of one, but A Fall From Grace proves he would benefit from someone else to bounce ideas off like how a person would get convicted of a murder without a body. Most of the court scenes come off like Perry has a TV/movie understanding of the legal system that doesn’t always seem to check out. Also, there’s just too many plot holes that don’t get addressed like why Jasmine would venture into a dangerous situation when her husband is a police officer.
There’s no outright bad performances, but I felt bad for the cast as they tried to work through Perry’s clunky writing and directing style that still feels more geared toward the stage than the big screen.
While he’s at it, Perry probably needs to get a new hair stylist on set. Brooks, Fox and Perry all sport terrible hair pieces and wigs. It’s pretty ridiculous that Grace’s hair looked so disheveled for her court case when every attorney would have their client looking as presentable as possible.
The score frequently comes off too melodramatic as if Perry is doubling down on the soap opera feel. It gives this drama a goofy feel to the point where it feels like a spoof at times of serious legal dramas.
A Fall from Grace is not an enjoyable movie, but if you’re in the mood for a good laugh at a bad legal drama, you might want to take this case.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix