Tyler Perry makes an inauspicious debut on giant Netflix streaming with the premiere of "A Fall from Grace", a complicated legal / romantic thriller that, ironically, can be best enjoyed with a theater of viewers whose surprising reactions can be more fun than that this potboiler off the rails.
Perry, the writer, director, executive producer and co-producer, filmed the entire photo in five days. This may seem impossible (and there's no reason to complain), but when you see slapdash results, it makes perfect sense. In the press releases of the movie, one cast member recalls: "I had never worked so fast before … sometimes you just got one or two shots." This speed doesn't favor the filmmaker's actors or characters – or the audience. Namely, while leaders and co-leaders do their best with dubious material, some of the supporting players are really inferior. That judge, dammit!
This murder mystery she did or did not do, many of which were already spoiled in the film's deceptively effective trailer, uncomfortably divides her focus between Jasmine (Bresha Webb), a young Virginia public defender (and, as indicated here, a terrible lawyer) and Grace (Crystal Fox from TV's "In the Heat of the Night" series)), a middle-aged divorcee and bank employee indicted for the murder of her new husband, Shannon (Mehcad Brooks).
When reluctant Jasmine is assigned to Grace's case by her uncompromising superior, Rory (Perry, in a thankless role and a note), she meets with her jailed client to work out a court settlement. But the more Jasmine meets the devoid Grace, who details “how she got there” in a series of long flashbacks and a lot of banal voice, the more Jasmine comes to believe that the woman is innocent and deserves her freedom. Unfortunately, Jasmine has never tried an affair and her fledgling reputation precedes her ("You don't win, beg," jokes Grace). In addition, grumpy Rory is against anything but an appeal and openly plans to fire Jasmine when, he predicts, she loses her judgment. Great boss.
In the meantime, we learn more about the whirlwind of Grace's romance with tattooed, sexy and significantly younger Shannon, a sexy, soft-spoken photographer she meets in a gallery showing that she meets the request of her best friend, Sarah (Phylicia Rashad). Wedding bells soon ring without Grace doing, say, her due diligence.
As for Sarah, apparently loyal and sweet as a pie, she has an elderly and messy housemate (Cicely Tyson) that we first glimpse in some nervous flashes that we know cannot portend anything good – to anyone.
Issues of everything here, from infidelity, identity theft and bank security to suicide, criminal justice and, I bring, torture are treated in a curious and often laughable way. A late dramatic scene in which Jasmine's on-duty police husband (Matthew Law) is as unhappy as a police officer when she is a lawyer.
But it is Jasmine's inept and unprofessional behavior during the film's weather trial that really sends him into absurd territory. He is only surpassed by a final sequence of events with a touch of horror that can best be described as crazy.
However, this film filmed and projected nonetheless has its camping moments. At the top of the list: when Shannon, increasingly cruel, resting pompously in a living room chair smoking a cigarette, he releases the command "Ashtray, bitch!" To your stunned wife, you can imagine the inevitable meme.
& # 39; A Fall of Grace & # 39;
Runtime: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Playing: Available January 17 on Netflix