you can’t come into a tyler perry film expecting standard fare. things will be more exaggerated or silly or, in this case, melodramatic than you’ve probably come to expect from average films. sometimes this comes off as grating or amateurish, and sometimes not. good deeds is kinda in the middle for me. once you resign to yourself to the fact that you’re watching a soap opera, i think you can get a lot more enjoyment out of it. the audience got it, i, however, took a while to catch on.
i haven’t watched a lot of soap operas, but basically it’s clear that no one is perfect and everything seems like it’s the end of the world. perry’s version is toned down a bit (which makes it harder to like, actually), and is ultimately positive. so, there are some nice messages that the film has and it tackles some real issues of class and race and family obligation. it does so in a style, though, that i don’t think most are receptive to. also, his direction doesn’t seem to capture the right tone. he doesn’t sell it very well, in other words. add to these problems the many little issues with the screenplay (perry is a 5th generation ivy league graduate [barely mathematically possible, i would imagine], the janitor doesn’t receive any kind of benefits from her daughter’s dead army dad, etc.) and you have a sloppy, well-intentioned film that doesn’t really achieve meaningful lift-off.Watched in theater