Grace-ing us with a new genre

Tyler Perry’s “A Fall from Grace” aims to thrill its viewers


Emma Baker

Arriving on Netflix on January 17th, Tyler Perry’s “A Fall from Grace” is a haunting story of love, loss, crime and mystery. Some critics believe Perry’s jaunt into thrillers is off to no good, others admire its variety, calling it “memorable.” For me, the movie was mediocre—a great cast and thought out plot with some parts failing in execution.

Emma Baker, Staff Reporter

The newest addition to Tyler Perry’s movie empire comes in the shape of a thriller titled A Fall from Grace. Released January 17th on Netflix, the movie has already enthralled Perry followers to go out of the normal scope of his comedic productions and into a dark world of friendship, questions, betrayal and murder. The cast, full of young and old talented African American actors, does not fail to form authentic relationships on the screen, making it even harder to figure out what happened to the body in the basement.

The film follows the case of Grace Waters (Crystal Fox) who has been charged with the murder of her newly wedded husband, Shannon (Mechad Brooks). 

After her divorce with her first husband, Grace never would have imagined love could cloud her vision again. But, when her best friend Sarah (Phylicia Rashad) pushes her to get back into the game and out of the house, she listens. Grace ends up meeting a young man named Shannon and the two fall into a whirlwind romance, leaving her the happiest she has ever been. One day, though, the happiness starts to shatter. Grace gets fired from her job when it’s discovered that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been taken out of the company and put into her account. Grace didn’t do it. But she has to find out who did it fast, or she risks being sent to jail. Before she can get behind bars for embezzlement though, she’s in a cell for murder. That’s where Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb), a lawyer from the public defender’s office, comes in. Ordered by Rory (Tyler Perry) to quickly take care of the Grace Waters guilty plea deal,  Jasmine realizes that there is more to the story then Grace is letting on.

As the movie jumps from past to present, love story to murder, the relationships and personalities of the characters are really brought out. Fox and Brooks brilliantly tell the tale of Grace and Shannon’s love, making the age gap just a number. Brooks’ split-second character changes are vivid and shocking to the core, holding the viewer tense and engaged as it progresses the story. Fox and Rashad do an impeccable job of creating a friendship real to true life. Their red wine talks, laughter and encouragement of one another is what we all hope for when we’re old and gray.

Webb, however, could have done a much better job. At a couple points in the movie, her acting, along with the horrific, unmatching music, was too cheesy. Because she was a main character, she ended up detracting from the thrilling plot and straining the believability of her romantic relationship.

In addition to that cheese factor, was the firefly scene. Not only is the “let-me-take-you-to-a-beautiful-spot-I-only-go-to-by-myself-except-now-I’m-bringing-you” so overused in movies, the CGI was atrocious. Blinking orange lights bounced all over the screen as Fox spun around, trying to catch the most glaringly fake lightning bugs I’ve ever seen. I laughed and rolled my eyes when it was clearly meant to be sentimental.

That being said, the ending was impressive and left me stunned and unnerved at what seemed to hint towards a sequel.

Overall, the movie was a great watch for novice “whodunit” film viewers. Perry went outside his comfort zone, and, thankfully, it wasn’t a complete flop. The skilled actors and actresses paired with an engaging and mysterious plot line made this movie one I might recommend for a Friday night in with friends.