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Film Review – Peeples

Director: Tina Gordon Chism
Screenplay: Tina Gordon Chism
Cast: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier, Tyler James, S. Epatha Merkerson
Producer: Tyler Perry
Genre: Comedy
Rating: **
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 2

Kerry Washington (Grace Peeples) and Craig Robinson (Wade Walker) are a couple in Hollywood’s spin-off of American and British comedy ‘Worst Week’ where the male character (Robinson) tries to win the hearts of the woman of his dream’s family. Robinson gate crashes the Peeple’s holiday in the Hamptons and his arrival is followed by mishap after mishap much to his frustration as he ends up failing to ask for Grace’s hand in marriage. The Peeples are all prim and proper and Wade struggles to keep up with the family’s ways of living and ends up getting more than he bargained for when he slowly discovers the family’s deep secrets.
This is light-hearted humour from start to finish and is seemingly refreshing to watch as it is not the typical black American film with a ghetto mentality. The Peeples are sweet, charming, loving, quirky and fun and its not hard to fall in love with them. The acting is on point and all the character’s roles come together and create a really enjoyable Black American film. There are times when you are watching a comedy but just do not get the jokes since they are cultural determinants. This one is unlike such comedies. The jokes are clear, warm and so funny I found myself laughing even after the movie.
I really did not expect the film to be good as most of the cast has not been in a lot of Hollywood blockbusters. Frankly speaking I was not even sure if Kerry Washington could do comedy. I was proven wrong and instead got a surprise treat. Nothing is as hilarious as a dysfunctional family pretending to be normal.
David Alan Grier (Virgil Peeples) has not lost his touch and still manages to make the audience laugh with his facial expressions and punchlines. My favourite line is when he tells his family how Wade went to a grocery store and stood at the teller with nothing in his pockets but lint. Kerry Washington is sweet as Grace and manages to pull off the awkward scenes with ease. I was not so sure of Robinson either, I expected him to be the foolish boyfriend without a clue on how to act but boy oh boy was I wrong again. Robinson delivered what I think is his best performance ever and has now been elevated to my list of likeable actors.
The rest of the cast also brings on their own form of quirkiness, ‘Everybody hates Chris’ actor, Tyler James plays Grace’s kleptomaniac brother Simon while S. Epatha Merkerson adds a touch of flair as a recovering alcoholic and former diva Daphne.
The movie is refreshing, humorous and sentimental.
Tyler Perry’s Peeples is a definite must-see especially if you are keen on seeing a good Black American movie without the usual drama, cursing and threatening proving that not all black families are rowdy. It will definitely not win the ‘Best Comedy’of 2013 but I like the fact that it dips into reality, so go watch it!

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