Earlier this year Tyler Perry took to Instagram bragging about his work ethic. He boasted that unlike many writers, he does not use a writer's room (for those who are not familiar, a writer's room is a room wherein many writers would edit and improve a story's script). Rather he writes all his work by himself.
While some persons applauded him for his ability to have written so many stories over these years, others made some saucy clap backs, revealing mostly that they were not surprised by his announcement since his movies tell the same stories just with different characters. This was no different with his recently premiered Netflix original film A Fall from Grace.
A Fall from Grace premiered on January 17 after piquing viewers' interests with a suspenseful trailer. The film tells the story of Grace Waters, a divorcee who was swept off her feet by a much younger gentleman (Shannon Delong), whom she eventually marries. From the beginning of the movie, the viewer understands that Waters is charged for the murder of her husband, Shannon, though his body was not found. With the entire community believing she is guilty, she is given a rather doubtful attorney who was simply instructed by her boss to get a plea deal signed.
Grace's attorney, Jasmine, suspects there is more than what meets the eye, and as such encourages her to go to trial, but after Jasmine does a poor job at representing her client, Grace is found guilty. Shortly after, the seemingly major plot twist is revealed to the audience eyes.
It was all a set-up by Grace's best friend, Sarah. Here we see flashbacks filling in the missing pieces to the puzzle. Sarah, who encouraged Grace to go out and have fun, was the one who arranged for Grace and Shannon to meet. In fact, Shannon is actually Sarah's son operating under a false identity, and he is very much alive. Sarah and Shannon have been kidnapping elderly women, taking their wealth and holding them hostage for over 25 years. Shannon was also wanted for conning at least 16 middle-aged women across various states. While Shannon is killed by Jasmine in her scuffle to escape, Sarah is left on the loose, eyeing her next prey.
Yes, it seems like a major plot twist but many have agreed that it was predictable, because it was obvious from the start that Sarah was suspicious. The only person who did not foresee the plot twist was the naive attorney, Jasmine.
The Same Story
Critics have clamoured at Tyler Perry for his seemingly one story being told with slight variations. Why is it that black women are always portrayed in his films as bitter, angry, lonely or depressed? These on-screen portrayals only fuel the stereotypes already assigned to black women. In the beginning Grace felt the need to go out and have some fun (encouraged by Sarah of course) because she automatically fell in the category of a divorced, middle-aged lonely woman. Furthermore, throughout the movie, as we seek to uncover the truths of her story, she sees herself as foolish for believing that a younger man could've genuinely loved her.
Although the show ends on a better note, with Grace being expunged of the guilt, many still see the same narrative of black women being told. We are not bitter, angry or depressed, nor do we fall for the likes of the first man that approaches us.
There was no real fall from Grace, since Perry did not even characterize her as graceful to begin with.
We await the narratives to be changed and for black women to be uplifted through these depictions.