Running Time: 1 hours 35 minutes
To put it simply, Tyler Perry’s new film Peeples is essentially Meet the Parents. Craig Robinson stars as Wade Walker, a regular guy who works with kids and is madly in love with his girlfriend Grace (Kerry Washington), who comes from a wealthy and high profile family that Wade refers to as “the chocolate Kennedys”. Wade is looking for the perfect moment to propose to Grace, so he decides to crash her family’s weekend getaway in the Hamptons, hoping he can finally meet her parents and propose in front of her family. Once Wade shows up, nothing goes according to plan and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t win over Grace’s father Virgil Peeples (David Alan Grier). Everyone in the Peeples family has their own issues that they are dealing with and when Wade keeps getting pulled into their messes he has to tread lightly or he may lose Grace.
I laughed a lot during this movie, but that doesn’t mean I loved it. This movie is ostensibly about a really good guy who, no matter how hard he tries, gets dumped on and humiliated over and over until he is basically forced to leave in disgrace. There are only so many times I can laugh before I start to pity the main character and start to hate everyone else for how lousy they are to him. The overly protective and disapproving father is a worn out archetype and I think that Peeples didn’t give us anything that we hadn’t seen before when they could have used this familiar format to draw us in and then take us to places we weren’t expecting. On the positive side, I thought Craig Robinson made the most of his first lead role and showed that he is fully capable of carrying a comedy on his shoulders. Malcolm Barrett plays Wade’s brother Chris and has a lot of great moments, with his improvised step routine being the funniest scene in the whole movie. For the most part, the whole cast had good moments in the film with the exception being Kerry Washington. I like her a lot as an actress, but she didn’t make Grace very likeable and at a certain point, I was hoping Wade was going to pull together the remaining shreds of his dignity and dump her. If they had given Wade a few small victories instead of letting him be a punching bag for the entire movie I would have liked Peeples a lot more than I ultimately did. B-
Bathroom humor, awkward situations and countless sexual innuendos make up the bulk of Peeples. Although, the movie does have plenty of hilarious moments, I found the moments of weakness to be far more difficult to ignore. Kerry Washington places Grace Peeples and as much as I like Washington as an actress I hate her in this performance. Almost from the opening scene I felt like she was merely a caricature of a woman. Grace is supposed to be a high-powered attorney, yet Washington plays her with a vapid juvenile quality. Not once does she display the intelligence of her character. Craig Robinson who plays her boyfriend Wade is instantly likeable and charming, and so it is difficult to accept the reasons why Grace has never told her family about him. The standout of the movie was Malcolm Barrett who plays Wade's brother. He is a riot in virtually every scene. I would have loved a movie that was all about the two brothers because they had the best chemistry in the movie. The few hilarious scenes can't undo the other faults so I can only give it a C.