A Fall From Grace

Grace is a grandmother, a devout church lady, a steadfast volunteer. Also a murderer. Also a murderer? That one doesn’t fit. But she’s in jail and she confessed. So how come no one believes she did it?

Jasmine (Bresha Webb) is a young public defender. She’s already questioning whether the law the right career path for her, so to get throw this case as her first murder trial is a little daunting. She’s inching along cautiously but Grace (Crystal Fox) isn’t making things easy for her. She’s more concerned with protecting other people than herself.

In court, her story unravels: after a post-divorce depression, Grace meets an artist, a younger man who sweeps her off her feet. This is her alleged victim. But obviously things are not what they seem or else they wouldn’t have bothered to make a movie. Well, they hardly bothered to do even that. It’s pretty bland as courtroom dramas go, with a pedestrian script by writer-director Tyler Perry.

And yet this movie was fractionally entertaining to me, for a few reasons.

  1. The boring reason: the performances were good. Ish. If you can look past the bad wigs.
  2. It’s always fun to watch Sean, an actual real-life lawyer, squirm through what Tyler Perry (or whomever) thinks is the law. As a non-lawyer myself, there was plenty of objectionable content that even a lay person could easily point out, but yelling “I object!” from my bed hasn’t persuaded a single Netflix judge yet.
  3. Perry boasted that this film was shot in just 5 days. What he didn’t say was that he edited in just 5 minutes. At least that’s how it feels. You could play a very saucy drinking game just pointing out the plot holes, continuity errors and other fun editing mistakes of which there is a continuous parade.
  4. My grandmother, who turns 87 this week, recently received a jury summons. God bless her little heart but even IF she could drive there and then by some miracle find the right place, and let’s be clear that I do not believe she could do either of those things, she would then not hear any single thing that anyone said. Not a thing. But let’s for a minute pretend she somehow gets there, and somehow hears things. She’s still not going to understand them. Not a damn thing. My grandmother speaks a hybrid of French and English but understands neither. For the past three decades she’s been getting by on the popular “nod and smile” technique. Later she’ll ask my mom, if she remembers. Which she probably won’t. So I’m mentally inserting my grandmother into the jury box, picturing her confused scrunched up nose, picking invisible lint off her slacks, balling up kleenex and putting it in her sleeve, and if she thinks anyone’s looking, smiling vaguely and nodding uncertainly in the direction she thinks is appropriate. Wouldn’t you be pleased to have her on a jury of your peers?

But wait just a minute y’all: my daddy is sleepin and mama ain’t around. There’s a twist!

9 thoughts on “A Fall From Grace

  1. crazybutttricia

    I recently tried watching this, and I mean really tried. I got about thirty minutes into it and it was almost painful to watch because of the horrible acting, boring too. Turned it off.

    Like a bad book, I can only give so much of my life to this, and a half hour was even too much.

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  2. Brittani

    This podcast I listen to, Double Toasted switched their subscription tone to a clip from this movie of a dude yelling “ASHTRAY, BITCH!” and now that’s all I think of when I see this title.

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  3. Paul. Writer and Filmmaker

    Great review – I think I will avoid this one. How can “I shot this in 5 days” be a means to promote your film. I understand that if it’s a micro-feature and you’re a new filmmaker, but experienced actors and directors should know better. If you take a bit more care of your story, then the audience will care too. Netflix really need to stop burning money on projects like this.

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  4. bettebill32

    I thought the movie was solid. The acting was good enough and the message was deep. I judge a movie by how much I think about it after watching, and this one has me wrecked with the theme of aging as it relates to love and money. I’m sad.

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