A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Fall from Grace is a melodrama/thriller from Tyler Perry that features two female protagonists. The first is a middle-aged woman accused of a brutal murder; the second is the young, inexperienced public defender who takes her case. Viewers can expect both suspense and graphic violence: the savage murder; a woman jumps from a building and is killed; and sequences in which female characters are verbally abused, stalked, and/or attacked. Sexual situations include cuddling in bed, kissing, foreplay, brief lovemaking, and partial male nudity. Occasional profanity is used, i.e., "f--k," "bitch," "ass," "hell." Wine and beer are consumed (no drunkenness), and there's smoking. This is Tyler Perry's first joint venture with Netflix.
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What's the story?
Grace (Crystal Fox) is being held for the murder of her husband as A FALL FROM GRACE opens. Jasmine (Bresha Webb), a very new and insecure public defender, has been assigned to work out a plea as the woman has confessed. However, the young lawyer is concerned that justice may not be done. The body has disappeared and Grace is unresponsive and refusing to help herself. She wonders why this shattered woman, an upstanding citizen and all-around good person, would snap. The more Jasmine learns, from Grace's best friend Sarah (Phylicia Rashad) and from prying the story from Grace (in flashbacks with narration), the more she hesitates to finish the plea agreement. Ultimately, Jasmine finds the courage to challenge her unsympathetic boss (Tyler Perry) and demand a trial. From then on, even as it seems that Grace's guilt is firmly established in the courtroom, events occur that make Jasmine's concerns more relevant than ever.
Is it any good?
What might have been simply a mediocre, routine story takes a plunge into the ridiculous as one twist after another assaults the audience with laughable plotting and a graceless production. A Fall from Grace moves from the past to the present as suspense builds and logic recedes. Decent performances are done in by distracting music, amateurish and inaccurate legal proceedings, as well as villains as shallow as they are cruel. It's noted everywhere that Tyler Perry shot his film in five days. That's certainly not surprising given the movie that has been released.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in A Fall from Grace. Is the movie's story dependent upon it? Do you think the amount of violence shown in the murder scene was necessary? Why or why not? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
If you like Tyler Perry's movies, what makes them special for you? Do you think this story is typical of his films? Did you like seeing Perry, the actor, playing a dramatic role so unlike his Madea character?
What did you think about the story's resolution? Were you surprised by the many twists? Did they feel believable and/or logical? Why or why not? What was the purpose of the last shot in the movie?
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