A talented cast struggles to make poor material shine in “Peeples”.

Unfortunately, this script isn’t even worthy of a sit-com episode.

Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) is preparing to propose to his girlfriend Grace (Kerry Washington). There’s something bothering him, however… he’s never met her family. So when she heads to the family’s summer home in the Hamptons for the weekend, he follows, showing up un-announced.

Wade immediately realizes that Grace has never even told her family about him, and it doesn’t take long for him to discover why. Mr. Peeples (David Alan Grier), her father, is a strict, domineering, hyper-critical patriarch who rules the family with a stern demeanor. He’s also a retired Federal Judge. Wade, who makes his living playing educational music to children, can’t hope to measure up. Further, he makes mistake after mistake, unintentionally driving Mr. Peeples crazy.

Of course, the Peeple’s family is not as tight a ship as the father thinks it is. In addition to his daughter dating Wade, his wife (S. Epatha Merkerson) has issues with drugs, his other daughter is gay, and his son is stealing from the rest of the family. So Wade, who is struggling not to make a fool of himself as it is, is also confronted with being put in uncomfortable situations and having to keep family secrets.

Will he be able to impress Grace’s father and propose? Or will he unbalance the Peeple’s family forever?

Craig Robinson is a very talented, funny individual, and a lot of that shines through here. Along with the rest of the cast, they do their best to pull occasional moments of mirth out of a terrible, terrible script. Writer/Director Tina Gordon Chism has crafted a completely unbelievable situation, featuring laughable (not in the good way) characters. David Alan Grier’s father character is the kind of dictatorial, clueless stiff that you only find in bad movies. He smothers his family, yet everyone falls all over themselves to please him, and freaks out if anything is done to upset him. Not that the jokes/gags/laughs what have you were good, but even if they were, I would still have problems getting past this silly set up.

And the jokes weren’t good. There were a lot of “Ooops, I wish I hadn’t seen that” situations, and a lot of Craig Robinson’s character putting his foot in his mouth or watching his well-intentioned actions turn into some kind of unforseen disaster. Most of it falls flat or feels lame to begin with, and there’s no “big laughs” to be had at all.

As mentioned earlier, the cast does their best with what they’re given, though, and occasionally manage to pull out a few chuckles along the way. Their talent and efforts manage to save this movie from complete failure.


Daniel Fogarty

17 thoughts on “Peeples

  1. Hi, Fogs:

    Another “Thanks for the heads up”. Though I may see it just to bear out my following theory.

    Here’s an idea for budding, aspiring writers. Stop morphing ideas from films that do well in the box office to set the guidelines for what you are going to write and pitch!

    Come up with a an original idea for once! Set your tale within the believable Blue and White Collar world that reflects your audience. Raise your level of witty dialogue above flatulence and belches. Give your characters some back story and have pieces of it surface throughout the tale. And have at least one (possibly two) sympathetic potential in laws as the goal to win over.

    In other words. Stop thinking ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘The Fokkers’ franchises. And start thinking ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’.

    Securing my Soapbox.
    Carry on.

    • Yes, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a classic! The rise of Sidney Poitier and the final chapter for Spencer Tracy who closed the movie with one of the finer Hollywood monologues in cinema history. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. And that’s what really solidifies this as such an important installment of the history and makeup of Hollywood.

    • I wish they would heed your advice, Jack. Unfortunately, today’s writers come up with “Guess Who” when they think “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. Even that movie isnt spared from today’s talentless hacks 😦

      This script wasn’t a total “Meet the Parents” rip off, but it had enough similarities, and then on top of it, the humor was really just… poor. The cast deserved better. 😦

  2. Totally disagree here about Craig Robinson; he is absolutely without a doubt NOT TALENTED AT ALL! He is terrible! He isn’t funny. He’s not charismatic. As soon as “The Office” took Darryl from the warehouse and threw him into the office they tried to FORCE him upon the audience! He had NO PURPOSE being in the office, and the evidence to back that is clearly seen in that HE NEVER WORKS! He was great in a supporting role as warehouse supervisor when Michael Scott would come down to the warehouse and mess things up, and Darryl would get pissed at him; THAT made sense! Not, promoting him up into the office to do NOTHING around there except merely be a presence.

    He obviously got in good with some Hollywood big-wigs b/c they have been clearly trying to pimp him out and make him a star. But he’s no Eddie Murphy; he’s not Chris Rock; he’s not even Martin Lawrence! He’s totally lackluster, dull, and boring. There was a recent episode of “The Office” where Darryl drank too much at an office party and was supposed to be drunk, and Craig Robinson was TERRIBLE at pretending to be drunk! It was like Tyler Perry “House of Payne” level of bad.

    And now he’s in this new movie with James Franco and Seth Rogan and that click about how the world’s coming to an end – and even on the poster for that Craig Robinson is doing a fake scream like he’s supposed to be scared, and even on something as simple as that he doesn’t come across convincing. He’s a TERRIBLE actor and I have no idea who thought it’d be a good idea to turn him into a main character on “The Office” and start giving him starring roles in movies. We see how well “Peeples” is doing! LOL.

    He has NO RANGE whatsoever! Those kids on the “AT&T” commercials who sit in the classroom with the guy in the suit, and answer his questions with really random, drawn out comments, etc. are more talented and better actors than Craig Robinson.

    Sorry for the long comment. I just get so pissed when Hollywood pimps certain actors/actresses that don’t deserve it in place of truly talented actors/actresses who do deserve it. I think that Hollywood currently has a shortage of young black actors out there so they’re just pimping Craig to be that face. But I guarantee you there are far superior, young, up-and-coming black actors out there WAY more talented than Craig Robinson. I think Lamorne Morris from “New Girl” is head-and-shoulders above Craig Robinson in acting ability – and I said that even when he was doing commercials before “New Girl” came out he was going to be a star b/c I could tell on his commercials he could act. Damon Wayans, Jr. (the original Winston on “New Girl” before he chose “Happy Endings” instead) is also a far superior actor than Craig Robinson. THOSE GUYS are actually FUNNY. Craig is just a flat, one-note actor, and his one-note isn’t even good.

    Next time, I’m going to be honest and tell you how I really feel! lol.

  3. I chuckled a few times, but that’s about it. Nice review, Fogs. Spot-on. At least you enjoyed it more than me… I thought it was so boring, at one point I was just staring at the Exit sign of my theatre. So red… So much more intriguing than this… LOL.

    • Wow, that is messed up. Always freaks me out when I cross-comment with someone. I swear I was just on your blog as you wrote this. LOL

      I didnt enjoy it THAT much more than you though. I didnt think about bailing, that’s true… I dont know what stayed my hand from giving it a D or an F. The cast? Robinson? Not sure.

      • LOL, I was right in the middle of my comment when my little orange comment icon thing lit up! First time that’s happened for me hahah!

        I’m not sure if it was bad enough for me to bail, but that LED sign had me in such a trance… My mom asked me at one point, like she usually does, “Do you like it?” I says, “No, not really.” I like to get to the end.

        Maybe Kerry Washington in her college or high school uniform or whatever that was? Or that light threesome scene? (LOL.) The cast did carry it well enough, for what it was. Glad to see someone treated it fairly enough, though!

        I wasn’t expecting that MUCH from this, maybe at least some decent entertainment, but it still left me angry and slightly disappointed. I like Washington and Robinson, he was great in “Hot Tub Time Machine”.

      • I like Robinson too, but I went into this with NO expectations. A) Tyler Perry’s name was attached, which is never a good sign B) The trailers looked terrible. If you cant even cut a decent trailer…. whats your movie gonna be like? LOL

      • LOL, those are fair points… I thought that “Well now you’re having puppies” line was okay. But they couldn’t even make it more than a minute long! I only ever saw one TV spot for it, I think

  4. Pingback: LAMBScores: Great Peeples in the Mud | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

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