Our friends out at Lionsgate sent over a copy of I Don’t Want To Do Wrong: The Play for us to review, and why Tyler Perry has been known to give me a lot of hard times on par with kidney stones–except these are located in my head–he’s also done some rather interesting pieces indeed. This one will prove to be one of the interesting ones, and perhaps, his best stage play to date.
I Don’t Want To Do Wrong: The Play follows a young woman named Yolanda who’s waiting for her husband to come home from Iraq. But in the meantime, she’s forced to move back home with her parents thanks to some harsh economic times for the young lady, as so many out there have already seen. Naturally, that’s not easy for anyone to do–despite the fact that a lot of people these days have had to do it. So with Yolanda back home and the family under a note of strain, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to keep everybody together.
Yes, this is a play, so the first thing you’ll likely notice right away is the catastrophically low production values; most of this movie will take place in one room because it’s a play shot on DVD. That’s not good news, either, as when Tyler Perry is forced to stay in one room, it’s a canary in a coal mine called “extreme melodrama”. When that door opens and we discover we’re in one room, that canary starts coughing like a carton-a-day smoker in a forest fire. Then when the musical number gets started–not even three minutes in–the coughing grows worse.
However, I Don’t Want To Do Wrong: The Play steps things up a notch for Tyler Perry. Sure, the melodrama is here, thick and fast, but there are also plenty of genuine laughs here, and a surprising number of twists. I never expected surprises from Tyler Perry, whose work is normally more cookie-cutter than a Christmas bakery, but did I ever get them.
This is easily one of Perry’s better works. Admittedly, that’s not saying a whole lot given the quality of his previous material, but this one is not only one of the better ones he’s done, it’s in general pretty good stuff. Sure, Perry can’t quite shake the extremes of over-powered drama he’s built a career on, but his penchant for laughs shines through, and the extra twists thrown in makes things even better.
I Don’t Want To Do Wrong: The Play does reasonably well for itself, despite its being in a one-room setting, despite being packed with plenty of overdone drama, and despite its other faults. It’s a solid, reasonably well put-together piece that will, as ever, appeal to the drama fans out there, but for those who like their laughs and a good twist or two, well, this will have that too. That may well be the best thing I could say about this one.