Sam Strange Remembers: TYLER PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS

Sam Strange believes the world would be a better place if more people committed suicide in the name of organ donation. So he made a Tyler Perry movie about it.

I'm not very familiar with what a Tyler Perry movie is. All I know is that whenever a movie comes out with that name attached to it, I don't know anyone who goes to see it and yet the film still makes a billion dollars. So obviously, I had to make one. It didn't matter that I didn't know how. I could figure it out as I went.

Right off the bat, the number one thing to get right about Tyler Perry movies is that they all star black people. Luckily, I was able to snag the next best thing: Will Smith. Next, Tyler Perry films have to be highly dramatic and emotionally manipulative. That was no big deal; I already had a good organ donor story brewing that I could easily use. And finally, from what I'd heard, every Tyler Perry movie needs at least one crazy fucked up part. No problem: death by jellyfish.

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds takes place many years after the first Tyler Perry film, Tyler Perry's Good Burger. The plot is about a NASA engineer played by Will Smith who goes around judging people to determine whether or not he will give them his life-saving organs after he commits suicide. Just like Jesus.

This may make him sound like a super nice guy, but it's more complicated than that. The reason he wants to save people is because he actually used to enjoy killing them. He'd act really charming and do lots of favors for people. But once they let their guard down he'd throw jellyfish into their bathtubs.

Then one day he happened to see Baby's Day Out on television. The sight of that poor little child shuffling forward through life, completely oblivious to the obstacles against him gave Will Smith a change of heart. Because he'd murdered seven people, he decided that was the number of people he needed to save. Furthermore, he also needed to see the seven wonders of the world, re-watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and ride a bull for seven seconds.

For all this to be believable, I needed Will Smith to stretch his acting abilities a great deal. We chose to display his weirdness by mixing his natural charm with the body language of a socially awkward teenager. So he's constantly shuffling his feet and looking up at other characters from underneath one winked eye. He also smiles strangely, as though the inside of his mouth is riddled with painful sores. The nature of his character demanded he cry a lot. To really sell the emotion in these scenes, Will Smith just covers half his face with fists.

It's not easy to just give your organs to people. First he has to get to know them, and the best way to do that is to illegally pose as an IRS worker and make them really scared that they're going to be audited. If that's not possible, he can also call them where they work and say cruel things to gauge their worth by how mad they get.

For instance, Will Smith wants to give his eyes to a blind guy played by Woody Harrelson. So he calls him and makes fun of him for being blind. Through the course of his conversation, he also discovers the blind guy's a vegetarian, so he makes fun of that too. Then, out of nowhere, he starts calling him a virgin. Woody Harrleson is far too confused to get angry, and Will Smith therefore deems he's worth losing two eyes over. He sends them over right away.

Sometimes, people just aren't worth it. One guy he researches runs a nursing home. But instead of doing good for old people, he tortures them by withholding baths. When Will Smith finds this out, he kills the guy with a jellyfish and has to add another organ donor slot to his list.

And sometimes he has trouble with security guards who want to verify his IRS credentials, putting his entire penance plan in jeopardy. So he has to kill them with jellyfish, too, and add even more donor slots to his list. By the time the film is over, he has to give organs to over thirty people.

Because of this, he cheats a little now and then. Maybe a family of five lives with an abusive male. They don't need organs at all, so he just gives them his house. But because that doesn't really cause him much pain, he also offers them refrigerator magnets made of his fingers. Four down in one pass.

One problem with a story like this is that it's essentially told in one act. But because everyday American filmgoers are so highly aware of what act structure is, every movie has to have three acts. The best way to overcome this was to add a love story. Obviously, Will Smith was only going to fall in love with someone really sick, so I had to pick an actress so lovely that audiences fall for her even when she's covered in ghost makeup. The only actresses I know who fits that bill is Rosario Dawson and Ann Ramsey. And Ann hasn't been returning my calls for years.

Since this is the character who will win Will Smith's heart, its a must that she suffer from a heart condition, so even really stupid people can see that this is art. She also has an anemic soul, so he plans on giving her that too.

As he stalks her, showing up at her house unannounced to weed her garden or feed meat to her vegetarian dog, she begins to ponder her upcoming death and longs for just one more bit of sex from a handsome man before shuffling off her mortal coil. Therefore, she keeps inviting Will Smith back regardless of how much he creeps her out. She figures she doesn't have much to lose if he turns out to be some kind of crazed jellyfish serial killer like the guy they've been talking about on the news.

When concocting this Good Deeds plan, Will Smith never realized he might fall in love with one of his future organ bags. It complicates things considerably. In actuality, he started out not interested in her at all. He was only planning on donating his heart to her dog, who she named Seven because he will only live seven years thanks to a heart condition inherited by every seventh pure-bred Great Dane. But once he realizes she needs help too, he has to make a difficult choice because he only has the one heart to give. Luckily, he saves a kid's life by slapping some McDonalds out of his hand, thus emptying another Good Deeds slot which he can then use to kill the same kid with jellyfish and take his heart. Now both the lady and her dog can live forever.

But only if Will Smith dies. Now that he's in love, he starts to chicken out of his suicide plan. He owes so many people organs by now that if he fails to give them up, he'll be a worse killer than ever. Just as he's about to go back on his word, Baby's Day Out shows up on the television, and he remembers his mission.

Immediately, Will Smith puts himself in an ice bath and dumps in a jellyfish. But because he lives in a really scummy part of town, there is also an anaconda in the bathtub.  The two have a long, drawn-out battle which the anaconda eventually wins. Will Smith tries to run away because death by jellyfish is kind of his signature thing, but the Anaconda is too fast. It crushes him to death, along with all his precious organs.

Luckily, he has a back up plan. There's this old lady named Madea that always used to spank Will Smith when he was a child, and Will Smith's lawyer has been told that if anything were to happen to his organs, his lawyer must hire goons to go get them from her.

(seven stars)