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Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace is a thriller about a woman accused of murdering her husband. Everyone believes that she is guilty, but a young public defender, Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb), doesn’t think that things are quite as straightforward as they appear. Tyler Perry directed, produced, wrote, and has a role in A Fall From Grace. It’s very much a Tyler Perry film with some of his usual themes: over-the-top personas, abused women, wigs, and theatrics. The only major difference from this film and his others is that Perry made it exclusively for Netflix.
A Fall From Grace features legendary screen actors like Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson. It also features Supergirl’s Mehcad Brooks, and Crystal Fox, who considers this movie one of her big breaks. The film starts like a conventional courtroom drama with the accused, a young public defender, a lazy law firm, and shady characters galore. However, by midway through A Fall From Grace, the film goes head first into thriller and mystery territory. Did Grace (Crystal Fox) really kill her husband, Shannon (Mehcad Brooks)? Is Shannon even really dead? Will Jasmine win the case? Will Rory (Tyler Perry) stop being so lazy and actually help Jasmine try to win the case? These questions and many more are answered by the final twist of A Fall From Grace.
A Fall From Grace very much gets most of its momentum once the first twist is revealed. Your reactions to these twists will either make or break this movie for you. As we’ll be discussing the major plot points, ending, and twists in A Fall From Grace, expect spoilers.
The Fall From Grace Ending And Twists Explained
In the first half of A Fall From Grace, Grace's attorney, Jasmine, refuses to believe that Grace committed murder. Grace just wants to tie everything up nicely by confessing to the murder and then head off to prison. Jasmine pushes until Grace reveals what happened on the night of the murder. Grace paints a picture of how she fell in love with this younger man, Shannon. Their romance is picture perfect until she starts to notice some of his sketchy behavior, like taking secret phone calls in the middle of the night.
Eventually, Grace’s bosses fire her for supposedly stealing a large amount of money from the company. She claims that she didn’t do it. After Grace investigates, she discovers that someone took out a mortgage on her home, and the bank’s security footage reveals that it was Shannon.
The film then switches gears and Shannon’s mask fades. He’s a grade-A bastard. He believes that now that Grace and he are married, he owns everything that she owns. He refuses to leave her home and return the money. One day Grace becomes so frustrated with Shannon, after catching him sleeping with another woman, she beats him over the head with a bat. She then calls her best friend Sarah (Phylicia Rashad) for help. Grace leaves the home and Sarah goes to clean up the body. Sarah claims the body is missing and that she thinks Malcolm (Walter Fauntleroy), Grace’s son, removed it.
A Fall From Grace then focuses on Jasmine trying to win the case despite Grace confessing to the murder. Jasmine believes that Grace is trying to settle the case quickly to spare Sarah and Malcolm from prosecution for helping cover up the murder.
Shannon being a con artist is A Fall From Grace’s first major twist, but it’s not the biggest one. The biggest twists are that Sarah is also a con artist, Shannon’s mother, and that she set up Grace. Shannon is also not dead. He’s hiding out in Sarah’s home. We also learn that swindling Grace is just one of Sarah and Shannon’s many schemes. They have been a mother-son conning duo for over 25 years (which is very weird if they’ve been doing this marrying older women scheme since he was 14). Not only has Shannon and Sarah been marrying women and stealing their money, they also kidnapped a bunch of elderly women to steal their social security and fortunes.
All these reveals leads to a confrontation between Jasmine, Jasmine’s police officer husband, Jordan (Matthew Law), Shannon, and Sarah. Jasmine kills Shannon trying to save Jordan, but Sarah escapes. Somehow, Sarah manages to create yet another new identity and is in the process of a new abuse-the-elderly scheme. Meanwhile, Jasmine wins the case, Rory acts like he did something useful as he gives a nod of support to Jasmine, and all the charges are dropped against Grace.
The Themes Of A Fall From Grace
A Fall From Grace has two major themes in it. The first is the view and treatment of older women. In Tyler Perry’s film, they are seen as weak and victims, but people who assume that quickly learn the error of that type of thinking. Shannon sees Grace as just someone he can use and abuse, but he learns that’s not the case when she fights back and nearly kills him. Sarah also sees elderly women as weak, which is why she’s been exploiting them for years. However, the senior citizen women are the ones that lead to her ultimate downfall. Alice's (Cicely Tyson) attempts at escaping are what eventually help Jasmine put all the clues together to figure out the truth about Shannon and Sarah.
The second major theme focuses on mother and son bonds. Basically, Grace almost goes to prison for murder in order to protect her son. She also expresses how her greatest love story is with her son, and how they’ve been distant because of his new wife. Meanwhile, Shannon often expresses his love and admiration for his mother, who is later revealed to be Sarah. The two also have to be very close to have manipulated and stolen from people for decades. The film seems to be making commentary on the dangerous lengths mothers and sons go through to protect each other.
Did The Twists Pay Off?
Maybe I’ve seen one too many Tyler Perry movies (or at least the internet’s commentary on them), because the Shannon scamming Grace twist seemed very obvious. Tyler Perry makes movies about women who fall for men who seem perfect, just for it to later come out that they’re really evil men. Shannon being terrible seemed inevitable, especially with that weird uneven fade-top wig. Only someone completely calculating would sport that type of messy hairdo.
The second twist also seemed easy to predict. Clearly, Sarah tried to set Grace up from the moment she enters A Fall From Grace. The things she told Jasmine didn’t paint Grace in the best light. Also in order for the bank to have approved Shannon taking out a mortgage, it seems like they would need Grace there in person to sign off on it, or at least a woman who could pretend to be her. I assume that Sarah pretended to be Grace in order to sign many legal documents to take out a mortgage on the home.
Sarah also, at times, seems very timid and unsure, but then in other moments she seems very bold and imposing. This makes her whole persona seem like an act. Shannon also mentions his mom often but never reveals whether she is alive or dead. Sarah is also very pushy towards Grace about dating Shannon, but then when Grace expresses a little concern about him, Sarah seems overly hostile towards him. It just all seems inauthentic from Sarah. To me, all the twists seem fairly obvious, especially if you pay any attention to Tyler Perry’s clues, but seeing the twists coming doesn’t diminish A Fall From Grace.
The final twists in A Fall From Grace gave the movie a much needed shot of adrenaline. It adds an over-the-top soap opera feel that the movie already had, but this time it pulled it all together in an enjoyable way. You know A Fall From Grace is ridiculous, but at least with the twists, it feels like the movie itself recognizes its own ridiculousness.