The film opens with Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry), head of the family-owned Deeds Corporation, dressing for work. His fiancée, Natalie (Gabrielle Union), fixes breakfast for him, noting his predictable routine. Before work, Wesley picks up his delinquent younger brother, Walter (Brian J. White), who lost his driver’s license after a string of DUIs. They have lunch with their mother, the respectable Wilimena Deeds (Phylicia Rashad). After lunch, Wilimena meets Natalie, Natalie’s mother, and Natalie’s best friend at the bridal shop. The two mothers urge Natalie to think about her future with Wesley.
On the impoverished side of town, Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton), a single mother and cleaner for the Deeds Corporation, finds out she will be evicted if she doesn’t pay her bills soon. Lindsey rushes to pick up her check from work and ends up parking in Wesley’s reserved spot, leaving her six-year-old daughter, Ariel (Jordenn Thompson), in the car. Wesley and Walter find Ariel. Lindsey returns to find her car towed and argues with the two men. Lindsey takes Ariel to school, while Wesley has a meeting with his coworker and best friend, John (Eddie Cibrian), over acquiring a company Wesley's father has been competing against for years.
After work, Lindsey discovers she has been evicted. Taking her belongings, she picks up Ariel from school and works another shift. Ariel stays in a broom closet during the shift. They then begin to live in their van. Wesley sees them and decides to watch over them until Lindsey’s “boyfriend” comes for them. Wesley takes Lindsey and Ariel out for pizza; the trio bonds.
Ariel’s teacher finds out Lindsey and Ariel are homeless and threatens to call child services. Wesley struggles to expand the business while watching over Walter and developing a more complex love life with Natalie. One night, Natalie returns drunk after a fashion show and tries to initiate sex with her fiance, but he rejects her. After the child welfare agency takes Ariel, Wesley gives Lindsey a rent-free corporate apartment. Lindsey regains custody of Ariel. When Wesley reveals he has always wanted to ride a motorcycle, Lindsey rents one. The pair ride across the countryside and stops by a pond, where they kiss. Wesley admits he is engaged, and Lindsey leaves.
Deeds Corporation takes over the rival company, but Walter ruins the celebration with his outburst. Lindsey attends the party to talk to Wesley, and Walter forces her to stay. Walter suggests to Wilimena that Wesley and Lindsey are having an affair. Wilimena hints to Lindsey that Wesley would not stay with someone poorer for long. Natalie, Wesley, Walter, Wilimena, and Lindsey become trapped in an elevator after Wesley and Walter fight. Natalie and Wilimena notice Lindsey reaching for Wesley's hand, which was injured in the fight.
Wesley visits Lindsey that night, but she rejects him. Wesley and Natalie realize that, although they love each other, their marriage would not be happy because they are only together for their parents. They announce their split at their engagement party. Wesley also reveals he is quitting and traveling to see his old friends. He hires John as the new CEO of Deeds. Although initially angry, Walter accepts this.
Wesley tells Lindsey he is going to Nigeria and invites Lindsey and Ariel along. Lindsey again rejects him. Wesley boards his plane. As the plane is taking off, he sees Lindsey and Ariel sitting across the aisle. Wesley and Lindsey kiss, while Ariel looks on happily.Tyler Perry as Wesley Deeds
Thandie Newton as Lindsey Wakefield
Gabrielle Union as Natalie
Eddie Cibrian as John
Brian J. White as Walter Deeds
Jordenn Thompson as Ariel
Phylicia Rashad as Wilimena Deeds
Beverly Johnson as Brenda
Rebecca Romijn as Heidi
Jamie Kennedy as Mark Freeze
Andrew Masset as Mr. Brunson
Victoria Loving as Mrs. Brunson
Tom Thon as Milton
Good Deeds was produced by Perry's 34th Street Films. Principal photography took place in Atlanta from April 25, 2011 to June 2011. Good Deeds was released through Liongate and Tyler Perry Studios"Good Deeds". on February 24, 2012.
As November 2012, the film has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 32% of critics gave the film positive reviews out of 31 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. Its consensus states, "Tyler Perry's craftmanship as a director continues to improve, but his stories are still the same ol' hoary, pretentious melodramas." Metacritic reported that the film has an average score of 43 out of 100 based on 15 reviews.
The film grossed $15,583,924, ranking second on its opening weekend. As of November 2012, the film has grossed a total gross of $35,025,791.
The DVD was released on June 12, 2012.
In November 2012, author Terri Donald sued Perry claiming Good Deeds was based off her book, Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit, published in 2007. Donald is seeking for $225,000 in initial damages as well as an injunction requiring the company to add a credit for her book in the opening and closing credits, as well as an account of the film’s revenue. Donald reportedly sent a copy of her book to Tyler under the pseudonym, TLO Red'ness, before the film went into production.
In August 2013, U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley III dismissed the lawsuit stating that copyright law only protects expression and not ideas, and there was little similarity in the content.
As of October 2015, Terri (Donald) Stickland continues her appeal to the court of public opinion by tweeting her loss while simultaneously promoting her book, Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit, by citing similarities between her and the leading actress of Good Deeds, however the similarities end when it comes to weight.
Awards and nominationsBET Awards
Golden Raspberry Awards
Worst Actor (Tyler Perry) - Nominated
Worst Director (Tyler Perry) - Nominated
NAACP Image Award
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Tyler Perry) - Nominated