Writer/director Tina Gordon Chism is making her directorial debut with the Tyler Perry-produced film, Peeples. Having written ATL and Drumline, Chism decided to get behind the lens with her latest movie effort. Set for a Sept. 10 DVD release, Peeples is a tried and true formulaic comedy filled with all the prerequisite hits and jabs.

Grace (Kerry Washington) is a New York attorney for the U.N. and lives with her aspiring child psychologist boyfriend Wade (Craig Robinson). Wade currently writes and performs songs for children’s parties about proper ways to express themselves with words rather than troublesome bodily functions.

Putting a damper in Wade’s plan to propose, Grace is headed to the Hampton’s to visit her family for their annual Moby Dick weekend. However, Wade decides to surprise her and her family by showing up at the beach house. To his chagrin, Grace has not told her family about their relationship, putting him 10 steps behind trying to catch up.

Here is where the set-ups begin: Wade realizes that trying to get to know Grace’s overachieving family starting with her father Virgil (David Alan Grier), a federal judge with a no-one-is-good-enough-for-my-daughter attitude, is not going to be easy. Her sister Gloria (Kali Hawk) is a CNN correspondent, her younger brainy brother (Tyler James Williams, "Everybody Hates Chris") has some kleptomaniac tendencies, and her mother, a former singing sensation (S. Epatha Merkerson) are all quite a handful. You are led to believe that through these early interactions, Wade could never fit in a family so well off. However, as the movie unfolds we see that everyone has secrets.

This movie will immediately remind you of Meet the Parents, but set in a different place with a new terrific cast. Wade refers to Grace’s family as the “Chocolate Kennedy’s” at one point, which definitely brings a chuckle. It’s encouraging and positive to see a film portray a family of color living well as opposed to so many of the negative and dysfunctional images that other films show.

Robinson ("The Office") is the highlight of this film, bringing both his humor and comedic timing. At points, Peeples has predictable moments that can drag the momentum of the film. However, Epatha Merkerson was a pleasant surprise when she let her comic side shine. Frequently playing such serious roles, it was refreshing to see her lighten up.

Washington, surprisingly was one of the weaker links in the film. After seeing and identifying her as Olivia Pope in "Scandal," this fluffy role didn’t exactly let her stand out.

There were some really funny moments even though the film was overall pretty predictable. Guest appearances by Diahann Carroll, Melvin Van Peebles, Malcolm Barrett and Ana Gasteyer provided nice cameos to round out the cast.

This film is perfect for a rainy day to sit around with friends and family to watch. If you missed it in the theaters, then now is your chance to catch it. And, let’s hope we see more of Robinson in comedic lead roles, where he rightly deserves to be.

Grade: B-

Peeples releases on DVD Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013.