WHY DID I GET MARRIED?
** (out of 5)
October 12, 2007
Tyler Perry as TERRY
Sharon Leal as DIANE
Janet Jackson as PATRICIA
Malik Yoba as GAVIN
Jill Scott as SHEILA
Richard T. Jones as MIKE
Tasha Smith as ANGELA
Michael Jai White as MARCUS
Denise Boutte as TRINA
Lamman Rucker as TROY
Directed by: Tyler Perry
BY KEVIN CARR
I come at the film “Why Did I Get Married?” from a unique perspective. I have never seen a Tyler Perry film before. This is nothing against Tyler Perry. I’m sure he’s a great guy, and after seeing this film, I can tell he has a strong grasp of humor. I just never had a chance to catch “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” or “Madea’s Family Reunion.” (One was not screened for critics, and the other I had to miss for a conflicting screening.)
Unlike many of Perry’s movie fans, I approached “Why Did I Get Married?” with neither high expectations or dread. I also knew I wouldn’t be disappointed that Perry wasn’t in a fat suit, wig and old woman’s dress. We shall see if his fans accept him out of drag.
In this film, Perry plays a man on a week-long retreat with his wife and three other couples. While they are all successful and seem to have things together on the surface, each couple has secrets and lies in their past. At the secluded getaway in Colorado, these secrets come out with explosive results, leaving the four couples to pick up the pieces when the vacation is over.
I know that I am not the target market for this film. Yes, I am married, and the movie is best understood by people who have taken that plunge. However, this film seems to speak to a black female audience. While the problems the couples faced were by no means unique to an urban audience, the way the story is laid out makes the main characters the women and often with an overt black perspective.
So keep all this in mind when I say I wasn’t a huge fan of the film. After all, the point of a review is my opinion, isn’t it? And I thought the acting was only so-so, the characters weren’t terribly well formed and the movie went on way too long.
The high points in “Why Did I Get Married?” come from the laugh-out-loud outrageous comedy. There are two or three of these moments, and they do bring the house down. However, between these scenes, we’re treated to a little too much preaching about how Perry thinks relationship should be rather than how they really are.
Married folks are going to get the most out of this film, even more than those who are just in long-term relationships. In many ways, it reminds me of Chris Rock’s “I Think I Love My Wife.” It does put on display many of the problems we all face in marriage, either by thought or by deed. And in a strange way, this film can be therapeutic for the average person, the same way “The Jerry Springer Show” is.
Married people are going to see this movie and feel better about their relationships because as bad as their problems are, it isn’t nearly as bad as the characters in the film. And if you are one of those people who look at this film and say, “These people don’t have it so bad. My problems are worse!” Well, then you need to join a convent or a monastery and give up relationships for good.
Originally, I didn’t have a problem with the film. It wasn’t brilliantly written or expertly plotted, but it worked for what it was. However, after the big blow-up in the middle of the movie, Perry overstays his welcome by preaching at the audience and driving the characters into the ground. By the end, we’re given all-too-easy – and in some cases ridiculously drawn-out – resolutions to the issues of the film.
I can’t speak for Perry’s other films, but what “Why Did I Get Married?” showed me that he has a real knack for setting up a story and building it to a dramatic height. However, he just doesn’t quite know how to wrap things up nicely in the end.