• Temptation

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    Even though I am not a very big fan of Tyler Perry; I have to admit that I have seen most of his work. The good (Why did I get married), the bad (For colored girls) and the ugly (Every Madea film). His latest entry is actually no different from his other movies. It's melodramatic, lots of finger wagging, at times unintentionally hilarious and borderline ridiculous. And yet while I've come to learn what to expect from a Tyler Perry production, I am still compelled to see what he comes up with next.

    An estranged married couple try to seek help from a marriage counselor (Candice Coke). The husband, unhappy with his uncooperative wife, steps out the office for a breather. Now, the marriage counselor wouldn't be the professional she is, if she didn't recognize the “signs”. The wife is clearly messing around with another man. The marriage counselor decides to share a cautionary tale about her “sister” Judith. This is where the real story kicks in.

    Phsss...Stop stinking up the place with your "luuuv". 

    The relationship of Bryce (Lance Gross) and Judith (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) is the stuff of fairy-tales. Aaron Zigman's music score strengthens this as he emulates Danny Elfman's Edward Scissorhands. They met as children, fell in love as teenagers and got married in their early 20's. Now living in Washington D.C., The couple seem to have it all. 

    While Bryce is happy with his job at a small pharmacy, Judith is a little frustrated. Her dream is to become a marriage counselor but getting there is a little harder than she thought. So, for the time being she works at a matchmaking company for rich people. After being cussed out by her co-worker Ava (Kim Kardashian with her fine, non acting ass) for her weak wardrobe choices, Judith's boss Janice (Vanessa Williams) introduces her to Social media mogul Harley.

    Yes Kim! That's pretty much how your acting made me feel.

    He wants to invest in Janice's company but before he commits, he wants Judith to show him around the office and explain the in's and outs of the company to him. While he's there, he wants her to match him up with a suitable woman as well. He's got his sights set on Judith though.

    Meanwhile Bryce neglects Judith as he's preoccupied with work, football games and even forgets her birthday. This all feeds into Judith's frustration as she starts to second guess her marriage and the love for her husband. Slowly but surely she falls for Harley's seduction and goes down a path that can only lead to disastrous consequences.

    "Smack that all on the floor! Smack that 'till you get sore..."

    It is clear that Tyler Perry was not going for subtlety. All the women in this movie are extremely beautiful. Judith is supposed to be the girl next door type. I would almost argue they went for an “ugly duckling” type of thing but given the way the actress Jurnee Smollet-Bell looks, you don't buy it for a second. The men walk around without a shirt every chance they get and are of course ripped as hell. Not a love handle or double chin in sight.

    Utterly ridiculous! I am going to try this though.
    The religious overtones in this movie are OUT THERE. As Judith's character, life and relationships are going a down-worth path, her mother played by Ella Joyce, is holding what I can only describe as some sort of long distance exorcism. Trying to get rid of the “devil” in her daughter's life. At one point Bryce even goes to this party to try to rescue Judith from Harley's clutches. Bryce might as well have gone to the pits of hell. You have to see the scene for your self to believe it. Also, the “wholesome” values in this movie are so unbelievable! In one scene Judith actually forces herself on her husband, trying to inject some passion in their marriage wanting to make mad love on the kitchen table. He refuses her and basically says: "Let's eat dinner first honey, go to our bedroom and make love the proper way...in a bed”. I actually yelled at this scene.

    Moesha! :)

    There is also a subplot involving Bryce's co-worker, Melinda (Brandy Norwood). She seems to be on the run, has a dark secret and eventually opens up to Bryce. The outcome of this is just utterly ridiculous and yes, you have guessed it, had me screaming at this movie even louder.

    This and only this can happen in the Tyler Perry-verse. Where women look like supermodels. Men are either extremely evil or unbelievably good-hearted and lives are soap opera's. Speaking of Evil, as soon Harley sets his shifty eyes on Judith, you can pretty much HEAR what he's thinking. This goes back to the whole subtlety thing but I digress.

    Only in the Tyler Perry-verse is this an "ugly duckling"...Yeah, right!

    While this film is entertaining, I can't give it a pass. The actors are fine but they have so little to work with that they are barely characters at all. The writing is sloppy and the “big” reveal in the story is so insulting that it almost killed the movie for me personally.

    Look, this is just basically a dime store romance novel put on film. It's clearly made for the female movie goer. Tyler Perry knows what they want and expect. He's catering to his audience. Nothing wrong with that. It is his strength and gotten him a lot of success. It's just that same strength is also his greatest weakness. Right now his movies rank from bad to just okay. I saw glimpses of a good filmmaker in “Why did I get married” and “Why did I get married too”. If he chooses to branch out, if presented with a brilliant script and the right cast, not catering to his audience than I am convinced that Tyler Perry can be a brilliant filmmaker. I don't hate the guy. I just think he can do a lot better.

    So, yes. This is your typical Tyler Perry film. A bad one at that. One which I can only recommend to his hardcore audience. For the rest of the people it'll be another forgettable piece of fluff.

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