Why Did I Get Married? (2007)
User ReviewsReview this title
Being very, VERY wary of the 'Waiting To Exhale' effect I expected here, I was very hesitant about watching this movie, but I was assured pretty quickly. I'm not a very big fan of Tyler Perry; he is talented enough that I can tolerate most of his material. With that being said, he really came through here with this film. While not at all perfect, it gets its point across very effectively and you can't help but have a good time watching. One cannot help but look into their own lives and re-evaluate it in some way. If you're married/involved with someone, you're the ideal audience. If you're single, you can't help but take things away from this film to help make your ideals and beliefs of companionship and marriage that much stronger for when you do finally decide to take that step.
I had a couple of issues with the film:
1. Sheila's husband, Mike's character was way overboard in my opinion. Besides the fact that Jill Scott is a beautiful, absolutely GORGEOUS woman...the way he acted towards her was damn near unbelievable (as in not possible). In a way I couldn't help but wait for him to say that the joke was on her and he was just playing around. As silly as that sounds, his whole character was complete overkill; he was too much of an a--hole. And we never got an explanation as to WHY he was acting the way he was.
2. The film ended a little too quickly. I felt that the last 30 minutes was a cop-out. It was like Perry & Co. said, 'ok time for everybody to make up' and, with one fail swoop everyone's happy again. The intensity of the issues raised at the dinner table that night was HUGE, and with everything being exposed so quickly at one time made it that much more intense. There was just not enough time given to FULLY resolve everything that was raised between the 4 couples. The Janet Jackson/Malik Yoba couple was the best as far as seeing the two people truly get to the core of their issue and coming to some sort of resolution. As much as Jai White/Tasha Smith argued and were about to kill each other (at one point, literally), a simple 'I'm sorry' between them and the sudden 'ok honey, whatever you say' attitude of Smith in that scene was a little cheap. The same goes for Perry/Leal; she's in a car trying to come up with the list, gives up and just says 'I'm sorry', and all is well again?? What happened to the tubes being tied? That is VERY serious, and her deception about the whole thing made it that much worse. I doubt that would've been so easily forgiven so quickly by Perry. Jill Scott's situation was fleshed out a little more, naturally because of everything she went through as well as the eventual transition to someone else. I don't know how long the ceremony was after the Colorado trip, but the ring on Jill Scott's finger seemed a little premature. 'We're getting married' would've been a little more realistic in my opinion, but hey it's not my story.
As far as the acting goes, Jill Scott was magnificent. It was great to see Jai White in this kind of role, and he played it flawlessly. His 'showdown' between the two women outside was wonderful. I'm glad to see him out there; he's a talented actor who definitely needs more shine. I really hopes this does it for him. Yoba was good, Jackson had her moments, she was tolerable, but very bland. Perry was good as well, very grounded and balanced....I liked his character as well. Tasha Smith was a riot, she nailed it on the head and was very entertaining.
Overall, I must say that this movie is a must-see. Not at all perfect, but it gets its point across very effectively and engages the audience in issues that it can't help but relate to. The writing was good, the religious overtones were pretty abundant (as usual in Perry's material) but I didn't feel bombarded. All of the characters and their issues were BALANCED!!, which was essential in order for a movie like this to have credibility....unlike 'Waiting To Exhale'. When you can watch a movie and walk away from it with something to really think about, it's done it's job. Why Did I Get Married does that, and does it well.
P.S. Please go out and see the film for yourself, it's definitely better than a 3.2 rating.
This review is targeted for people who are not familiar with Tyler Perry's work. As for his fans, I already know you are going to see this movie.
This film reminds me of when one shoots for the stars and then lands on clouds. While other films this year shot for the clouds and landed much lower. This movie was a millimeter under flawless, and I presume that it will be getting many awards this year.
I encourage others to go and watch this film; you won't regret it. Your stereotypes of films will almost cease to exist as soon as you watch this film.
I was especially impressed with two particular actresses: Tasha Smith and Jill Scott.
I SO enjoyed Tasha's character because she was straight-forward, unafraid, brash and protective of and loyal to her friends. Tasha played this to the hilt. She worked it and I don't think anyone could have played this role better.
Jill Scott, whose career I've followed for many years, turns out to be a phenomenal actress, too! You go, Girl! She laid it down. She owned this role-- the pain, the disrespect, the long-suffering, the faith and hope, and ultimately, the joy and strength that comes partly from having a heart for God and a healthy and humble love of self and that of a good man. She floored me. I knew she was deep, but I didn't know she could take it there!!!! Tyler has outdone himself. This movie didn't need Madea, although I look forward to seeing her on screen again.
This movie was just beautiful from beginning to end. I especially like the way Tyler doesn't hold back the harshness of unpleasantness that is sometimes ever present in marriages in need of some revamping (i.e.- counseling, communication, and yes, even divorce). LOL.
My husband and I kept looking at each other laughing because some of those couples reminded us of ourselves and how quirky and sometimes ridiculous we are.
Keep it coming, Tyler. You've earned a fan for life.
And of course just like all of the Tyler Perry movies it has a message at the end that ties the movie all together.
I've never seen the stage-play upon which this film is based, but, having seen many a stage play adaptation to the big screen, and having been thoroughly disappointed with every one of them, I can say that this one did a fairly good job.
The revolves around several couples whose marriages are teetering in varying degrees of distress. Secrets that have been held tight by husband and wife are eventually thrust into the open, testing the couples' fortitude.
Visually the film is warm and intimate, and keeps a good amount of zest by way of fine emoting. There are some ever so brief lulls, but the story content and delivery by the actors keeps the viewer's attention.
The one "antagonist" in the film (if he can be called that) was almost a little too obvious. The boorish husband character was barely disguised as to his true intentions. So much so that I was wondering if the character wasn't supposed to be putting on some kind of act. But alas, that wasn't the case. It was a shortcoming of the creative team.
Most of the film is light, but there is one segment that came out of left field to break up wit bound dialog. The more dramatic scenes were respectable, but weren't always given the same amount of care to the lighter scenes.
My one real complaint about the story is that I felt somewhat lost as to who was suffering from what history. There's a lot implied, and the more relationship-savvy viewer can probably puzzle out the nuances and idiosyncrasies of marital secrets and scandal. But I have to admit that I just didn't get a lot of the situations until they were spelled out for me. Ah well :-) Some light entertainment that delivers an abridged version of a play with fairly good aplomb. It is a film marketed for an African American audience, but marital situations are universal to all, and as such this film can be enjoyed by all audiences (though your theatre's audience may vary). Definitely a good rent when it comes out on DVD.
Patty & Gavin - Patty wrote the book Why Did I Get Married? based on her friends' stories. She arranges for them to go to Colorado for this year's couples trip. Gavin is still grieving the son they lost in a car accident that she doesn't know he blames her for but is willing to do what it takes to keep their marriage together.
Angela & Marcus - Angela owns a hair salon and has a drinking problem. Marcus is an ex-pro football player and has a problem keeping it in his pants. He has two children with Keisha who is trying to break the two of them up so she can be # 1 in his life. Angela & Keisha are constantly at each others' throats and Marcus has to decide which woman he wants to be in the long haul with.
Diane & Terry - Diane is a workaholic lawyer who just made partner and because she is working on a huge case, cannot seem to put down her blackberry and her assistant has been calling dozens of times a day. Terry is a pediatrician who has been trying to start a family with his wife for a long time now. He is hoping that this vacation will rekindle the flame and create the baby he wants. But he has to get her focus off work long enough for that to happen. Then he finds out that she doesn't want to get pregnant, so does he stay with the woman he loves or has she hurt him so deeply that he leaves her.
Sheila & Mike (and Trina) - Sheila is a big girl and is told that someone her size is required to pay for two airplane seats. Mike says he's not paying for another seat for her and scoffs at her saying it's her own fault for not losing the weight he has been telling her to lose all along, so she needs to drive while he and Trina stay on the plane. Sheila invited her friend Trina to come with them because there was an extra room at the cabin. You see the looks between Trina and Mike and you immediately know there's something going on, but Sheila doesn't see it.
Troy - Sheriff Troy keeps Sheila company when she finds out that due to the storm, she can't get her car up the hill to get to the cabin where her husband and friends are. Troy gives Sheila the kindness that Mike never gives her and you're rooting for the two of them to get together, but Sheila is determined to save her marriage (unaware that her best friend has been screwing her over by screwing her husband - even though all of her friends notice right away.) Once all of them finally get together, things are said, secrets are spilled, and many MANY laugh-worthy moments are witnessed. As you're watching the movie, you kinda become like part of the family. You're laughing when they're laughing, you're crying when they're crying and you're wanting to smack the crap out of certain characters after certain things are said - whether or not the character on the screen actually does it or not.
I thought one of the best lines was regarding the whole 80/20 rule. When you get married, the most you can expect to get out of it is 80% of everything you want. When someone comes along and offers you that 20%, it looks really good to you because when you haven't been getting any, it looks like everything. But if you leave that 80% for the 20%, then all you're left with is the 20%...
A dialog movie with an EXCELLENT script of half drama, half comedy. It really delivers with both the heartaches and the joys and even though it's a 2 hour movie and it had a pretty satisfying ending, you want to keep following their stories because all of the characters have now become a part of you.
When I saw this movie, the theater was packed and it was a very interactive group. Normally, this would be very distracting for me, but I was right in there with the rest of them saying "slug him!" during some of the Sheila & Mike scenes.
I rank this up there with ...When Harry Met Sally where you can watch it over and over and over again and be entertained each time.
In Married?, all Perry did was "tell us" through forced exposition, like the scene where we're introduced to Terry (Tyler Perry) and Diane (Sharon Leal) as they cruise in their luxury SUV. The unstable couple picks that time to discuss her, Diane's, lack of commitment to the marriage? Couldn't we have caught them at the end of the discussion? He waits until they're almost there to talk about their problem? Not in a Tyler Perry film, where secrets and deep, sometimes malicious, feelings are absurdly revealed in the most contrived and inappropriate of times, and not for the sake of story but for over-the-top drama.
Most of what Perry "tells us" is through Patricia (Janet Jackson), the psychiatrist who is basically his ventriloquist dummy, spewing all of his views about love, faith and marriage.
Perry "tells us" how to love again, sometimes with an unbearable superficiality that has nothing to do with true love.
He "tells us" Sheila's (Jill Scott) feelings about herself during her marriage with this dramatic, teary monologue, which felt like a play-by-play recap of her whole story in the film and it felt as real as Santa Claus. So, basically, Perry showing us her feelings, like when she was unceremoniously tossed off the plane or her reaction to her husband's infidelity, didn't suffice. He had to continue the "telling." If Tyler Perry wants to be respected as a "film storyteller," he needs to get into the habit of "showing" more than he "tells."
The characters in this film were uninteresting, stereotypical at times, and worst of all, one-dimensional.
Patricia was flawless, and that's a bad thing believe it or not. A character should be flawed and not merely due to his/her inability to reveal her emotions. Her biggest flaw, an unintentional one by the filmmaker, was the advice she gave. It's basic, popular psychology and self-help advice at its most fundamental. There was never an "a-ha" moment with her marriage counseling. It was things any passive viewer of Oprah or Dr. Phil could've advised to anyone. With her lame advice, she was sounding more like Barney the dinosaur rather than this successful psychologist. And Gavin was just a female version of her.
Angela (Tasha Smith) and Marcus were the stereotypical of the bunch and offered nothing to this story. I couldn't connect with them. Angela had some admirable qualities. However, her admirable qualities easily sink below her myriad of tirades and inappropriate behavior. As for Marcus, he was just there.
Sheila and Mike were totally ridiculous. Sheila was too nice and Mike was too mean for either of them to be real. Mike had enough flaws for the other characters in this film that were lacking.
And like Patricia, Terry was perfect but Diane was the selfish, inconsiderate one. If anything, she was the only character barely more than just one-dimensional.
My scroll of flaws with this film continues but I don't have enough room on this IMDb.com comment page to fully articulate them all. However, I must point out the main problem with Tyler Perry's writing. Everything seems to be so contrived.
Contrivance No. 5 The set up for the big dinner scene was evident when the confrontational Angela just happens to see Mike creeping into Trina's room without saying something right there and then.
Contrivance No. 4 Angela is a contrivance all in herself. She's the loud, bold, confrontational one of the bunch that is there to reveal everyone's secrets when they refuse to. In a Tyler Perry film, a character like that is needed because the other characters would rather talk about being uppity black folks rather then communicate their problems to their loved ones. But what Angela was doing on past retreats? It seems to only all come out here for the sake of this story.
Contrivance No. 3 In a Tyler Perry film, there just happens to be an eligible, perfect black man who happens to be attracted to plus sized black women just waiting in Pemberton, Colorado as Sheila's rebound when she divorces Mike.
Contrivance No. 2 Sheila blissfully encourages Trina to come along with her and her husband to find a single black man in Pemberton. Why would she do that? None of them ever been there before, so why would she assume that there will be "single black men" out there just waiting to meet Trina? This wasn't some resort in Jamaica. However, in a Tyler Perry film, single, handsome black men are conveniently everywhere, especially in snow capped mountains as sheriffs in small towns. Of course, this makes it easy for everyone to discover Mike's affair with Trina.
And the number one of them all, the one thing that made me pan this film immediately upon noticing:
Contrivance No. 1 Patricia is the world renowned therapist that has been getting the same married couples together for seven years where she would help them work on their marriages. However, in a Tyler Perry film, Patricia's many years of marriage exercises and counseling on their many marital retreats have done nothing for them. It seems as if now, year seven, they are actually getting down to the problems of their marriages. Were they playing so much on past retreats that they never addressed their problems? And most of the problems we see in the film are fresh and new. So, after years of counseling from one of the nation's best marriage counselors, the marriages got worse? The question should have been, "why did they stay married?"
On the whole this was white cinema done with black faces but such a trend is long over due (if I have to watch one more trailer about how hard life in the hood without anyone fixxing their situation or the benefits to selling drugs and pimping I may go on a shooting spree). However, don't let this fool you-the writing was top rate and while some dialogue rehash there was a lot of very original dialogue as well. My only real complaint of the film was its sterility in many shots a lack of warmth within some home settings and among the performers as a whole.
There seemed to be little genuine commaraderie between the actors particularly in the earlier scenes. They were supposed to be friends since college but they were stiff in their reuniting with each other.
Also there is the scene were the overweight wife is forced to drive to the reunion by herself and all the women are worried for her safety yet when she enters the cabin the next day no one runs over to greet her they wait for her to come to them. Despite some of these often repeated mistakes (not just here but in other movies) this movie was very very good. I enjoyed it almost as much as The Four Seasons but unlike the Four Seasons this film follows all the characters all the way through the film- a nice touch in giving overall closure. Janet Jackson was my least favorite; portraying the celebrated novelist who lost a child but the the other performances were powerful enough to over shadowed her lack of depth. This was the first Tyler Perry film I have seen and I must say his 2 weeks at top box office is well justified here.
The movie is junk.
To put it in perspective, the MSN Movie website currently boasts 92 reviews for this movie and the average user rating there is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
As far as my assessment of the movie, it is an excellent portrayal of the daily life and strife of middle class "black folk" who have their own issues of finance, family, career struggles and drama that don't even incorporate what's happening in the so called inner city. Most African-American people have lived some of these issues and get what's going on in the movie and look beyond what the so called critics look for in style and direction. This is a movie that could make $60-75M box office with no problem, but as indicated by others, will only get nominated at award time by the Black Movie Awards and The NAACP Image staff.