Why Did I Get Married Too?

More than a simple exercise in ineffective writing, Tyler Perry’s latest outing amounts to a lesson in quantum physics and mirror universes that would make Marvel Comics jealous.

Case in point is Terry (Tyler Perry) and Diane’s (Sharon Leal) son, who despite supposedly being born in the interim year between both movies looks and acts like a 4 year old. Is he the real world answer to a young Franklin Richards?

Arriving for their annual couples retreat, four relatively affluent African-American couples must confront the issues they otherwise keep hidden. For Sheila (Jill Scott) and Troy (Lamman Rucker), they are haunted by her ex-husband Mike (Richard T. Jones); Terry believes Diane is cheating due to a recent change in her mood for the better; Patricia (Janet Jackson) and Gavin (Malik Yoba) are unable to recover from the loss of their child and Patricia’s inability to open up emotionally; and Angela (Tasha Smith) believes Marcus (Michael Jai White) is incapable of fidelity with female fans flocking to the fledgling sportscaster. One couple’s troubles will be too much for them to continue.

Perry’s understanding of story and character development appear even worse than his sense of time. Each couple struggles with such banalities, often recycled entirely from the original, it’s impossible not to wonder how they’ve managed to survive this long. Subtleties are of little importance, leading to each conflict being introduced almost immediately after they gather together, also raising the question of whether or not they’re each other’s worst omens.
How a meaningful and lasting catharsis can be achieved with any degree of impact in the concluding chapters is never a consideration. Despite being store-bought in sentimentality, Perry honestly believes they carry significant gravitas to maintain the audience’s interest, something far from the truth. So much so that when the promised marital breakdown materializes, it is neither interesting nor a surprise, simply because one has to wonder how any of them have made it this far other than through blind ignorance of the realities before them.

None of the cast interact with each other as real friends or beyond their annual vacation, communicate, based at least upon how little the most recent addition Troy knows the rest of the travel party and the children’s lack of knowledge about his very existence.
Each looks at one another with a smile, giggling uncomfortably at jokes
without any punchline before retreating to their own inner demons. Yes they band together at appropriate moments but it is far too transparent and structural, plodding methodically even further through tired conventions.

Angela specifically as a character harks back to the stereotype of the angry black woman which Perry attempts to subvert. So salient is she in her writing and portrayal, there is nothing new added to the conversation except for an ever constant irritation. In spite of Smith’s attempts to humanise her as a character , the time devoted to demonising and belittling her is far too lasting to be overcome so quickly. Her problems are indicative of the entire project, literally ported from one edition to another, ironically for the most part a fact Perry makes light of for as long as possible, missing that he is in reality highlighting a major shortcoming of his “style”.

Credit must however go to Scott, who continues to grow as an actress, illustrating a quiet strength and breathy confidence in every word she utters, even at her most vulnerable.

Aimed at the average Oprah viewer, the only saving grace is Scott, otherwise adrift in a sea of nausea-inducing mediocrity.

  1. September 5th, 2010

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