Monday, 15 April 2013

ESPspotlight Review: Tyler Perry's 'Temptation: Confessions of A Marriage Counselor'



Recently I had a conversation with an extremely intelligent woman, who made me think about Producer, Director, Writer and Actor, Tyler Perry in an entirely different light. I'm not going to lie, of the few films of his that I've actually seen, I will admit (confess) to them being guilty pleasures that I enjoyed. The man makes me laugh and although his messages are always blindingly obvious, overall I think they're of the kind that aren't reinforced enough in this day and age. If you're a person of strong faith and at least striving to be of good character well, you can't not relate, in my humble point of view. When discussing his 2011 adaptation of 'For Colored Girls', with someone who knows the origins of the story a heck of a lot better than Yours Truly though, I could see where the stereotypical problem of Tyler and his Stereotypes emanated from. I still liked the films I've seen though, I'm sorry! Plus he always seems like a nice guy! What can I say, I'm a sucker for those.

Right around the same time as that conversation, I had planned to review his latest film release, as part of the new movie addition to the ESPpotlight range. Unfortunately, the film didn't get it's 'official' UK release and the Interweb was all aflutter again at the reminders that Kim Kardashian had been cast in the role of 'Eva'. Now, it's obvious what conclusions we were expected to draw from this. The title, plus the world's most 'successful' sex tape...'star', playing a character with a name oddly close to the First Woman, who essentially brought about the downfall of Man and all his kind. The coinkydink was colossal...
Tyler Perry's 'Temptation: Confessions of A Marriage Counselor' (Photo courtesy of www.getdvdcovers.com)
After reading all of the protestations by people 1. Refusing to pay for a movie that sounded like a clothed version of what they've already seen courtesy of Vivid Entertainment, YouTube and that gentleman Ray J (I mean how 2003 can one really be); and 2. questioning Perry's sanity (and possible blackmail status) at casting her in the first place - I felt it my professional duty to 'investigate'.

Now in Tyler, Kim and the film's defence, I want to state outright, that if you're avoiding seeing this because you think the 'Kimye' carrier will ruin the whole thing, then I can categorically assure you that you need not worry - the film is terrible irrespective of her! The worst Kardashian does, is bring the only guilty pleasure to the overall production. Courtesy of her, you finally see Kris Jenner's dream of 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians - The Movie', realised. And it's no more terrible than when we pretend not to watch it at home - I promise!

This is the tale of a Marriage Counsellor who uses a very poorly acted wife's session, to tell the retrospective story of 'her Sister, Judith' (insert condescending air quotes for adequate delivery), from the age of 5 to present day. 'Her Sister Judith' met, grew up with and married her childhood sweetheart, 'Bryce' in an unheard of town in the South. (Very) long story short, a rich, clever and (not remotely) handsome stranger wanders into the job that tortures 'Sister Judith's' Soul, 3 weeks into the couple's move to the 'big smoke', about the same time that Brandy Norwood's character starts working with Bryce at his Pharmacy. Both 'relationships' progress with a simplicity insulting to my 5-year-old nephew's intelligence, to a point of honest unbelievability. One affair happens, one does not, and the underlying message is that the grass is not always greener. For the first time in a Tyler Perry movie, I didn't laugh once throughout, not even when Vanessa Williams dropped her faux-French accent to deliver what may have seemed like a killer punchline...on paper. I almost smirked when I read one of the taglines on the film's Facebook Page though: 'Betrayal Burns Forever' erm...it's best I leave that one alone until after you see the film for yourself.

To be honest, the most interesting thing about the film was how freakishly alike lead character Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and actress and comedienne Tisha Campbell-Martin, are in appearance. It disturbed me to the point where I actually Googled, and cross-referenced their family trees - during the film.

Go ahead - tell me you don't see it. I know you do! (Photos courtesy of Zimbio.com and Starscolor.com respectively)

Sad to say that this was the worst Tyler Perry film that I have ever seen. But the silver lining? It absolutely, categorically, 1000% was not Kim Kardashian's fault!

Tyler Perry's 'Temptation: Confessions of A Marriage Counselor' stars: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Kanye's Baby Mama, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood, Robbie Jones and Ella Joyce.

Don't be stirred by the following screen still, 'Temptation' is Rated PG-13.



The film is not currently scheduled for UK Release (but you're not really missing anything to be fair, so it's fine).

ES ;)