Why Did I Get Married? PG-13 113 minutes C+
The secret lives of successful black couples
Starring Sharon Leal, Janet Jackson, Richard T. Jones, Denise Boutte, Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Michael Jai White, and Tasha Smith
I have never seen any of Tyler Perry's Madea movies. Matter of fact, I've never seen anything Tyler Perry has ever done until now. Why Did I Get Married intrigued me because of the subject matter, the cast, and the yearning for a mature, well done, African American drama. When I saw Tyler Perry on Jay Leno he mentioned that elements of this film was taken straight from the lives of his friends (and exaggerated for Hollywood purposes of course).
The film is set in the snowy mountains of Colorado where 6 friends (3 couples) are on their annual couples retreat. The idea is to spend quality time together and re-examine their marriage by pondering the question, "Why Did I Get Married?".
Apparently some of them got married because they love drama. The three married couples are joined by a pair of singles, and the annual seven day vacation turns into a drama-fest. All the usual themes of dysfunction are here- infidelity, lies, insecurity, selfishness, etc... and Perry does a wonderful job of showing us how important interpersonal communication is within a relationship. He also does a nice job of creating some humanistic interaction between some of the couples, even though I found few of these characters very likable.
Janet Jackson is very understated as Patricia, a doctor and award winning author. Jill Scott is sugary sweet and somewhat likable but her hairdo (ugly) drove me nuts during the entire film. Sherrif Troy (Lamman Rucker) was the most likable character, but a little too flawless and perfect. Tasha Smith, who plays Angela is annoying as hell, but effective nonetheless.
Perry is obviously a very talented man, but Why Did I Get Married is a little too unbalanced to get more than a strong C+. As a side note, critics seem lukewarm about this film but audiences seem to really like it. So if you are curious, see for yourself (and let me know what you think).