Movie Reviews: Why Did I Get Married?




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     Four couples on vacation struggle with issues of commitment, betrayal and redemption.
     Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, Tasha Smith, Jill Scott, Malik Yoba, Michael J. White and Sharon Leal
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

In this genial ensemble film, there’s chemistry, candor and lots of comedy as director Tyler Perry delivers his fourth and best feature flick yet.

The story begins when eight very successful married college friends reunite for an annual retreat in the snowcapped mountains of Colorado. With each couple harboring an explosive secret from their respective partner, things get further complicated when two new additions join the group. What begins as a weekend of festivities ends disastrously as saucy secrets and hidden agendas are unveiled. It’s an eclectic mix and perfect pairing for the movie's characters -- a collection of good-looking and hugely successful buddies, which consists of Janet Jackson, who’s making a welcomed return to the big screen and singer Jill Scott and Richard T. Jones. Jackson plays a popular psychologist and author whilst Malik Yoba plays her formidable architect husband Gavin.  There’s the career-driven Dianne (Leal), her supportive, but fed up husband Terry (Perry), the brash and outspoken business woman Angela (Smith) and husband Marcus (White). They are joined by the insecurely overweight Sheila (Scott) and her philandering husband (Jones). 

Blunt, racy with dashes of undeniably gut wrenching humor and just enough infusion of seriousness, this is a movie that doesn't beat around the bush. Most of the humor is supplied by Smith’s character Angela, a loud, brass and hugely outspoken character that sets the film in motion by exposing a major secret and steals majority of the scenes with her self effacing personality. “Somebody had to open up the can of worms because if not we would have been living in secrets and something had to happen,” claims Smith.  “I try to bring more of the fun personality that I have and I think there is a little bit of me in her or I should say a lot of me in her really. I am that friend that is going to tell the truth and Angela is that kind of friend you either want to be or want to have.” says Smith.

Essentially, this movie deals with the dynamics of marital relationships. It’s funny, extremely entertaining and in the end very candid and pleasantly presents aspects of middle-class black life that, regrettably, are still too rarely seen in American cinemas.

With just the right combination of sophistication and good character development most scenes have an easy flow to them and is the result of a well-written script and great direction. All the actors are more than capable of delivering the solid dialogue and Perry leads audiences to invest in the characters and feel genuine emotion. Verbal exchanges are explicit and the cast is consistently interesting plus the music also brings maturity and a romantic glow giving the film a broader appeal than the aggressive hip-hop often favored in contemporary black flicks.

“Why Did I Get Married” is able to take an overused subject and a formulaic plot and through solid writing and acting, create a worthwhile viewing experience. Engagingly drawn, this delectable ensemble piece is to be admired for its commendable central theme and for also lightly touching on the issue of HIV within the black community. It’s a mature and well-polished flick which conveys themes that resonate universally and is that kind of bittersweet melodrama that’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.



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