Two Stars – Weak
Marriages have qualities that are both similar and unique. They are similar in that the frustrations and temptations are common to all couples, and they are unique in that every couple finds their own way to express their love. So when Tyler Perry wrote and directed this film on marriage, we all identify with the question he chose as the title “Why did I get married too?”
Although every married couple will have a unique answer to that question, Perry’s film allows us to see a variety of relationship styles in the lives of four couples. Long time friends, the four couples are once more together on their time-share retreat, this time in the Bahamas. It is there that they discover how everyone is really doing and upon returning home, the story of their lives takes some unusual twists.
Terry (Tyler Perry) and Dianne (Sharon Leal) have reversed roles with Dianne making the living as a lawyer and Terry being the sensitive, stay-at-home parent. However this reversal does not make them immune to the struggles of a couple in which one member leaves the home each day to enter the tempting world of business.
Patricia (Janet Jackson) and Gavin (Malik Yoba) demonstrate the isolating privacy of professional life. As a psychologist and author, Patricia requires herself to be “fine” regardless of the reality of her life and marriage. Gavin also struggles with life inside the enclosure Patricia requires. We discover that inside them both is an imprisoned pain of an indescribable loss.
Marcus (Michael Jai White) and Angela (Tasha Smith) have a tumultuous relationship in which they loudly proclaim their struggles for all to hear. Filled with distrust and insecurity, Angela puts her husband in continual double-binds and embarrassing situations. Marcus seems to seek out such moments as he does little to help her feel secure.
Troy (Lamman Rucker) and Sheila (Jill Scott) are the newlyweds of the group. But, to add another layer of tension to the tale, Sheila’s ex-husband Mike (Richard T. Jones) returns in an attempt to win his former wife back. At first his return reveals the stress of second marriages and the unresolved issues of first ones, but we soon discover that there are larger issues in his life that have brought him back.
Although insightful in several ways, what makes Tyler’s film tiring is its inability to bring joy into the marriages of his couples. Realizing that every marriages has its difficulties, and that male-female relationships are always a struggle, there are also great marriages full of faithful trusting love. If the only examples of marriage we have are these four in “Why Did I Get Married Too?” we would be hard-pressed to find an answer. That is sad, both for the film and for us.
Discussion for those who have seen this film:
1. Which of these four couples most closely resembles your marriage or love relationship? Did you gain any insights that will help strengthen that relationship?
2. Mike mistreating Sheila left him to face his own mortality alone. Would you have assisted him in his hour of need as Sheila did?
3. How do you think Patricia’s grief over the loss of her son impacted her ability to love? Do you think her training as a psychologist helped her or hurt her?