The good news is that Tyler Perry doesn’t send us off to church this time around, but the release of Why Did I Get Married Too? on Good Friday, is likely no coincidence. And at the same time no less preachy, as lifelong bachelor Perry smugly dispenses critical corrective measures in dramatic form, to fictional couples he deems not trying hard enough to keep their marriages intact, no matter what.
Perry does return us to the scene of the conjugal crimes in this 2007 sequel school of eavesdropper cinema followup. And as eight crabby college friends married to one another, fume and bicker during this annual one week Bahamas incidental couples therapy reunion vacation.
Here infidelity, or at least multiple suspicions along those lines, runs rampant more than anything else. With Janet Jackson as the most enigmatic and stressed out of all, as ironic celebrated advice to the lovelorn maven Patricia who is sorry guy, simply just not that into you. And while the publicly revered, privately inarticulate Patricia favors getting her message across by beating up her house and its pricey contents with a golf club – wonder where she got that idea – a temper tantrum prone loudmouth Angela (Tasha Smith) is more into suspiciously stalking her exasperated jock spouse Marcus (Michael Jai White. When not barging into the live broadcast of his television show to air her grievances.
Sheila (Jill Scott) on the other hand, is dealing with the anxieties of a newborn and a suddenly unemployed upscale spouse, along with the shocking surprise appearance at the island hotel of her still bitterly resented ex-husband Mike (Richard T. Jones). And nervy Mike’s more than self-embarrassing repeated intrusions into their gatherings while making plays for Sheila to win her back right in front of her current husband, is in no way helped by an eventual contrived explanation.
Compounding suspicions in this Deceptive Housewives romp, is that most of these marriages on the potential rocks seem to designate the female partners as the disruptive characters. While Perry reserves for himself the role of the only accusatory mate whose hunches are rewarded with some self-righteous solid leads. What can I say Tyler, you’re just more appealing in a dress.
And though Perry has made claims that his bully pulpit even when secular approach to filmmaking is to both critique and support remedies to address the fractured state of marriage in the black community, the question more to the point is, which black community. The insular, cloistered world of these middle class professionals in Why Did I Get Married Too? is hardly representative of the majority of African Americans, currently suffering under the plight of ghetto poverty, racism, police brutality, racial profiling, the largest percentage of the US prison population, and unemployment that has reached epidemic levels during this economic crisis, on a par with the Great Depression. At the same time, broken families, the key concern of Perry here, are no greater a problem for the black middle class portrayed exclusively in this film, than their white counterparts.
And while African Americans shouldn’t be held any more accountable than white directors for producing movies focusing on the shallow and petty concerns of ordinary lives, Perry happens to be a filmmaker professing loftier, socially and morally driven goals in that arena. So then why present an economically and racially segregated narrative in no way grounded in the diversity and hard core issues, in particular racism, that constitute reality. Instead, Tyler ‘If you don’t want my God here, you don’t want me here either’ Perry, a not exactly separation of church and state kinda guy even when delivering an on-the-surface secular slice of life cinema, proposes a questionable secondary matrimony of mandatory religious values and individual self-blame.
Finding this occasionally over the top nasty domestic strife in Why Did I Get Married Too? entertaining, depends on whether or not you’re someone who has a tendency to put your nosy ears closer to the wall when married neighbors squabble loudly, or who would rather cover them up for the annoying duration. In any case, Perry has yet to distinguish between primarily amusing or admonishing his audiences.