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Article by Teddy Durgin

Tyler Perry's New Movie No Temptation

In this line of work, I see pretty much every Tyler Perry movie that comes out. And, yeah, I have panned several of them pretty hard. Inevitably, the responses I get are: Oh, come on now, Teddy. His movies aren't made for YOU! The implication being that Perry writes, produces and directs films specifically for an African-American audience and not for someone like me from Caucasia. I reject that line of thinking. I give positive reviews to any number of flicks each year that are not specifically targeted at my race, color, creed, gender or age. In the case of Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, though, I will agree with the above statement. This movie was not made for me. It was made for people who don't care about good writing, sane casting or competent direction. Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire, (I kid, I kid) tells the sad tale of Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Brice (Lance Gross), a young married couple who grew up together in a small Southern town and have moved to Washington, D.C., so he can be a pharmacist and she can be a therapist. In Perry's world, this inexplicably means that they live like paupers. At any rate, Judith and Brice have known each other since they were 6 and have been married for six years as the film opens. Brice thinks they are right on track with their 15-year plan. For Judith, though, life has become stale. He takes her to cheap buffets and forgets her birthday. She works long hours and laments about hubby's lack of ambition. Into her life comes millionaire social networking entrepreneur Harley (Robbie Jones), who turns a business relationship into something much more personal. In the span of a few days, the once button-down Judith gets a new wardrobe then promptly rejects her marriage, her Christian upbringing and all of her common sense to have sex with the guy on his private plane, in the backseat of his Rolls and at his swank condo. She also starts snorting more cocaine than Tony Montana. Pity the three lead actors here are set adrift by a screenplay that Perry seems to think is his Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff? Its all so heavy-handed and clunky, especially a third act in which Perry goes WAY over the top in punishing Judith. At the same time, the writer-director doesn't even realize he is making high camp by casting Kim Kardashian as a vapid co-worker of Judiths and Vanessa Williams as a millionaire matchmaker who attempts one of the most howlingly bad French accents ever. Worst of all, Jones is quite terrible in the key role of Harley, the proverbial Devil who causes the angelic Judith to fall. The part called for an actor with real rakish sex appeal. Someone like Shemar Moore or Boris Kodjoe would have owned this role, bad screenplay and all. Jones provides no temptation here at all, folks. What a horrible movie!

Tyler Perry's Temptation is rated PG-13 for some violence, sexuality and language


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