Review: Tyler Perry Successfully Shifts Gears

When one thinks of Tyler Perry, they think of his famous character Madea coming to the rescue to save and teach family members a lesson. Fortunately for Perry, he has created a whole new set of issues, conflicts, and solutions in his new Romantic Drama/Comedy, “Why Did I Get Married?”

In the film, four longtime friends (Janet Jackson, Tasha Smith, Sharon Leal and Jill Scott) are on their annual couples retreat with their husbands (Malik Yoba, Michael J. White, Tyler Perry, and Richard T. Jones). The winter trip begins to stir up trouble when Jones (Mike) brings another woman with him while his wife, newcomer to the screen, Scott known as the soft-spoken and spiritual (Sheila) is driving to the retreat in a snowstorm.

The film is perfectly laid out into four different types of couples who all are seemingly different from each other but share the same problem of having secrets from their spouse. Jackson (Patricia) and Yoba (Gavin) play the role as the “perfect couple.” They are affectionate, loyal, and have all the answers for the other three couples whose problems are more outwardly. Even though they play the role well, their issues begin to slowly unfold as the couple starts to address past issues that have been buried.

Smith (Angela) and her husband White (Marcus) serve as a comedic breath of fresh air for the film. The two start out immediately living up to their role as the “dysfunctional couple” on their trip to the retreat as Marcus asks Angela to “lay off of that (alcohol) for awhile” Angela barks “could you go to hell for a while?” His reply that he is “already there” sets the tone of the bomb that is ticking once Marcus gets caught dealing with a situation that could end his marriage forever.

Perry (Terry) and Leal (Dianne) are the “disconnected couple” for they are pleasant to each other and their marriage isn’t as dramatic as the other’s but Terry spends the entire trip trying to spend quality time with his work-a-holic wife who constantly turns him away for her Blackberry and excuses for why she doesn’t feel like being bothered. Their issues lie in Terry wanting a bigger family and Dianne wanting to work harder and play less. Terry does not see that Dianne’s reasoning stems from her secret that will send shock waves through the entire trip.

Jones (Mike) and Scott (Sheila) round up the film as the “couple with no hope.” Mike completely disrespects his wife and shows no interest in her well-being or state of mind. Through his harsh words and mental abuse towards Sheila and her weight, he plays the role as the bad guy without a heart. Scott’s performance is much like her music, real and captivating. She does an amazing job of growing into a different character and reaching a new level of respect for herself and her womanhood. Her growth on the screen can serve as an inspiration for women who feel that there is no hope because of a man, a job, or even society’s pressure to be a certain type of woman.

Tyler Perry takes a major risk by making a film different from the previously successful films. His depiction of love and marriage can relate to all couples of every shape, size, and color. The premise of the film ultimately shows that with communication, honesty, and evaluation of the good outweighing the bad or vice versa, everyone can figure out why they fell in love.