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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Fans of the prolific—and often predictable—Tyler Perry will find themselves on familiar terrain with his ninth film project in five years, the sequel "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?" (Lionsgate). Though dramatically uneven, this mix of comedy and drama is, for the most part, a morally steady examination of the challenges and rewards of committed marital love.

The writer-director reunites the eight old college friends—all upwardly mobile African-Americans—whose relationships he explored in his 2007 hit "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?" for another of their annual marriage retreats, this time in the Bahamas.

Providing most of the comic relief, once again, is Tasha Smith as salon owner Angela, the hyper-suspicious and ever-quarrelsome mate of ex-NFL player and current sportscaster Marcus (Michael Jai White).

At the other end of the emotional spectrum is Janet Jackson as Patricia, the successful self-help author whose talent at counseling others is ironically contrasted with her own excessive perfectionism and inability to express her feelings openly, traits which steadily undermine her marriage to architect Gavin (Malik Yoba).

The breakdown of their relationship eventually leads not only to harsh verbal exchanges but to an unsettling physical confrontation involving drunken, semi-abusive behavior by Gavin.

Herself a victim of both physical and emotional abuse in the past, Sheila (Jill Scott) has split with her rotten ex, Mike (Richard T. Jones), and found a supportive new spouse in Troy (Lamman Rucker). But Troy's ongoing unemployment is putting their bond to the test, while Mike's unwelcome appearance at the retreat—motivated, partially at least, by his remorseful desire to win Sheila back—adds a further strain.

Perry's character Terry, who was feeling neglected by his work-obsessed lawyer wife, Dianne (Sharon Leal), at the last get-together, now has doubts about her fidelity.

While implicitly endorsing Sheila's remarriage, the script is otherwise all about dedication and stability. But the highlighted values—such as open communication and self-giving love—do not rest on a spiritual foundation and, unlike some of Perry's other offerings, faith has no explicit influence on the characters' lives.

The mention of one wife's past decision to have her "tubes tied" will strike Catholic viewers as another flaw in the fabric of what is, overall, an ethically sound—though occasionally cliched—survey of married life.

The film contains brief, nongraphic marital lovemaking, a nonmarital bedroom scene, intense domestic discord, adultery theme, numerous sexual references, including mention of sterilization and venereal disease, drug references and frequent crass language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.



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Conversion of St. Paul: Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “...entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior. 
<p>One sentence determined his theology: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5b). Jesus was mysteriously identified with people—the loving group of people Saul had been running down like criminals. Jesus, he saw, was the mysterious fulfillment of all he had been blindly pursuing. </p><p>From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29). “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a). </p><p>Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross: Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ; they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world. They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like him. Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new. </p><p>So Paul’s great message to the world was: You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do. Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.</p> American Catholic Blog If you’re confused as to why God would die for you, you either need to rethink your vision of His mercy or of your own worth.

 
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