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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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Stephen of Mar Saba: A "do not disturb" sign helped today's saint find holiness and peace. 
<p>Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of St. John Damascene, who introduced the young boy to monastic life beginning at age 10. When he reached 24, Stephen served the community in a variety of ways, including guest master. After some time he asked permission to live a hermit's life. The answer from the abbot was yes and no: Stephen could follow his preferred lifestyle during the week, but on weekends he was to offer his skills as a counselor. Stephen placed a note on the door of his cell: "Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays." </p><p>Despite his calling to prayer and quiet, Stephen displayed uncanny skills with people and was a valued spiritual guide. </p><p>His biographer and disciple wrote about Stephen: "Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things." </p><p>Stephen died in 794.</p> American Catholic Blog Father, grant us the grace to be humble and content to place ourselves at your service. You know the role you want us to play in your kingdom. Following where you lead is the only sure way to find success and enjoy the adventure. We ask your grace to know this, in Jesus's name, Amen.


 
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