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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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Junipero Serra: In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. 
<p>Born on Spain’s island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of St. Francis’ childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was 35, he spent most of his time in the classroom—first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of St. Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero’s desire was to convert native peoples in the New World. </p><p>Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero’s left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross—sometimes life-threatening—for the rest of his life. For 18 years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there. </p><p>Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two <i>conquistadors</i>—one military, one spiritual—began their quest. José de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the 900-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for St. Joseph’s day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived. </p><p>Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luís Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra’s death. </p><p>Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous “Regulation” protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a “Bill of Rights” for Native Americans. </p><p>Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts—a move that has brought cries of “injustice” from some moderns. </p><p>Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988.</p> American Catholic Blog God is great. God is good. And God, in his fatherly love, has a plan for our lives that will work out for our benefit and salvation. All we have to do is trust and obey.

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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Blessed Junipero Serra
This Franciscan friar was instrumental in founding many of California’s mission churches.

Happy Birthday
May this birthday mark the beginning of new and exciting adventures!

Sts. Peter and Paul
Honored both separately and together, these apostles were probably martyred during the reign of the emperor Nero.

Wedding
Help the bride and groom see their love as a mirror of God’s love.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
God gave Mary to us as a help in our quest for holiness.




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