Why Did I Get Married? (2007)



To call Tyler Perry presents Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? starring Tyler Perry “ham handed” would insult the graceful subtlety of ham. Thank you Netflix for making this train wreck available in the month of September. Buckle up.



This is Janet Jackson and she wrote a book called Why Did I Get Married, just in case one minute into the film you forget what it’s called. Each year JJ, her husband, and their three closest couple friends take a vacation together, a “relationship retreat” if you will, and she used all of them as characters in her book. My favorite part of this scene is when a student asks a question about one of the couple and JJ’s all “I don’t like to talk about my friends.” Also, like EVERY OTHER CHARACTER, Janet has a deep, dark secret.

Oh well, off to vacation with friends!


Couple number 1: This is Tyler Perry and his wife. He’s a doctor and she’s a lawyer, and while you think about all which 1980’s sitcom that was lifted from, let’s go ahead and start spilling secrets because there is so much going on in this movie you’ll need some kind of chart or graph to keep up. He wants another child (even though he did a secret paternity test on the first one! Oh no he didn’t!) and she secretly had her tubes tied (I guess that’s possible?) because she loves her career.

This is Jill Scott and her husband. See that woman behind her? That’s her husband’s “employee” that he’s bringing on the couple’s retreat with them (oh no he didn’t!). The first time I saw this movie I thought the husband was a bad character, but upon more reflection I think he’s a nice guy to take care of a mentally challenged lady who can’t see what’s going on. Also, Jill is asked to get off the plane because she’s too big for one seat, and her husband is all “you drive to Colorado. Me and my employee will meet you there.” That’s no way to start a week of reflecting on your marriage, sir.


This is Angela and her ex-NFL player husband Marcus. His name is easy to remember because she is always yelling at him. She’s also almost always drunk. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Angela is hands down the best character in this movie. Side note: Angela is portrayed by Tasha Smith, and she teaches an acting class in LA. Want to learn how to yell “Marcus!” with conviction? Now you can!

Moving on…


Everyone arrives in Colorado, and the ladies are all “Men! Amirite?” and “Where is Jill Scott and why did her husband bring another lady on our vacation?” and “I hate my husband’s babymomma.” I like how Tyler Perry doesn’t use stereotypes and cliché as a crutch. Note that this movie was made in 2007, when we all had a much more liberal view on wearing fur.

 The men are all “I cheated and now have an STD!” “My wife works too hard!” “I don’t like my wife, but my secretary who came with me sure is nice…” Is your head spinning yet? Intrigue! Now we learn about the 80/20 rule. Tyler Perry lets us know that the most you get from someone is 80% of what you want. If you go looking for the other 20% that’s missing, you lose 80 and only get 20. I’m no mathematician, but that sounds like some inspiration that belongs on a poster.
Here comes Jill Scott finally. Good to see that the local sheriff is accompanying her on the last leg of her journey. The vacation can only get better from here.



 No it doesn’t. Despite the sheriff being black, apparently the only other black people this store clerk has seen are from rap videos, so she walks right up to our heroes and lets them know that she “doesn’t keep money in the store.” Yes. The women wearing gauche furs are going to rob you.

This is the dinner where all the secrets are revealed! Cheating! STDs! Paternity tests! Divorce! Can I interject here that for a group of couples that do a vacation every year specifically to work on their marriages, none of the lessons seem to have gotten through? I blame Janet Jackson’s skill as an…author? Marriage counselor? Professor? What does she do exactly? End of vacation.


The marriage retreat was a big bust, because Marcus is fed up with Angela drunkly yelling at him and his ex all the time and Anglea is embarrassed at Marcus’ fashion choices. Why are we tucking a tie dye Affliction shirt into our jeans?


Jill Scott stays in Colorado with the sheriff after her husband asks for a divorce. Sure. If I didn’t realize that my husband was cheating on me with a woman he brought on our vacation, I would be so embarrassed that I moved out of state.  


Ah, Janet can fix things! After her friends come to her asking what to do about their relationships, we realize why she is an author and speaker. Janet tells her friends to make a pro/con list about their relationships and decide based on that. What!?! C’mon Tyler, you’re not even trying. 


The men aren’t much better. Janet’s husband gives them all another version of the 80/20 rule, and they complain some more about their relationships. Does any of this help? I guess so, because…


Months later (?), everyone shows up to support Janet getting some kind of book award. Even Jill Scott, who forgot to tell everyone that she stayed in Colorado and got remarried to the sheriff. Maybe some of Jill’s “friends” should have checked in with her a little more.

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A Star is Born (1976)

You may find this post controversial and I’ve made my peace with it.  Some view this film as a classic and some hold it proudly in their Barbra Streisand shrine.  However, I recently viewed this film and felt the need to post about it as there were just way too many elements that couldn’t be ignored.

Fact: this is the THIRD remake of this story (a fourth is slowly rolling around in development. You can read about it here).

Fact: this is the first movie I’ve blogged about on this site that’s both a Oscar and a Golden Globe winner for the song “Evergreen”.

Fact: I have long since made fun of the lyrics to the song “Evergreen” without realizing it was a) from this movie and b) a Barbra Streisand song.  You can’t sing a lyric that compares love to a easy chair and not expect me to mock it.

So we meet John Howard Norman, a big rock star who’s late to everything, drinks a lot and has Gary Busey personally shove cocaine up his nose.

No one in this movie ever calls him just “John”.  Its always “John Howard” or “John Howard Norman”. This may have been because the filmmakers felt that no one would accept a hero named John, leading to theater attendees storming out of the theaters in protest.

Fact: John Howard Norman never sings a whole complete song. He starts songs, then always interrupts and we as an audience have no idea why people even bother going to his shows to begin with.

Here’s what someone should have prepared me for. No one knows how to wear shirts in this movie.  Shirts are really more of a suggestion or an opinion.  So as a result, they’re maybe buttoned or worn halfway or in this case, Kris Kristofferson just forwent the shirt entirely and skipped to the vest.  To each his own, I suppose.

After an evening of kind of singing parts of two songs, he leaves his own show and goes to a club where we’re introduced to Barbra Streisand aka “Esther Hoffman”.

She’s in a singing group that call themselves “The Oreos.”  The less said about this, the better.

So they’re singing, and Barbra is being Barbra.  However, every romance movie needs a “meet cute” and we get with this moment…

“John Howard Norman” (I guess we’ll follow the movie’s instructions to always call him this) gets into a shouting match with some bar customers and Barbra gets ticked and confronts him about it. 

Now, lets put this situation in “real life” shall we?  In movie life, Barbra sings at a club and she hears a drunk guy shouting and getting drunker. She confronts him, he’s charmed by it, chases her down and begs to date her.  She kind of plays coy and allows him to bring a pizza to her house at 7am the next day.

In “real life”, Barbra would have finished her set, gone backstage, complained with the rest of The Oreos (sigh). Had “John Howard Norman” come slurring her way, a bouncer would have steered him to his car and he would have woken up ten hours later not remembering anything.  Roll credits!

But they have breakfast and are super cutesy about eating pizza and him guzzling down a whiskey and a few more beers for breakfast, so he invites her to come to his show.

Another show where he starts a song, mumbles through it, then goes and finds Barbra…

…sings from a vantage point where no one can see him…

…takes a fan’s motorcycle (which begs the question, do people still bring a motorcycle inside arenas? Also, where can I get the “I’m Spoiled Rotten” shirt?)

…and this inevitably happens…

…where you know, everyone’s going to have to file back out and spend three hours in their cars wondering what on earth they just saw.

Meanwhile, “John Howard Norman” gets put in an ambulance, everyone takes off, leaving Barbra stranded at a arena.

In “real life”, Esther Hoffman would have been angry and annoyed, spent hundreds of dollars on an Uber getting back to her house and written an interesting op-ed piece to Rolling Stone on what a tool John Howard Norman is.

Instead, she finds it cute that he stalked her at a studio and follows him home to his house where they make sweet music together…

…and then sweet, sweet love.

So many beer cans in this scene.

Naturally, he brings her into the studio and she sings whole and complete songs, which blows everyone away. He realizes that she is a unicorn and they make glorious creative plans.

He does yet another show, where he starts to sing a song and people are into it, but he stops barely into the first chorus and goes, “Hey guys, you paid to see me, but you’ll be fine letting my girlfriend of two days taking over, right?”

So Barbra comes out in an outfit that makes her look like she’s about to do everyone’s taxes and performs two whole songs.  Turns out the crowd loves it when you come out and do a song that has a beginning, middle and end. They go nuts and officially, “a star is born.”

Roll credits.

In the frenzy of the show, Barbra proposes to “John Howard Norman”. JHN gives her a very solid reason why this is a terrible decision. Namely that he’s an awful person who’s life is a total mess. Never mind, she knows what she wants and thats that.

The movie clearly has very little to do between now and JHN’s inevitable death (spoiler alert) so it does that thing that only bad movies do…there’s a montage. And it has everything that a ’70s love montage needs…

 Picture perfect moments in the middle of nowhere. This is always followed by sex in the most uncomfortable setting imaginable.

Being silly in the middle of nowhere.  This movie was made by Warner Bros who also holds the rights to Superman which I guess makes this scene okay.

Wearing Indian blankets as if that counts as clothes.  (Fact: It does not)

Enjoying your ’70s house with more rugs.

Maybe one of you fakes your death?

And at the end of a long day of holding each other and staring into each other’s eyes, you recline on pillows that vaguely look like Swastikas.

At some point, you have to come back to reality.  After all, Esther is a big star now (sure, its been a week maybe) and JHN is dealing with the fact that his career is over. Now this movie gets it into gear.

People are really digging her. She’s up for a Grammy! She shows up to her shows! She finishes songs! She wears shirts!

Speaking of which, she wins a Grammy for Best Female Vocal. She insists JHN go up with her, despite the fact that he almost didn’t make it and that he’s super trashed.  No, no, no, she drags him up there where he slurs something about art, all while Tony Orlando and Rita Coolidge seem horrified.

And, this movie dares to wave its codependency flag again, when Esther goes to calm down in the bathroom and is followed by JHN.

He makes another really good case for why this marriage isn’t going to work out, but she won’t have it.

This movie is begging for the opening credits to Intervention to come on at any moment.  I would have fully welcomed it.

During a photo shoot, he tells her that she’ll have to tour on her own.  She’s horrified.

He doesn’t show up for things when she needs him to, but instead of processing the links between addiction and unhealthy relationships, she puts on more drapey clothes and wonders why as she literally stares at empty glass vessels that used to hold alcohol.

While she’s gone however, a sexy journalist breaks into their home and begs for an interview with Esther.  She’ll do anything.

ANYTHING.

And he obliges.

Of course they’re caught.  The journalist gets huffy and walks out, while Esther thinks things over and has this reaction to the whole situation…

Frankly, at this point, I won’t blame his addiction, I’ll just blame the ’70s. Neither of them are clearly ever going to learn anything at this point.

So the universe takes over. He gets up early, drinks a lot of beer and has a fatal accident.

And Esther gives the performance of a lifetime where she cries and hopes he’s looking down on her.  I’d cry too, but then I remembered he was a reckless and selfish alcoholic who possessed really bad judgement.  The good news is that she got a career out of it and the rest of The Oreos had to find another white lady to lead them.

PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME.

Should you care to delve deeper into this, you can watch this movie on Amazon, HBO GO or in physical disc form from Netflix.

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