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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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Fireproof (2008)

With movies like Noah and God’s Not Dead doing providential things at the box office, industry predictors have called 2014 the year of the Bible movies. That being the case, I thought I’d revisit a tale made by Christians for Christians, a tale so bad that it forgot to ask God to be a good movie.

I give you Fireproof.

If you’ve never seen it much less heard of it, you probably haven’t been to church in the past seven years. The intention behind this movie is nice – helping married couples make it through the long haul. The execution is something else and worthy of mockery.

Never leave your partner behind, we’re told right away – be it in a fire or in a awkward scene that doesn’t know how to end. Just because there’s bad writing all around doesn’t mean you get to be selfish.

The summary is Kirk Cameron plays a fireman (oh, I get it!) married to a nurse and they’re having marital problems. They’re in debt and he likes to look at porn. Not that the movie identifies it as such – its referred to as “You’re looking at stuff on the computer again, aren’t you?” Then again, it could be deals on eBay or that mash up of House of Cards and Game of Thrones. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

Also his wife’s mother is sick and Kirk wants to buy a boat.

“Where’s my favorite cereal?”
“I forgot to buy it.”
“YOU’RE A MEAN WOMAN!”
-actual dialogue from the movie.

Kirk’s wife is a nurse and is surrounded by sitcom-worthy caricatures….one of them is sassy and makes jokes about food and cute white doctors.

I’m not saying which one.

Speaking of cute doctors….

Since Kirk is all into computer porn and not spending his boat money on her mother, she’s found a kindred spirit in the cute doctor.

Kirk Cameron’s acting face shows a range of emotions. That is, if your range has two settings.

Mild concern….

…and mild annoyance.

Mild concern…

 

…back to mild annoyance.

His wife on the other hand, just lets it all go…

Which is easy to do when you have a supporting cast of female archetypes to surround you. Espescially sassy ones with biting homespun wisdom. I’m not saying which one it is.

Sassy!
The movie posits The Love Dare – where for 30 days you basically outdo your partner in displays of affection. In one of the most on-the-nose scenes I’ve ever seen, Kirk’s father acts as walking plot point of Christian marital theology….

“There’s a cross behind me, right?”

He goes for the love dare…and DARES HER TO LOVE HIM BACK with this passive aggressive card.

The Love Dare doesn’t just stop at you and your significant other. Feel free to rub your happiness in other people’s faces.

 

 

Kirk has a coworker that compares marriage to salt and pepper shakers, which sends this movie into an overdose of metaphor. Is marriage like fighting fires or is it about condiments on the table?

The answer is both.

Marriage is also like pulling cars off train tracks.

In case this movie has gotten too serious for you and you need some comic relief, the movie presents this guy…

He’s dancing in front of a mirror because he’s not cool. But its funny, right?

What the movie doesn’t answer is why there’s no woman who’s willing to love dare him at any time.

Speaking of love dares, Kirk makes a stand against “looking at things on the computer”. So naturally, he takes the computer outside and pulls out a baseball bat. Not sure how he’s going to book his travel or see pictures of what his friends ate for dinner, but the man has priorities.

Mild concern….

…and more mild annoyance.

There’s a happy ending here. Kirk dared his wife to love him, and she accepted the dare. Meanwhile there’s a cute doctor sitting and eating lunch by himself from here on out – because he wouldn’t take the Vaguely Flirting With a Coworker Dare.

Marriage is like PDA at your workplace location.

Our final scene involves a renewing of vows at the exact same place that this whole Love Dare got brought up.  And we’re left with this final shot….

Frankly, it would have made more sense to have a little fireman groom and bride, or even just set the cake on fire, but I’m guessing  props master totally forgot and threw this in at the last minute.  If that’s the case, this movie should have been called Seasoning Proof.