After watching Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor I’m convinced, now more than ever, that the self-indulgent, cross-dressing actor, director and playwright, Tyler Perry, no longer cares about making good movies. There has been a vast deterioration in the quality of his film making recently, the slack not-so-erotic thriller fable Temptation included. Perry, who has made a name for himself by tapping into a market that Hollywood clearly disregards – an audience hungry for moralistic world views – has clearly lost the plot. While his intentions might always be good, his delivery of these tedious formulaic films are growing incredibly tiresome. So much so, that even his faithful followers are up in arms.
Not so long ago Perry introduced the world to his special brand of filmmaking with The Diary of A Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion, arguably his most successful work to date. Both films seem to be delivered with a passion and a purpose that has watered down over the years. Perry has always been known as the people’s director. Those “people” are African-American cinemagoers, an audience largely ignored by Hollywood. Furthermore, his films have paved the way for talented actors of colour that have been largely ignored by the industry as well. So how does a director with a heart of gold and a unique voice in the industry find himself creating this kind of tripe, you may ask? I’m not quite sure.
From the very opening moments of Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor the signs of a cinematic stinker are evident. A marriage therapist sits behind a desk and counsels a young couple struggling with trust issues. She narrates and retells of her own struggle with… temptation. As a young happily married woman she was introduced to a billionaire who swept her off her feet and ruined her life forever.
I have to wonder whether Perry has any experience in this subject at all. There is a juvenile tone that runs heavily through this overly melodramatic, soap-opera inspired film. The “temptation” referred to in the title only appears half way through, and even then, after the long wait, it’s completely dull and predictable. Had it not been for Jurnee Smollett-Bell, it would be possible to declare Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Tyler Perry’s worst effort to date. It’s certainly the dullest and most preachy.
“Don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13