Tyler Perry’s Temptation
Tyler Perry’s Temptation
By Wilson Morales
When you’re watching a Tyler Perry film, at times he presents a fantasy melodrama world. Either the lead character is a poor individual who meets Mr. Right with issues, or the character is successful in life but unhappy. At the heart of his films is the subject of morality. In this latest film, ‘Tyler Perry’s Temptation,’ not even the stunt casting of reality star Kim Kardashian can improve this bloated, soulless and unexciting novella.
Based on his stage play ‘Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,’ ‘Temptation’ starts of with a counselor (Candice Coke) guessing that her latest client is going through the same infidelity problems a friend of hers once went through. She then narrates the tale of Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), who at a young age and living somewhere in the mid-West, grew up and married her childhood sweetheart Brice (Lance Gross). Initially reluctant of their relationship before softening up and giving them her blessing is Judith’s Christian mom (Ella Joyce).
As the lovely couple embark on new endeavors while moving to D.C, Brice figures it will be over a decade before Judith fulfills her quest in being a marriage counselor while he works his way up to be a pharmacist. In the meantime, Judith takes a job working at a dating service and has to put up with overbearing co-worker (Kim Kardashian) and her French boss (Vanessa Williams). While Judith grows impatient on her long term goals, Brice seems to be in a comfort zone at his job and even lends support to a new cashier (Brandy Norwood), who’s going through her personal drama.
Things seems for the couple once the arrival of internet guru Harley shows up at the dating service look to possibly invest in the company. With Judith’s help, night and day, not only is Harley’s exotic and fantastic lifestyle becoming appealing to Judith, but it starts to put a strain in her marriage.
When there’s no Madea present in his films, Perry has the need to throw everything but the kitchen in order to satisfy his fans. Not only is the film slow-moving and filled with a plot that’s convoluted, but the performances given by the actors are so stiff that Kim Kardashian and Renee Taylor stand out among the highlights. While much had been made about Perry casting the reality princess in his film, she’s actually the spark of the film. There’s no need for her to give up her day, but Kim is being Kim in the film, and that’s a compliment. Renee Taylor takes the comic relief prize in the film, just like Doris Roberts did in ‘Madea’s Witness Protection.’ Vanessa Williams fails at attempting to outdo her ‘Ugly Betty’ role with an ridiculous French accent.
As far as the three leads are concerned, their performances were so dull that not even the sex scenes, or lack of it, was exciting to move this film to another level. There have been plenty of films where the country girl moves to the city and her life changes; but Perry goes out in the last act with an extravagant storytelling that soap opera producers would be proud of. There’s always a victim in his most of his films, but there’s not much for audiences to root for when the writing lets the characters down.
There’s usually an underlying message in Perry’s films that people can walk with and be pleased, especially for his loyal fans; but the one presented in ‘Temptation’ may not be the one that will entice them to spread the word.