A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Temptation is another Tyler Perry drama that deals with issues of marriage, fidelity, and faith. Like most of Perry's movies, there's an emphasis on mature (and sometimes disturbing) issues like adultery, domestic abuse, and even HIV. There are a couple of sex scenes (as well as a party where both same- and opposite-sex couples kiss) and plenty of sexual references. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch," and there's some upsetting violence: A man beats his girlfriend nearly unconscious, a woman describes how her ex tried to kill her, and a man pounds on another man after learning of his despicable actions. Substance abuse (alcohol and cocaine) is also depicted.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
TYLER PERRY'S TEMPTATION is about a marriage counselor who tells a cautionary tale to one of her clients. The story is about her "sister," Judith (Jurnee Smollett), who marries her childhood sweetheart, Brice (Lance Gross), at age 19 and moves to Washington, D.C., where she eventually works for millionaire matchmaker Janice (Vanessa Williams), while her husband works at a small pharmacy. At work, Judith is ordered to consult with handsome Internet billionaire Harley (Robbie Jones), a prospective investor. Their business dealings about matchmaking turn personal as Harley begins to overtly proposition and compliment Judith, asking her if she can truly be happy with her sweet but unambitious husband. Brice, meanwhile, is concerned about his new coworker, Melinda (Brandy Norwood), who's constantly worried about her abusive ex discovering her whereabouts.
Is it any good?
It's a shame that so many talented actors seem to feel obliged to work for Perry, because he again and again wastes their abilities. What's worse is that, for once, there's not much of an inspiring message in Temptation, which is a dreadful treatise on young marriage. Smollett, who was so impressive in Eve's Bayou and Friday Night Lights, does her best with the cheesy, overwrought material, as do her two men: Gross as the sweet but boring husband and Jones as the arrogant, bedroom-eyed love. Making an already bad movie even more laughable is Kim Kardashian, who makes a distracting appearance as Judith's materialistic, looks-obsessed coworker.
Also as (almost) always, Perry manages to fill his movies with enough inauthentic, cliched dialogue ("I want to make love to you right now" and "I don't want to be with a good man, I want to be with a phenomenal man" are two gems), and melodramatic twists that, by the last act, anyone who's not a faithful Perry devotee will find themselves laughing at deadly serious moments. The story is that ridiculous.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Tyler Perry's Temptation has to say about marriage. Is there a bias against "young" marriage in the movie? Do you agree with the idea that people should be intimate with more than one person in order to know if they're truly compatible? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Does it seem believable that someone like Judith would turn away from her marriage (especially considering she's a marriage counselor) so easily? What could she have done to avoid the titular "temptation"?
Critics of Perry's movies complain that they're too preachy and soap operaish. Do you think there were too many "issues" explored in the movie? Did it seem like a morality tale? If so, what's the takeaway?
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