There's no denying Tyler Perry's talent. As a writer, he has a pretty good command of voice; he's able to capture a woman's point of view in addition to a man's. As a director, he's sure-footed, confident in his ability to tell a story. Still, that doesn't mean that this film -- which he both wrote and directed -- is a great movie. Interesting, yes. Enjoyable, sure. Funny, pretty much. But the parts are greater than the whole.
In short, everyone's relationship is a mess, which any filmmaker worth his salt knows makes for good storytelling fodder. But here, the material's bogged down by unsurprising life lessons -- you can't get everything you need from your spouse, for starters -- and expository dialogue that tells, not shows. When Sheila loses it after discovering Mike's infidelity, she announces that her life is "nothing" without him. But we only know it because she says so. When Patricia breaks down and cries over her lost child, she says she's been suffering all this time -- but we haven't witnessed any of it. Basically, the characters talk too much and don't do enough, leaving the film slack. Nevertheless, the cast has chemistry, with Scott as the breakout star for her nuanced performance. Sheila is so pathetic, so beaten down, and yet so sadly believable that when she finally finds herself (and a new man), it's hard not to clap and holler.