A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this well-intentioned dramedy -- though big on universal and age-blind subjects of forgiveness, friendship and love -- addresses plenty of mature themes, including infidelity, divorce, domestic abuse, unemployment, and death. There’s some social drinking, though little swearing and nudity. Some jokes are based on male and female stereotypes, and one character’s raging jealousy is played for laughs when it’s actually quite dysfunctional.
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What's the story?
This sequel to 2007’s Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? finds a group of friends -- regimented psychiatrist Patricia (Janet Jackson) and her husband Gavin (Malik Yoba); feisty salon owner Angela (Tasha Smith) and Marcus (Michael Jai White); soulful Sheila (Jill Scott) and Troy (Lamman Rucker); and even-keeled attorney Dianne (Sharon Leal) and Terry (Tyler Perry) -- reuniting in the Bahamas for their yearly group vacation. The idyll is quickly shattered by the arrival of Mike (Richard T. Jones), Sheila’s ex-husband, who seems determined to join the fun. The holiday goes as smoothly as it can until one couple’s big declaration the night before their departure, which sets off an avalanche of discoveries back home that threaten each coupling.
Is it any good?
A good cast is a terrible thing to waste. So it goes with TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED, TOO?, whose ensemble is under-served by an over-busy arc. The plot goes into overdrive with emotional affairs; domestic abuse; a near-nervous breakdown; cancer; and death. And that’s doesn’t include the usual Perry themes of jealousy, gender roles, and communication. There’s simply no time to let the stories marinate (and let such icons as Louis Gossett Jr. and Cicely Tyson do more than just drop in). Appealing moments of friendship are punctuated with corny, melodramatic twists that are oversimplified and rushed to a conclusion.
Jackson gets to act, though: She shows off a range never before revealed. As director, Perry succeeded in eliciting her best performance yet. As an actor, he himself exhibits an understatement that’s lacking in his films as a whole. His movies clearly have a message -- in this, it’s that no relationship, no matter how perfect seeming, is immune to challenges, and that love, if allowed to supersede anger, can heal -- and that’s all fine. If only they were better served by tighter pacing and more disciplined storytelling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotypes. What kinds of stereotypes does this movie set out to overcome, and which does it reinforce?
Talk about the challenges that each couple faces: Do they seem real or exaggerated for effect? Can one learn from them? If so, what are the lessons?
What is the message of the movie? What binds these couples together and what sets them apart?
- In theaters: April 2, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: August 31, 2010
- Cast: Cicely Tyson, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Louis Gossett Jr., Malik Yoba, Tyler Perry
- Director: Tyler Perry
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 121 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: thematic material including sexuality, language, drug references and some domestic violence
For kids who love love stories
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