A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Redemption is possible. Tyler Perry's movies remind viewers of that we're all fallible, but it's in our power to change. Perry shares his usual spiritual message -- that love matters more than physical and material temptation -- but tones down the preachiness here. Still, there are many jokes told at the expense of spouses and partners, and some gender stereotyping, too. (Men should provide for their women, for instance, as if women can't fend for themselves. And this despite some of the characters being successful in their own right.)
Positive Role Models
Women of all shapes and sizes are portrayed as beautiful, and they're almost all committed to the idea of marriage as a demanding, but worthwhile pursuit. Still, one woman seems to relish emasculating her husband, and her rage-filled, jealousy-fueled (though offbase) rants are depicted as hilarious, when they're actually emotionally exhausting and demeaning. She drinks too much, too, though this isn't explored. Two characters forget how much they care about each other and move their relationship into physically abusive territory while going through a divorce. Another woman betrays her husband by flirting inappropriately and becoming emotionally involved with another man.
Violence & Scariness
Two men trade barbs over a woman. A woman recalls how her ex-husband used to hit her and demean her. A man throws a plant through a door, torches a photo album, manhandles his soon-to-be-ex-wife and argues with her loudly; she, in kind, attempts to bite him and uses a golf club to obliterate every glassy object in their home. Another couple bickers constantly.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing and caressing. Many references to men cheating. A woman conducts an emotional affair. A couple's amorous doings can be heard by a neighbor. Some cleavage shots.
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Words like "ass" and "damn" and "bitch." The N-word is used once (not heatedly).
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Products & Purchases
Some brands visible (Range Rover, for example, and Heineken).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character is often drinking (out of a flask, ordering shots), but aside from a few jokes, it's not addressed. Others indulge in social drinking. A character mentions smoking pot in the past. Jokes about crack.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.