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Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for mature thematic material, sexual references and language

Reviewed by: Christopher Walker

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Comedy, Drama, Adaptation
1 hr. 53 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 12, 2007 (wide—1900 theaters)
Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

Sequel: “Why Did I Get Married Too?

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Sharon Leal, Tasha Smith, Michael Jai White, Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Janet Jackson, Richard T. Jones, Keesha Sharp, Denise Boutte, Jill Scott, Shawn Knowles, Dah-uh Morrow, Lisa Wheelous, Desiree Zurowski, Greyson Chadwick, Sean Tyson, Robert Hatch, Scottie Knollin, Randall Sims, Mark D. Headen, Lamarr Gulley, David Lowe, Sheri Mann Stewart, Bob Cousins, Christopher Wheelous
Director: Tyler Perry
Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Daddy’s Little Girls
Producer: Roger M. Bobb, Reuben Cannon, Joseph P. Genier, Tyler Perry
Distributor: Lionsgate

“…Because no one inspires me more.”

Tyler Perry has released his fourth film called “Why Did I Get Married?”, his second this year after last February’s “Daddy Little Girls,” based on his stage play of the same name following the lives of four married couples as they share a week-long vacation together as they try to work out any problems between them and build a stronger relationship. It’s a step up for this triple-threat prolific director/writer/producer, whose claim to fame is the cross-dressing character Madea. Not only is it a step up, but its his best effort to date. (I can’t comment on DLG because I haven’t seen it as of posting this review).

On a trip to the Rocky Mountains in Alaska for their annual weekend retreat, four couples reexamine their lives shared together. Terry (Tyler Perry) wants to spend some time with his workaholic wife Diane (Sharon Leal), who is too busy to sit down and spend time as a family, not even with her own daughter Kenya; Marcus (Michael Jai White) wants his wife Angela (Tasha Smith) to stop talking smack and embarrassing him in public, and wants to make their relationship work; Sheila (Jill Scott) is trying to repair her marriage to Mike (Richard T. Jones), unaware of the fact that he is sleeping with Sheila’s friend Trina (Denise Boutte); Patricia (Janet Jackson) and Gavin (Gavin) are considered the perfect couple as Patricia was the one who organized the annual event, but suffers from her own setback when their son was recently killed in a car accident.

They are joined by the quiet town’s sole sheriff Troy (Lamman Rucker), who helps out Sheila when her husband Mike makes her drive instead of flying with him an Sheila is the only one in the group with a relation and understanding of God’s love, and displays this affection many times in the film. There is one instant of using the name of Jesus in a negative way, but is made in a comical delight that you forget it was there. There’s some talk about sex, some sensual subject matter, and a scene of violence.

The film features the first on-screen appearance of Jill Scott, who plays Sheila with such power and integrity that she is the driving force of the movie. (A backstory is that the singer/actress HERSELF was going through a divorce at the time. Perfect casting!) The same can’t be said for Janet Jackson, who I felt was miscast as the psychiatrist teacher/friend, as this was her first role in seven years (last seen in 2000s sequel “The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps”). Tyler Perry had one of his best roles in the movie from the gentlemen side, although Michael Jai White comes in as a strong second, as a man who is trying everything to make his relationship stronger with his wife.

The screenplay has its choppy soap opera moments, like Perry’s previous works, but Perry gets points for tying to take it up a notch and interweave personal relationships throughout. This is a solid step up from those Madea films, whom he is thinking about revisiting next year. Don’t bring back Madea, these are the kind of films Perry should focus on: real life situations with a positive, and sometimes to a degree, spiritual message.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—As newlyweds, my husband and I were encouraged by his agnostic, divorced mother to view this movie. She told us that if we saw it we could avoid some of the problems she experienced in the past in her former marriage. We was pleasently surprised by her recommendation, but we gladly accepted the invitation and did so. And I have to say, it was well worth it.

It deals with relationships from a secular and from an intimate viewpoint. The infrastructure of relationships and the consequences of our marriages based on how we treat them and each other. While enjoying the movie, one particular characteristic became apparent: types of marriages. Rocky marriages, marriages surviving personal loss and pain, adulturous marriages, abuse in marriage and manipulation in marriages. As the characters became more transparent, I found myself wondering how many people could catagorize their “personal situation” to the plots unraveling in the movie. Even as newlyweds, I self-discovered some personal traits that I saw on the screen, in my newly found marriage, either with myself, my husband or both of us, that I didnt like with them and need to reconsider with myself. It became retrospective, and despite the secularism in it (drinking, language) it served its purpose with us: opening up a door of opportunity to discuss some realities we need to work on to hopefully avoid serious consequences in our marriage.

Wonderful movie that’s worth taking the time to view. And a witness to the Lord in its own way. It pique’d my mother-in-law’s interests in going back to church and she asked to go with us. She also started visiting churches, seeking the truth of the gospel in these last days, as well as questioning the bible more. So, for us, God blessed us as a family through it. Thank you Lord!
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
Doreen, age 42
Positive—“Why Did I Get Married?” is a movie that is steeped in truth. It tells the story of four couples, each with their own marital problems. I saw the play and found the movie enjoyable. A movie for couples who are able to talk in their marriage and about their marriage. I found the characters to be real, mainly because as christians we tend to sometimes not look at the world in a real way. Warning: Not for young children (2-12), and only for 13 and 14 with parents there to explain questionable material. If you are offended by frank talk by those who are do propose to be christians(in the movie, I can’t say about real life), stay away. Worst language is the “A” word said often. Scene of couples in bed, one couple scantly dressed, and one scene of violence(to explain will give away a key moment in the movie), and drinking. Like I said I recommend this to those who can deal with the above mentioned and accept them as making the movie what it is.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
Conrad, age 39
Positive—Positive—Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” is a thoughtful, well-made feature film. It’s nice to see African-Americans portrayed positively on the silver screen. It has some objectionable material such as the frequent use of the word a**. There is some frank talk about sex that’s not appropriate for small children, but I think if OK for young teenagers. Some of the best parts is when Terry (Tyler Perry) and Gavin (Malik Yorba) tell the two other men of the group Marcus (Michael Jai White) and Mike (Richard T. Jones) that it’s better not to commit adultery, because as scripture and everydfay life demonstrates, the consequences can be devastating. It’s a very intense drama with many positive references to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as Christian themes. Among the nice character developments in the film are when Sheila (Jill Scott) after being maltreated and abandoned by her adulterous husband, begins to see herself in a positive light thanks to the wonderful treatment she receives from Sheriff Troy (Lamman Rucker). The character Marcus also suffers from being a yes-man and receiving disrespect from his beautiful, yet overly-crticial and boisterous wife Angela (Tasha Smith). It was nice to see him stand for himself against his wife’s constant berating as well as the harassment from a former lover and mother of his children, Keisha (Kaira Whitehead). For the most part, the women’s outfits are very tasteful and not too revealing. I hope Tyler Perry continues making films for a long time. May God bless him.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
Marcus Burchette, age 30
Positive—I thought this movie was good. It dealt with real issues that Christians go through in their lives. I would have liked it to be a bit stronger on the evangelistic approach to the gospel but for his first really dramatic piece I think Tyler Perry did a good job. The A** words were a bit much. But as far as the content. It was really on the money. People trying to work out their issues. The main character realized that she needed to trust in the Lord for her happiness and not the person she was married too. I think we can all relate to that. If you are looking for a movie that will uplift you, challenge you in your own marriage and bring hope. This is the movie for you. It was the Bomb!!!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
Rita, age 41
Neutral—Didn’t really enjoy this too much. No well known actors except for Tyler and Janet(?). Most of the movie was spent talking about everyone’s affairs and marital issues. No big climax, mostly relationship issues and a lot of talk.
My Ratings: Average / 3
Debbie, age 33
Negative—As a Christian in today’s society who tends to seek out positive, inspirational films, I was very disappointed after viewing this one. In the first 30 minutes of the movie, both my husband and I were appalled by the amount of profanity that was used. The characters, which were supposed to be faith-based and realistic, seemed at best, stereotypical and common. Their actions were not Christ-like at all, save the sole character played by Jill Scott. And even she seemed uncertain at times about God’s role in her life. I expected more of this movie, specifically because it was a Tyler Perry production and because it was hailed as being an awesome resource for Christian (and non-Christian) couples who have dealt with similar issues. But if the reality of most Christian marriages is boasted infidelity coupled with STDs, extreme retaliation, and incessant profanity, what defines us as believers? What separates our relationships (marital and otherwise) from those of the world? Shouldn’t we strive to be an example, more Christ-like? Because I do believe in chewing the meat and spitting out the bones, I will make a positive note about 'Tyler Perry’s Why did I Get Married'. While it sends a very ambivalent message about the institution of marriage, fidelity, and the morality that ensures its solidarity, it does make a realistic portrayal of humanity. It’s the frailty of our own humanity that inspires us to become Christians in the first place. All of us are prone to sin and we are bound (maybe especially in marriage) to make mistakes. After all, you must be vulnerable and honest to achieve trust in a marriage. And you must be best friends to make it work. If you take that into consideration when contemplating this movie, then maybe it’s worth seeing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Michelle Dowell, age 28