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Film Review – Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor

Director: Tyler Perry
Screenplay: Tyler Perry
Cast: Lance Gross, Vanessa Williams, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Robbie Jones, Kim Kardashian
Genre:Drama
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4
Rating:***

Truthful, thought-provoking, relevant and worth watching are the words to describe Tyler Perry’s latest installment, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor. The film is about Judith (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) and Brice (Lance Gross), a married couple who have been childhood sweethearts.
Judith is matchmaker with dreams of one day leaving her dead-end job which makes her feel like a pimp and start her own marriage counselling practice. Brice is a pharmacist and a dreamer too. He dreams of one day owning the pharmacy which he works in and is content about life. For him life is simple, material things do not matter and success just does not fall into one’s lap. One has to work long and hard to make dreams come true. Judith on the other hand is exhausted with the sham of a life she lives, she wants more than just true love, she wants her dreams to come true. The opportunity to finally get what she wants comes at a price when she meets Harley (Robbie Jones), a handsome cocky billionaire whose charm and good looks do more harm than they make women go weak at the knees.
When I saw the trailer for the film and it had Kim Kardashian as a cast member my immediate reaction was, Oh no! That woman can not act to save the hair on her head and I was right, she played the role of Judith’s colleague whose mission was to transform Judith from the proverbial ugly duckling into the swan that she should be. Somebody scream cliché! I did not see the relevance of her or Vanessa Williams playing in this movie. Casting Vanessa Williams in the film and giving her a French accent was an epic fail for the writer.
Nevertheless, the film has a strong message despite some of its mediocre cast. It carries a good message that should be preached for all to see and hear. However it lacks a little oomph in that most of the time the characters are slow, sometimes even dead. There was no chemistry between Judith and Harley, in fact all the scenes they acted together looked forced. Robbie Jones’ character is supposed to be a ruthless womaniser, an irresistible Adonis but he rather looks like an amateur, or a scared teenage boy asking out a girl on a date in the scene between him and Judith on the plane.
What saves this nearly disastrous movie is its great storyline and its relevance. It conveys something we all relate to. A woman gets restless in her relationship, her husband gets comfortable and starts taking her for granted, she seeks attention with another man which leads to terrible consequences. This is something that has happened to many marriages or something that can happen in any marriage.
I like how Perry incorporated the story of Hosea and Gomar from the Bible into the film. Brice goes to pick his wife who has left their marital home from the hands of the man who has destroyed their marriage, not once but twice because of his love for her.
The movie is unlike all Tyler Perry movies as it lacks his signature comedy. But is falls comfortably under his gospel genre, –  making movies with a strong message. This one deals with infidelity though it does not end well as the two lovers’ dreams come true but they cannot be together. Brice finds love with another woman and starts a family and Judith ends up with HIV and has to see the love of her life with his wife and child every time she picks up her ARVs.
The twists and turns make this a good watch. Drug abuse, domestic violence and infidelity are good ingredients for a killer movie about morals. Its not Perry’s best movie, it does not run the victory lap but it does teach a lot, which I think is enough to tempt you to go and watch the film.

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