It’s amateur hour in “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”, as Tyler Perry breaks out the weed whacker in order to write and direct this tale of infidelity and woe. Bad acting, bad dialogue, poor direction and a ridiculous story collide to bring you an ultimately laughable film.
Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is a frumpy, tired marriage counselor, advising a young couple. As a cautionary tale, she begins to tell the wife what happened to her ”sister”, and our story begins via flashback.
Judith lived next to Brice (Lance Gross) when she was a child, and the two fell in love as they grew up. They would eventually marry, leaving Judith to wind up only having ever loved one man. As the years pass, he begins to take her for granted. He forgets her birthday, ignores her while football is on, etc.
So when her job brings her into contact with a suave multi-millionaire with eyes for her, Judith is susceptible to his come-ons. Harley (Robbie Jones) is a social media magnate who consults the high-class dating agency that Judith works for in order to create a state of the art matchmaking program. He’s given Judith to work with, but it’s quickly apparent that he’s working on her and not with her.
Eventually, Judith succumbs to his advances, but not without an enormous cost.
And I do mean enormous. We’ll get to that. “Temptation” is a ridiculous blend of boring and overblown that you just don’t come across everyday. For the first half of the film, as Judith gamely fends off Harley’s advances, the movie is an outright snore. The world’s most clueless husband fails to see that his lameness has left the door open, as she slowly gets worn down by Harley the studly multi-millionaire. There was legitimately no suspense, as everyone knows she’ll eventually give in, but there was also no chemistry and worse still, no heat. Question: how do you have a PG-13 movie about an affair? Shouldnt the crux of such a movie be the sexual attraction? And the payoff moment be the sex scene where the two finally give into temptation? Trust me, you will never see a bigger cop-out than the hook-up scenes in this movie.
It’s after the illicit affair begins though, that “Temptation” shines its brightest. Things get utterly ridiculous as Harley doesn’t just destroy Judith’s marriage, he drags her straight to Hell. Those willing to be spoiled, please highlight the section below to read the incredible, unbelievable cost that Judith pays for this affair. LOL
1) First, Harley gets her strung out on booze and coke. She staggers around and tears into people like a pissed off Whitney Houston on a bender.
2) She loses her job.
3) She loses her husband.
4) Harley starts to beat her. In the world’s most heavily foreshadowed domestic abuse incident ever, Harley’s temper gets the best of him and he beats her up thoroughly.
5) If all that weren’t enough, the grand prize is HIV! Yes, it’s true. Repercussions 1-4 weren’t enough, Judith is also given one of the world’s most feared diseases!
Tyler Perry, Ladies and Gentlemen! Honestly, by the end of this film, I was laughing with how ridiculous it was. Poorly directed, of course, as well. I don’t recall ever being critical of city shot montages used as scene transitions before, but here, I was. I thought at one point during one “Did they use shaky cam on that?”. Also, be on the lookout for the scene where Judith’s husband comes to rescue her from Hell! Complete with swirling flames, laughing
demons partiers, etc! Subtle, it was not.
Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Williams are horrible in equal measure. Williams is asked to do a bad french accent the whole time, zo she talks like thees! Kardashian is obviously not an actress, who was clearly added in hopes of attracting some of her legions of fans. Every line she throws up is a complete airball. Brandy Norwood was fine, too bad her character was a walking plot device. And I can’t not mention Ella Joyce as Judith’s church goin’ mama, who believes Harley is the devil, holds a prayer circle, and does everything short of shouting “Oh, Lordie!”
This was a terrible film, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It’s worthy of the mockery above and more.