Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Review - A Vivid Portrayal of Potential Destroyed

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Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” the newest film, from Tyler Perry studios and LIONSGATE presents a story of the choices, seductions, decisions, redemption and hope.

Written, directed and produced for the screen by Tyler Perry,  Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” was also produced by Ozzie Areu, Paul Hall and Executive produced by Michael Paseornek and Mike Upton.

Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, presents the ultimate dilemma with Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Lance Gross are the lead characters playing the inseparable, loving, we met in kindergarten and now we’re the married, up and coming couple, Judith and Brice. She has a Master’s in Psychology and he’s a pharmacist, both with ambitions and dreams; she runs 90mph and he drives in the slow lane, the tortoise and the hare. With the blessing of her single and very religious mother, embodied by Ella Joyce, the two are married and move to D.C. finally free of the enslavement of home and the rules.

Although dour, in the majority of her scenes, Judith feels she is stuck in a dead-end job developing psychological compatibility profiles for an upscale millionaire matchmaker agency run by Janice, played perfectly by Vanessa Williams who personifies the role with a very fake French accent who enlists her expertise to assist Harley, played by Robbie Jones, a potential investor who made millions selling an internet based company.

Kim Kardashian has a small supporting role as Ava, the perfect catty co-worker, who dresses in Herve Leger, which hugs her very curvaceous figure, and plays the role very well.

Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” has parallel storylines with Renee Taylor showing up as Ms. Waco Chapman, the owner of the Pharmacy and Brandy Norwood as a Melinda, a women with secret.

While some may feel Tyler Perry caters to African-Americans, “Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” is not a race story. Certainly elements of the film evoke what an outsider, who has no reference to life “below the Mason-Dixon” or African-American home life, could consider a glimpse into a modern African American family, outside of Bill Cosby’s The Huxtables, and granted creative license may add heightened drama, and truthfully, the film did not appear contrived or unnatural. The moral is clearly presented and while the ending seems unbalanced and unnecessarily magnified it is also possible the fall-out from infidelity is often irreparable and the destroyer of lives.

The cinematography in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” is stunning. Washington D.C. is presented with vibrancy and that same vibrancy is translated through the characters. The cityscape, with its stark white marble monuments, is presented dramatically against the night sky and it is beautiful. 

Having the opportunity to participate in the “Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” Press Day which was attended by Tyler Perry, Jurnee Smollett Bell, Lance Gross, Robbie Jones, Ella Joyce, Renee Taylor and Brandy Norwood, the following is an excerpt.

Janet Walker: Congratulations all of you on the film. This is for Tyler Perry. As the writer, the ending seemed unduly harsh on the female leads. Both Judith and Melinda end up HIV positive and without partners which to me sends a message of damaged goods and . .  .

Tyler Perry: Is that message you got from the film?

Janet Walker: Well, I’m not done. And the male leads up end happy and wealthy. Was it just to magnify the moral? Or how did you come up with and what was your creative process to build that type of ending?

Tyler Perry: I love it here’s what I love when people see my films because a lot of times they get so much more out of it than I was thinking because in those moments it wasn’t about the females leads being HIV, having HIV and being down trodden, as much as it was about, ‘I made a choice and there’s not going to be a happy bow at the end of this.” The choices that you make are the choices you have to live with in life. I’m dealing with that with a very close friend of mine right now who made a choice that will affect the rest of his life. That’s what it was about; it wasn’t about making the men more powerful and they’re great and moving on and happy and the women aren’t. And I’ll tell you the truth, I’ve know some of these women; I’ve known some of these men. I’ve met a lot of people in my lifetime and in my career and I’ve seen the damage of the wrong choice.

Ella Joyce: I'd like to add to that. I thought there was a more subtle, more powerful message underneath that and that was redemption. Because she wasn’t, . .  yes, she may have been damaged to the point where she didn’t have the life she thought she should was going to have. But if you were paying attention at the end of the film, she was on her way to church that young girl she was talking to at the beginning of the movie, walked out and made a serious decision that could have affected her life because someone else was generous enough to share his or her mistake with her.

You never know how the Lord is going to use you. The Lord used a great mistake and a great tragedy to raise this girl high in His estimation. So her reward is in another place. It is not here on this earth. That is the message I got when I read the script. 

So when I saw the film, I saw the story and the way it moves with you is not written or [it isn’t] beating you over the head with it [the moral or underlying truth] but if you were paying attention what did she say, She said, ‘I’m on my way to meet my mama at church’ she found her way back to her foundation. She doing God’s work, that woman walked out and decided not to have the affair so that means she’s saving souls. So if I could rename the movie I would rename the movie “Saved.” (Room erupts with applause).

Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,  is more than a film about infidelity it is about choices and how they, if the wrong choice is made, can derail destinies.   Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” may not be Madea but is has a solid message, a great cast, funny moments and life messages.

Temptation: The Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” opens in theaters everywhere March 29, 2013. Check your local listings.


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