Holding onto its top billings in the box office for a second week running, and claiming #1 during its opening weekend, Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" continues to pull 'em into the theatre.
Four couples are meeting up in the mountains for their annual marriage retreat. Diane and Terry drive up, arguing most of the way about her being a workaholic. Angela and Marcus show up by taxi; Angela tends to enjoy arguing with Marcus, about anything. Mike and Sheila try flying, with Sheila's single friend Trina, but Sheila is forced to drive after being booted from the flight (due to her weight). Patricia and Gavin arrive in a rented limo; she's just leaving her book signing, promoting the book, "Why Did I Get Married?"
They all arrive finally, including the "add-on" Trina, who is having an affair with Mike. The women figure out about the affair. There's a big storm outside, slowing down Sheila's arrival, but another sort of storm is brewing inside the lodge when they all get to talking.
Obviously, there's a whole lotta drama going on, so don't be surprised to find the bulk of the film has an undercurrent of tension amongst the various couples and others who've found their way to the lodge.
This is the second film (the first being last year's "Daddy's Little Girls") in recent memory where Tyler Perry has put a film out there without his seemingly omnipresent Madea character, and at least for me, it's a welcome change. (And yes, he did do "Diary of a Mad Black Woman", but we're going back five years there.) Perry seems to do well writing these as plays, and based on their success, adapting them into a movie.
The reviews are mixed, though all in all, they're not bad. The swing of love it-or-hate it definitely highlights Perry having a following, and the others appear to go just to complain about his filmmaking style. As a black writer/director, he's comfortable with portraying some of the stereotypes about African Americans, but that may not sit well with all audiences. He's also willing to put those issues and stereotypes on the table for his characters to talk about, and again, not in everyone's comfort zone.
That observation aside, it's a decent film and had more than a few Kleenex and tears running around the audience (depending on how you take it, an endorsement or a warning). And I'd take these latest style of films over Madea's in-your-face character any day.