I feel a little schmucky (yes..just made up that word) doing this review now after just doing a tribute to Roger Ebert. And I really shouldn't. It's just that he was a cat who was legendary with his reviews then I follow that up with my attempt at one. Like I am really somebody. Like my viewpoint is going to make an impact with the dozen people that read my stuff. Regardless..I had a lot to say about this one so here we are.
In "Temptation", Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is an ambitious young woman working a thankless job as she strives towards her goal of having her own marriage counselor business. Her pharmacist husband Brice (Lance Gross) is trying to be financially realistic about their dreams while the two attempt to make ends meet. When billionaire internet entrepreneur Harley (Robbie Jones) visits Judith's workplace looking for a potential business venture, Judith finds herself addressing temptation for the first time. Harley threatens to not only disrupt her marriage but also alter her life forever.
First off, you may have noticed (or not) that I intentionally left off the whole "Tyler Perry's" at the beginning of the title. I am quite frankly tired of seeing that. Is it really necessary for him to do that with every movie that he makes? We all know it's him. There's no need to infuse his name in every single title. It just seems a little self-gratuitous to me. Especially for someone who's supposed to be so God-fearing. Yes, I know that will open up a whole other bottle of worms when dealing Tyler and his contradictions with Christianity so I have no intentions in going there with this review.
I liked how they didn't just jump right into Judith's character being a cheating wife right off the bat. We could see the gradual progression as she went from total uninterest to utter obsession. There were little things along the way that got her to that point. That's how you would expect it to be with someone so strong-willed. However, not all the things that caused her to eventually take that forbidden step made perfect sense. Like the most controversial one for instance.
*SPOILER ALERT* Judith goes on a business trip with Harley on his private jet. By this time, it's obvious she's attracted to him but she's still being faithful. At least physically. But Harley knows he just needs to make the right move. So he forces himself on her. She says "no" a few times before eventually acquiescing. The scenario itself sounds like rape, huh? Yeah...it looked like it too. Especially when she storms off when he drops her off. What I didn't get is what she then gets mad when he ignores her. Like she tells him to. It DEFINITELY sends the wrong message to women out there. It's like Tyler is saying women are too weak-minded to disregard when they've been violated if they were attracted to the man. Or at least that's how this woman was.
The acting was surprisingly good throughout the entire flick. Even from Jones since this appears to be his first major motion picture release. I really enjoyed Jurnee though. She always had the perfect emotions conveyed through her eyes and face without having to say anything at all. I wasn't particularly feeling Ella Joyce in her minister role, but it was good just seeing her on screen again. I miss that show "Roc". And as for Kim Kardashian? Well what do you expect? She served her eye candy purpose.
The story of "Temptation" itself was very predictable. It certainly didn't help that the trailers pretty much gave up the entire storyline. The best parts even. The only thing they didn't reveal was the twist at the end. And of course I should have picked up on it but wasn't paying attention. I'm sure most of you will. As usual, Tyler gives us another formulaic story with a few good chuckles here and there as well as a good "Girl...I heard that!" moments.
If you're not already a Tyler Perry fan, "Temptation" certainly isn't going to win you over. If you are, then he can do no wrong and you will think this is his greatest movie ever. If you're like me and would just wish he would use some of his big money clout to bring up other aspiring Black directors/writers to promote their own work, then this movie is the prime example of why he needs to get off his butt and make it happen.
My rating: C+