out of Five
Running time: 121
Why Did I Get Married Too? has its moments, thanks to colourful supporting performances and a great central freak-out by Janet Jackson, but the story is relentlessly bland and the script constantly panders to its family values-obsessed audience, neutering all the characters in the process.
What's it all about?
Written and directed by Tyler Perry (a one-man industry and something of a phenomenon in the States but virtually unknown over here), Why Did I Get Married Too? reunites the cast of 2007's Why Did I Get Married? for a story about all four couples getting together for their annual reunion in the Bahamas. However, their plans are disrupted by the arrival of ex-husband Mike (Richard T Jones), who's determined to win back his wife, Sheila (Jill Scott), despite the fact that she's already remarried.
Meanwhile, the other couples all have their own problems to work out: insanely jealous Angela (Tasha Smith) doesn't believe her celebrity husband Marcus (Black Dynamite's Michael Jai White) is capable of being faithful; self-help psychologist and marriage guru Patricia (Janet Jackson) is incapable of seeing the flaws in her own marriage to Gavin (Malik Yoba); and Terry's (Tyler Perry) marriage to Dianne (Sharon Leal) is creaking under the strain of raising children.
The ensemble cast acquit themselves nicely, with White (as smooth-talking is-he-isn't-he player Marcus) and Tasha Smith (nabbing all the funny lines as fiery-tempered Angela) the obvious stand-outs. The film also gains an extra star for Janet Jackson's central freak-out scene, in which she smashes up a room with a golf club, Phil Mitchell-style and for a hilarious single-scene Hollywood star cameo at the end.
The problem with the film is that, like all Perry's movies, it's very obviously aimed at a family values-obsessed (i.e. church-going) audience, which means that there's no hint of complexity or transgression and all the characters are effectively neutered as a result – Perry's character, for example, gets into trouble for merely thinking about another woman (like Colin Farrell in Phone Booth, only without the thrills).
In short, Why Did I Get Married Too? is never exactly unwatchable but the forced blandness of the script and story ensures that it fails to engage on an emotional level. Still, at least it's not as actively dreadful as Couples Retreat.
Why Did I Get Married Too? (tbc)