What You Need To Know:
Tajari Henson fans will be satisfied. She plays Melinda, the movie’s believably disturbed character. The storyline has several problems. For example, it shifts gears in a major way in the third act. Also, some of the dialogue is one-dimensional. Moreover, ACRIMONY is riddled with lots of strong foul language and other lewd content. There’s an attempt to include Christian elements. At one point, Robert attributes his “big break” to God, but the character he’s speaking with denies it. Otherwise, though, ACRIMONY is unacceptable, excessive, unsatisfying entertainment.
TYLER PERRY’S ACRIMONY is a twisted melodrama tale of a psychologically disturbed woman who sees herself as the victim and eventually plans revenge against her ex-husband.
ACRIMONY starts off in a courtroom where a judge slaps Melinda, played by Taraji P. Henson of TV’s EMPIRE, with a restraining order to stay away from her ex-husband, Robert. The judge also orders Melinda go to therapy.
While in therapy, Melinda begrudgingly recounts her story of injustice done to her by her Robert, over the previous two decades. Melinda meets Robert in college, when he accidentally bumps into her as he rushes to class in the rain. Met with clear hostility from Melinda, Robert follows Melinda to her dorm, where a romance begins.
Shortly thereafter, Melinda’s sisters arrive on the college scene to inform her of her mother’s untimely death. They instantly loath Robert for no apparent reason. With inherited property and money upon the untimely death of her mother, Melinda supports Robert financially because he always seems to be down on his luck. Robert is obsessed with inventing a self-charging battery, which doesn’t allow him to get a real job to support himself. After Melinda buys him a car, Robert disappears for a few days. Confirming her suspicions, Melinda finds Robert cheating on her. She deliberately runs into his beat-up RV, which is his home, with her car. This is the first time the movie shows that Melinda is prone to acting out violently in impulsive, reckless ways.
However, Melinda and Robert get married. He commits to being a kind, devoted husband and asks for sincere forgiveness for his mistakes and shortcomings. Many years pass where Melinda through a voiceover gives her account of her lying, cheating, lazy husband. Struggling to keep a job and avoid foreclosure by working for his in-laws, Robert once again disappoints his family by choosing to pursue the break he’s been looking for his whole career. Tired of his unemployment and unrealistic belief in his invention, a bitter and angry Melinda, full of rage, divorces him.
Meanwhile, Robert continues to run after his dream even though he is at rock bottom. Melinda quickly jumps into a rebound relationship before she is even divorced. Her only complaint about her rebound boyfriend is that he’s not as good in bed as Robert.
Eventually, Robert picks up the pieces and rebuilds his life after the divorce. In fact, Robert finally gets his breakthrough with his invention through the same woman he cheated on Melinda with years ago.
Melinda changes her mind when she hears about Robert’s success and wants to reconcile with him, only to discover Robert has moved on with the other woman. This sets Melinda off into a new level of deadly rage. Then, the movie becomes an entirely different tale of murder and revenge.
ACRIMONY’s monotonous dwelling on Melinda’s disappointment with Robert, told in a psychiatrist’s office, is slow moving and uneventful. There is some good acting by Henson, but the script limits her to one emotion, rage. She appears to have spiraled down into madness, though some viewers could argue she was “mad” from her first scene. Meanwhile, Robert, who is villainized by everybody for some understandable reasons, is remorseful, as well as constant in his kindness and devotion to his wife. Moreover, this story has problems as it rambles in what seems to be the unending melodramatic disappointment of a tired disturbed wife and then changes gears about two thirds through to an unrealistic and almost laughable story of revenge.
More than that, ACRIMONY is riddled with lots of strong foul language and other lewd content and behavior. There’s an attempt to include some Christian elements, however. At one point, for example, Robert attributes his “big break” to God, but the character he’s speaking with emphatically denies it. There are also two shots of a picture of Jesus hanging on the wall in the family home. Robert also describes his favorite singer as so good it’s like going to church. Finally, ACRIMONY has some pro-capitalist elements where Robert’s devotion and hard work pay off for him eventually.
Otherwise, though, ACRIMONY is unacceptable, excessive, unsatisfying entertainment.