"The Wages of Sin"
What You Need To Know:
TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION: CONFESSIONS OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR tells what happens when a woman strays from her marriage. Judith gets married young to her childhood sweetheart, Brice, and they move to the big city after college. Brice works at a pharmacy while Judith has to take a job she doesn’t want, as the office therapist for a dating service. Her boss asks Judith to help convince a rich social media billionaire, Harley, to invest with the company. Harley becomes intrigued by Judith’s charm. He wonders why she stays with Brice, especially since Brice seems to take Judith for granted. The rest of the story becomes a tragic tale of adultery and the wages of sin.
TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION doesn’t begin to take off until the second act. Also, the characters of Judith and Brice just aren’t that interesting. TEMPTATION is a morality tale with strong overt Christian content. However, like the story and characters, the Christian elements aren’t as compelling as they could be. Finally, TEMPTATION has lots of light foul language, some violence and a few references to sex and drugs.
(CC, BB, Ho, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, DD, M) Strong Christian, moral worldview, but movie ends on a somber note, even though the adulterous protagonist learns a difficult lesson and returns to church, plus some implied homosexuality at a party and older woman thinks another woman is a lesbian, but she’s just contracted HIV from her abusive opposite sex partner so she’s stopped wearing dresses or provocative clothing to attract men; 24 obscenities (mostly “h,” “d,” and “a” words with three or so “s” words) and eight light profanities (mostly MG); some domestic violence with men grabbing woman, woman has bruises on her face after an argument and implied beating from her illicit lover, some slapping, man grabs laptop and knocks older woman to the floor, woman runs into a bicyclist, man runs another man through a glass window and starts punching him; some sexual references includes implied adultery, head show of married woman kissing unmarried man in a bed, adulterous kissing, and vaguely implied homosexuality at a party and when older woman thinks a younger woman is a lesbian; upper male nudity; alcohol use and woman appears inebriated on the street; smoking and woman appears to snort cocaine twice; and, lying, woman falls into temptation, husband has taken his wife for granted, and man seems disdainful of older women’s Christianity, but he’s the bad guy.
TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION: CONFESSIONS OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR is a melodrama about a married woman who’s tempted to break her marriage vows.
The story opens with a marriage counselor talking to a cheating wife about what happened to her sister “Judith” when she strayed from her marriage. It’s clear from the start to the viewer, but not to the wife, that the counselor is talking about herself.
Judith gets married young to her childhood sweetheart, Brice, and they move to the big city after college. Brice begins working at a pharmacy while Judith has to take a job she doesn’t want, as the office therapist for a dating service. Judith’s boss asks her to help convince a rich social media billionaire, Harley, to invest with their company.
Judith shows Harley the questionnaire she developed for the dating service’s clients. Harley is a man of wealth and charm, but he’s found it difficult to find another woman after breaking up with his girlfriend. He becomes intrigued by Judith’s own beauty and charm and begins to wonder why she stays with Brice, especially since Brice seems to take Judith for granted.
The rest of the story becomes a tragic tale of woe as Harley seduces Judith to commit adultery. Will Judith learn her lesson before it’s too late?
TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION starts off too slowly with a lot of talky dialogue. It doesn’t begin to take off until the second act when Judith’s mother, a pastor in a rural church, comes to visit and suspects Judith has secretly cheated on Brice with Harley. At that point, Judith feels guilty about having slept with Harley, but she remains seduced by his charms. The drama kicks into high gear at this point, but it’s too late. Also, the characters of Judith and Brice just aren’t that interesting. The movie doesn’t do enough to build chemistry between them to make us care. Finally, Judith is obviously very petulant about taking a job beneath her, but her boss and co-worker don’t even notice it. This makes Judith seem aloof and unlikeable.
The finer points of story structure, dialogue construction and character development continue to be Tyler Perry’s biggest weaknesses. Improving those things, perhaps using a good script doctor, would have made TEMPTATION much more compelling, because the acting and direction are otherwise good.
TEMPTATION is clearly a morality tale. It has some strong overt Christian content, but, like the story and the characters, the Christian elements aren’t as captivating as they could be. Tyler Perry has done this kind of story before, and he did it much better in his first movie, DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, which ended on a very uplifting Christian note. TEMPTATION ends on a more somber note. This shows that having more money to spend on a movie doesn’t always ensure more positive results.
TEMPTATION has a lot of relatively light foul language. It shows enough of Judith and Harley’s first time together to show the passion between them but not enough to be salacious. There are also a couple references to sorting cocaine. So, a extreme caution is advised.