Tyler Perry's 'Why Did I Get Married Too?': Why does this movie look so shoddy too?

why-did-i-get-married-too_320.jpg Image Credit: Quantrell ColbertIt’s tough to make an idyllic beach house on the island of Eleuthera look dull, but Why Did I Get Married Too? takes a stab at it.  In Tyler Perry’s newest movie (adapted from his own stage play), four African-American couples get together in the Bahamas for sun, surf, relaxation, upscale accommodations, and an amateur group therapy session on the topic of the movie’s title.  And at one point, the various menfolk break away from their spouses for guy time on the beach. The men talk about this and that, about sports and sex, about how they know each other well but can’t understand their own women all these years later. I know the brothers are drinking brewskis after some quality time on jet-skis. But for the life of me I can’t figure out where each man sits in relationship to the sand and the ocean. Are they on a boat? On beach chairs under an umbrella? Are they all even there at the same time? Because they way the scene is edited, with a shot of one actor as he says his line, then on to the next as he adds his two cents, then occasionally all together, there’s absolutely no sense of cohesion among the characters– and no sense, either, that the cast was in the same place at the same time for the scene. For all I know, they weren’t. Maybe the scene incorporates reshoots. Maybe those reshoots took place on a soundstage. In Atlanta. Here, take a look at this trailer for a taste of what I mean:

Now, I know that no one goes to a Tyler Perry movie for the sophistication of its filmmaking technique. (Or to a Kevin Smith movie. Pssst, just testing to see whether the dude’s awake.) In fact, I’m betting that Perry the impresario might readily acknowledge that cinematic elegance isn’t his thing; what he wants to do is get a broadly popular, lesson-filled drama out to the biggest audience possible, by any means possible. And he does, with tremendous success. But it  bugs me/depresses me/makes me want to write blog items sure to trip Kevin Smith’s wires when a movie — especially a movie aimed at a mass audience — is released with a shrug of, “well, it’s good enough, for its kind.” And an eye-roll of “what did you expect?”

Tyler Perry has made enough movies by now that he ought to have upped his game. (In fact he did, and I was thrilled, with I Can Do Bad All By Myself.)  But hey, do you think I’m overreacting? Are there movies that you remember more for the clunky production than for the content? Is it better in the Bahamas?


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  • Dee

    It is better in the Bahamas. I am from the island of Eleuthera and I thought he could have made better use of the beach scenes and the house where the filming was done. That house is absolutely beautiful and under utilized in my opinion.

  • TheNoirEffect

    So were you critiquing the film content or the editing/directing. To say that Tyler Perry’s movies lack sophistication is to say the same of those who go to view his movies.

    Mr. Perry’s movies at their core aim to do one thing that most movies that come out to do don’t accomplish, and that’s to bring people together and point out that we’re more alike than different.

    Knowing that Mr. Perry has taken the millions that he’s made and invested not only in himself, but in the lives of those less fortunate than him, in and of itself is a reason to support his movies.

    His movies are as sophisticated (in my mind) and speak to the overall human spirit as a Woody Allen movie. The only difference is that Mr. Perry is a black man, with more money, and more of a sense of relevancy in the lives of the regular person than Mr. Allen.

    • 384babygirl

      I AGREE WITH YOU THE NOIR EFFECT

  • Andy

    I don’t think she was trying t say that Tyler Perry & his audience is unsophisticated, the point I get is that at this stage of his filmmaking career he should hopefully be better at being able to frame a scene and edit it without it looking like a first time film student. I’ve only Diary of a Mad Black Woman and thought it was ok, but if his movies still look like that one did then he isn’t growing as a filmmaker.

    • Robert

      Look, until people like this writer stop characterizing movies with black people in them as BLACK movies that is the only audience they can get. I live in a community of 98% white and can never get a Tyler Perry movie from the RedBox. They will watch in secret but not in public.

    • 384babygirl

      STOP HATING ON THE MAN EVERY THING HE DO MOST PEOPLE ALWAYS PUT HIM DOWN . ME PERSONAL I LOVE MOVIES AND PLAY SO STOP HATING

      • cassy

        ppl ppl ppl stp hatg plz dude i lv ur muvies dey r motivational an a reality pls continue dwg ur gud job an sustaing a gud sense of natural blck mvie

  • sam

    shame on u Lisa Schwarzbaum.
    “I’m betting that Perry the impresario might readily acknowledge that cinematic elegance isn’t his thing; what he wants to do is get a broadly popular, lesson-filled drama out to the biggest audience possible, by any means possible”
    is released with a shrug of, “well, it’s good enough, for its kind”

    keep on insinuating and we will keep on watching and enjoying Mr Tyler Perry’s movies.

    • Dion

      This was one of the worst films I have ever seen.

      • 384babygirl

        I DONOT THINK SO I REALLY LOVED THIS FLIMJUST KEEP ON INSINUATING.MR.PERRY CAUSE WE WILL KEEP ON WATHING !! MAY GOD BLESS YOU

    • Darrin

      That’s not the point she was trying to make at all. Color has nothing to do with what she was getting at–a filmmaker, whomever he is, should have a better command (and want to have a better command) of his craft after ten or so films. Didn’t she mention Kevin Smith as another example right there in the article??

    • DOT

      I totally agree with you, SAM!!!

  • Eve Picard

    I recently saw “Ghost Writer” and I really enjoyed it. However, the scene between Ewan McGregor and Eli Wallach really bothered me. The editing felt choppy and the two actors seemed to be in different places and reciting each separate line to thin air. The scene as a whole really felt out of place in the context of the movie. Too bad it couldn’t be deleted since it holds integral information for the plot.

  • Orville

    Wow am I supposed to be surprised that a white Jew doesn’t “get” an African American film. Here is a message for Lisa Schwarzbaum you are not the target audience for Tyler Perry’s movies. Also, the reason white people in Hollywood like Ms. Schwarzbaum trash Tyler Perry is because they know they have no influence over his films. Tyler Perry doesn’t need white film critics. People should make their own decisions when they watch a movie and stop worrying about these white racists like Lisa Schwarzbaum.

    • Amy

      But movies shouldn’t only appeal to their ‘target audience’ if they’re good. They should appeal to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. in some way or another.

      • DOT

        Well, apparently, his movies are good regardless of who is the “target audience”. TP is making millions…and has millions of fans/supporters!!!

  • Kevin Smith

    Lovely. Now every critic on the planet has decided to skull f**K me for my supposedly scathing critical attacks on them that resulted in blogger after blogger crying for the death of my heart.

    I was painted as ‘out to destroy film criticism’ last week. As you can see, I said I’d like to give a new batch a try at the gig. The idea seemed fair, as many of the same bloggers calling for my head have been calling for me to move over and give other filmmakers MY job for years now. When I applied the same suggestion: critical meltdown.

    NEVER critique a critic like Lisa Schwarzbaum, folks: they get very sensitive; as sensitive as filmmakers, it would seem.

    But, as ‘regards’ Lisa: clearly, she feels I am in need of a public spanking. (which sounds far more erotic than it is). Do whatever you want, I don’t care anymore. You criticize movies, but guess what, I get to make them. I took worlds of s**t from a lot of the same bloggers who’re currently outraged at the temerity of my Tweets, as well as from my representatives (agent, lawyer, publicist), who were all like “You’re a filmmaker! You can’t attack ‘the Enemy’!” But I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway, being critical of critics because I figure they would appreciate the basic principle of CRITICISM, even if it meant me criticizing them. But it went sideways. In other words, rather than seeing my critique of critics as just a critique and NOT a personal attack (unlike their PERSONAL ATTACKS on me, which were NOT critiques) a little benefit-of-the-doubt would’ve been nice, is all I’m saying. Get a life, Lisa.

    • Andrew

      You sure like reading her blog considering how much you hate her, huh? Are you oblivious to the fact that your raving has no meaning to Lisa Schwarzbaum? This was obviously just poking fun at you, expecting you to make a response just like this. The fact that you did isn’t hurting anybody except yourself. You are making yourself seem like a lunatic.

      • Andrew

        I wish I could delete comments, you are probably just some troll. Hopefully?

      • Kevin Smith

        “you are making yourself seem like a lunatic.”

        Jesus, no – quite the opposite. Sometimes I just like to stop & appreciate how something happened. It’s because of people like you and insecure but dedicated writers like Lisa Schwarzbaum that I’m able to be as free as I am, in thought & action. I’m the Flux Capacitor, but you good people are the Delorean. & while this may sound like a threat to anyone crying for the death of my heart, I promise to always honor that freedom you’ve afforded me. I know, I know, everyone is saying ‘Kevin Smith’ is the most overrated thing since Colecovision. He’s the worst fad since the Pet Rock. blah, blah, blah. Sir, I’m a happy man, not the unstable crank case you are making me out to be. So as far as I’m concerned, people like you and ‘Lisa’ will just have to accept that answer for now. Always remember, don’t share your dreams with people who can only offer “Why bother?” Share your dreams, instead, with the people who offer you a “Why NOT?” Nuff said. Now get out and enjoy this nice weather.

  • Amy

    I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but I agree with what you’re saying, Lisa. While I do occasionally use the phrase (for example) ‘It’s good for an action movie’ or the like, it bugs me when people consider a movie really good only in relation to other films of the same genre. A movie doesn’t – or shouldn’t – have to adhere to its genre and most of the best ones are those that transcend such confining labels. Also, I don’t expect every movie to be Oscar-worthy, but I do think that a movie should be well-made, regardless of how many awards it (wants to) get.

  • Orville

    Amy can you step into the real world? White audiences tend not to watch movies with black people this is a fact. So give me a break with your utopia BS.

  • T

    This board is ridiculous. Lisa makes criticisms for a living, but the second its a black filmmaker at the receiving end everything gets racially charged.

    Remember that Lisa has given positive marks to some of Perry’s films in the past.

    Also, Tyler Perry is a mediocre director.

    Also, I am black.

    • Rob

      He blog started off racial charged and four African-American couples get together in the Bahamas for sun, surf, relaxation, upscale accommodations, and an amateur group therapy session on the topic of the movie’s title. Why do we have to state what COLOR they are? Did she write four Causian women..when she wrote about Sex and the City? or any other film with majority white leads? No she did not

      • Rob

        Her blog

  • S.A. Roberts

    Tyler Perry could film everything he does in a garage and it would still be off the charts. He is a Charles Dickens, a Shakespeare, better than Faulkner or Tennessee Williams. He is like an Uncle Remus or Jane Austin, or Longfellow, Mark Twain, etc. Perry is unique. He know the human mind, heart and soul like no one else. We don’t go to his movies to look at scenery.

    • DOT

      LOL…tell it then, S.A. Roberts!!! Love me some Tyler Perry!!!

  • sinthia

    I’m a black woman and I am here to say tp movie’s are horrible!! He is so arrogant to try and make a movie all by himself he needs a screenwriter his movies make no sense

    • Rob

      He is not the first to make a film by himself. It amazes me how we will fall all over ourselves to bash Tyler Perry but all of those other horrible movies out there (by white directors) we over-look or give them a pass. While you and that idiot of a writer are bashing he is counting his money and both of your dollars were included!

    • cassy

      Sinthia darlg da man is jst creativ dnt b a hater lol

  • админу

    “good post”

  • melissa

    I am still perplexed as to how a couple under 40 – architect & college professor, by trade – can accumulate well over $1 million in assets.

    Scary the level of unreality of so many movies.

  • Kathy M. Settles

    They were in a boat in the guy scene and on the beach in a few other scenes. I thought it was as good a movie as most in Hollywood. The point is marriage is hard and must be worked at and all parties need to be open and honest. Who cares about all the photo scenarios!??! I applaud that man for trying and Hollywood needs to do more than have sex scenes, blown up cars and blood, guts and gore. It’s either that or animation. Is there nothing good in between? Kudos, Mr. Perry. Keep up the GOD work. KMS

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