Why Did I Get Married? Efrem Terrell ENG 225 Intro to Film Professor Nelly Aguilar April 22, 2012 Why Did I Get Married Released in 2007 by Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, the film Why Did I Get Married? is a comedy and drama that was written, produced, and directed by screen and playwright, Tyler Perry. Depicting the trials and tribulations of marriage, Why Did I Get Married? Was a hit at the box office earning $55,862,886 worldwide (Perry, 2007). Along with several other films and stage productions written and directed by Tyler Perry, the success of Why Did I Get Married? ay be credited to Perry’s expertise in film directing, digital musical selections, and humorous dialogue, along with the film’s dramatic, yet therapeutic storyline on how to sustain a healthy marriage and maintain lifelong friendships. As the director of Why Did I Get Married? , Tyler Perry utilizes incongruous editing in order to establish a central theme for the movie by allowing the audience to get to know each character and establish a theatrical connection with them.
As each main character is introduced, Perry jumps around in time displaying each character acting out dramatic and humorous scenes that revealed their true personalities, relationships with the other characters in the film, along with their roles in the movie. While most writers subtly introduce their characters to the audience, movie critics argue that this is an area in Perry’s writing that needs strengthening. According to freelance writer and movie critic, Eric D. Snider (2012), in the film Why Did I Get Married? Tyler Perry’s characters blatantly announce expository dialogue such as, “I am a Pediatrician,” “You have control issues,” and “You could lose about fifty pounds, then I might be somewhat attracted to you. ” Movie critics believe that stronger writing would reveal this information without the characters declaring it (Snider, 2012). While directors carefully select the best scenes for their movies, they also spend a great deal of time selecting the best soundtrack. Digital musical selections graced the original soundtrack for the film, Why Did I Get Married?.
R&B ballads that referenced love, relationships, break-ups, and heart-ache drove the central them of the movie which focuses on the ups and downs of marriage and friendships. Each song from the soundtrack played throughout the movie, helping to tell the story of the film, and draw the audience in by shaping the characters with tempo, range, pitch, and melody. The cinematography for the film, Why Did I Get Married? was performed by Toyomichi Kurita (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, 2012). Kurita creates strong moods and feelings throughout the film with the use of camera shots, movement, and lighting.
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Scenes throughout the film are solid and clear creating a natural illusion of the set and atmosphere. The audience is able to relate to the emotions of the characters due to the imagery created by Kurita’s strong cinematography skills. Scenes throughout the film flowed seamlessly, displaying vibrant lighting, while establishing a strong connection between the audience and the film. Editing provided by Maysie Hoy appeared flawless throughout the film. There was strong cohesion among characters as they appeared to have all been filmed at the same place at the same time.
The transitions between scenes throughout the film created a natural setting and a feeling as though the viewers were traveling along on the same journey with the characters as the moved from place to place (Perry, 2007). The storyline of the film Why Did I Get Married? centers around the day-to-day struggles of maintaining solid relationships, successful careers, and strong friendships. In order to resolve marital problems, four married couples, who are old college friends, attended an annual retreat in the cold, wintery mountains of Colorado.
While the vacation was intended for married couples only, one of the wives decided to bring along an attractive and single female friend by the name of Trina. Throughout the week-long retreat, damaging secrets are revealed that puts each couple in the position to question their own marital relationships along with their friendships with the other couples. As bouts of infidelity come to light, it is also revealed that the single and seductive Miss Trina has been having an affair with the husband of the woman that referred to her as a friend and invited her to the retreat.
The film explores the emotional distress that infidelity, lust, and love may weigh upon a marriage. Continuous battles with issues of commitment, betrayal, and forgiveness force each character in the film to evaluate their lives as individuals and as committed couples (Snider, 2007). Patricia (Janet Jackson) is a highly regarded and very famous psychiatrist. Her book about marriage has just won a very prestigious award. Still, a tragedy in her past has driven a wedge into her marriage to architect Gavin (Malik Yoba).
Things aren’t much better with said pals; Angela (Tasha Smith) is a loudmouth drunk constantly denigrating her struggling husband Marcus (Michael Jai White). Diana (Sharon Leal) is a driven attorney. Having just made partner, she can’t find time for her young daughter, or depressed spouse (Perry). But the worst situation exists between Shelia (Jill Scott) and Mike (Richard T. Jones). He is constantly calling her fat. He’s also cheating on her with best friend Trina (Denis Boutte). When the group gets together for their annual vacation, everyone is on edge.
Soon secrets will be revealed, leaving everyone wondering about the state of their relationship (Perry, 2007). The recurring theme that is raised in Tyler Perry’s film Why Did I Get Married? Is “Can These Marriages Survive? ” The infidelity of two husbands leads to the discussion of the “80/20 Rule. ” The rule simply implies that within a marriage, most people only receive eighty-percent of what they want and need from their partners, leading them to go outside of their relationship in an effort to find what they think they are missing.
Usually, it’s not until the spouse has stepped out the relationship that they realize that now only twenty-percent of their needs are being met. At this point, they have left their eighty for their twenty, which is a significant downgrade. Watching a Tyler Perry movie is a strange and ecstatic experience, Perry’s desire for shenanigans, inanity and heightened emotions always makes for an entertaining evening, but his films are in a strange in-between space: between melodrama and traditional drama, between lternative cinema and Hollywood style, and between black authenticity and pure elitism. Through it all, what vexes film scholars especially critics, is how style, content, auteurism and culture clash and miss each other in Tyler Perry’s films. Still Perry is one of a handful of black filmmakers- including Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton, Spike Lee, and Lee Daniels, whom can all actually raise money for wide release films. Perry films are primarily ways to talk about black progress and authenticity in a “post-racial” world, and they absorb all the baggage involved in that project.
They are moral tales about maintaining traditional family structures (including, usually, men at the head), the importance of the church and elders, even at the exclusion of gays, and not always, though sometimes, of others: like loose and lost women, drug users etc (Snider, 2007). As of November 1, 2007, on the review Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 46% of the critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 33 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 54 out of 100 based on 12 reviews.
Paul Grenada said that while “there are times where the script seems stiff, it teaches without hammering, and you leave the movie feeling good about what you saw. ” Giving the movie a B-, Entertainment Weekly said that Perry is of the “spell-everything-in-capital-letters and act-it-out-loudly schools,” but added that “one performance glistens—Jill Scott’s as the sad, heavyset Shelia, who locates the faith that’s the source of love. ” Time magazine gave the film a B and called it the “usual artless mix of broad comedy, teary confessions and spiritual uplift. ” In the opening weekend, the film grossed $21. million in 3,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. In the second weekend, the film slipped to #2 in the box office charts, with a gross of $12. 1 million, bringing the 10-day total to over $38 million. In total, the film domestically grossed $55,862,886 (Gleiberman, 2007). The awards and nominations that the Tyler Perry’s film “Why Did I Get Married” received were from the Image Awards, it was nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture, Jill Scott who played Shelia in the film was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, Tyler
Perry himself was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, and then there’s Janet Jackson whom won the Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. The issue of matrimony is not a new one to Tyler Perry, almost all of his efforts, both for the stage and screen, have focused on relationships growing, struggling, dissolving, or playing out their post-breakup end games. The decision to create a single overview on the subject seems unnecessary at best. Yet Perry is nothing if not knowledgeable, especially when it comes to his audience.
He clearly understands that, even though he’s offering the same old stories, they can’t get enough of the way he tells them. For his film adaptation of the couple’s comedy why did I Get Married? He may have altered the very purpose of his otherwise amicable preaching. But at this point in Perry’s career his ability to sell movie tickets in spite of poor critical reception is no surprise, the actor, author, and filmmaker has gone from promoting his own plays to becoming a full-fledged brand, one that, although created outside of the Hollywood machine, is causing some industry people to take notice (Gleiberman 2007).
The film is filled with tears, laughter, and shocking disappointments as friends are betrayed and relationships fall apart due to the foibles of marriage. Have you taken a good look at your marriage lately? Is your marriage what you thought it would be? Have you had to deal with issues of commitment or betrayal or forgiveness? Is there a time when you seriously considered whether or not to stay with your spouse? Over the years, have you had to figure out a way to maintain true love and a solid relationship even during difficult times?
And during the rough patches, have you ever secretly asked yourself the question: “Why Did I Get married? ” Why Did I Get Married is one of Tyler Perry’s greatest films yet; leaving some members of the audience filled with emotions as they wonder to themselves, “Why did I get married? ”, while others question, “Should I stay married? ” REFERENCES Gleiberman, Owen (October 26, 2007), “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? ” Retrieved from Entertainment Weekly (961):51
Snider, E. (2007). Why Did I Get Married?. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from http://www. ericdsnider. com/movies/why-did-i-get-married/ Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from http://boxofficemojo. com/movies/? id=whydidigetmarried. htm Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? : Plot Summary and Details. Moviefone. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from http://www. moviefone. com/movie/tyler-perrys-why-did-i-get-married/29300/synopsis
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