With the large wave of Tyler Perry catalog titles that came out to coincide with the 'For Colored Girls' release, I wanted to nab them all, so that I could get more experience with the playwright's work, and so I could give them a fair, unbiased bit of coverage. Sadly, I found myself not liking the majority of the titles, so my plan backfired, and I came off as just another reviewer who couldn't connect or "get" Perry's stories and characters. With only one more title to go in the lot, I was expecting the worst, especially after the poor reception 'Why Did I Get Married Too?' received in months prior.
Thankfully, 'Why Did I Get Married?' turned out to be the Perry film that I was able to connect with the most, and despite showing all the cliches and laziness found in his feature films, the film ended and I couldn't find too much negative to say. Having no Madea and no Browns worked for me.
The premise of the film, based on one of the more successful Perry plays, centers on four married couples, who go off on vacations together to reevaluate their marriages, to reaffirm their love, and strengthen their bond. Apparently, the trip to the fictional Lake Leland in Colorado was one bad, bad choice, and each and every couple would face hardships that test each and every man and woman in the snowy mountain cabin. As secrets are revealed, and lies are discovered, everyone will have their hands full with their respective mate, and even after leaving, will find the long road to recovery may not be worth the effort.
Despite the fact that 'Why Did I Get Married?' has the makings of a stereotypical Perry drama, times four, the end result felt like something different, something other Perry flicks don't quite grasp. The extreme negative behavior and attitudes open the doors for both healing and destruction, and if you can accept that all of this chaos happens at once, which is a tough coincidence to swallow, you're in for a treat. Yes, there is of course the perfect man who falls for the flawed woman, there has to be, as let's face it, Perry's main audience is female, hence why the protagonists in his films all go through the same agonies and tortures before finding their salvation.
The cast is pretty damn strong, with Perry, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, and Michael Jai White each providing standout performances, with quasi-believable characters, to boot. Tasha Smith is also quite convincing in her performance, as she literally made me want to reach into my screen and strangle her annoying ass. I don't suppose people are supposed to relate to her, really, as the antagonistic, drunk, big-mouthed character spreads disaster everywhere she goes. She's like a catalyst, really, which is a good/bad thing.
'Why Did I Get Married' does have its flaws, with a runtime that goes by so incredibly slowly that it feels longer than 'Titanic,' as the constant back and forth arguing just stops the runtime and holds it hostage. The character introductions are amateur, at best, despite the way they are expertly handled once they are all in the same environment. The characters themselves can be a bit too polarizing, with no grey area to be found, and change can happen on a whim, for plot convenience, rather than actual recognition of how selfish they have been behaving.
This Perry film does what few others do, though. It portrays men and women in both lights, positive and negative, with the groups of each respective sex having their own saints and sinners. It has disasters that can't be overcome. It also has well constructed dialogue and many believable scenes. The diverse cast, both of actors and characters, is the strength behind what may be one of Perry's better films. This is definitely not a date movie, or one to watch with a significant other on any occasion. Don't do it, just don't. Enjoy this by yourself. Don't open that can of worms.
Tyler Perry's 'Why Did I Get Married' may be a tough watch due to the constant chaos, but on Blu-ray, it tries to make up for it by looking good. The AVC MPEG-4, 1080p encode for the film starts rough, with dingy grass and flat shots, but quickly cleans up to provide a solid, highly detailed presentation. Sure, the random oversaturated shot is a concern, but skin tones are very consistent, textures are solid, and picture depth is unusually strong. Black levels are powerful, and whites crisp. Facial features are incredibly strong and regular, and there is nary a moment you can't spot Michael Jai White's facial scars, the signs that he's a true bad ass.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for the film is a bit less consistent and powerful than the video. Dynamics are sound, with clear dialogue and nary an indiscernible or rough line reading. Sadly, there is damn near no bass involvement, not even in the soundtrack, while the rears get little more than soundtrack and score bleed. The track doesn't have much in terms of range, and is just a front heavy affair.
The extras on this release, they're pretty damn shallow. There are nine minutes worth of pre-menu trailers that have to be skipped one by one, as well. More forced bang for your buck.
'Why Did I Get Married' is an interesting film that may be the absolute worst date movie ever. A film about a guy who kills his dates at night's end would probably go over better than this flick. It's an interesting story, cliche as the characters may be. The Blu-ray release is pretty good, and is one of the better looking Tyler Perry catalog releases. It's cheap enough for a good blind buy, but this is not the film for everyone.