2007's Why Did I Get Married was a mixed bag for me. I liked some of real drama but felt some of it was a bit strained and complacent. This sequel is definitely not a mixed bag. No, it is full of dramatic problem after problem after problem. It is relentlessly depressing, endlessly complacent, and ceaselessly divided. Maybe that's why it felt so real.
Four couples set off to a Bahamian retreat in their annual 'Why did I get married?' tradition. Along are the model couple, Patricia and Gavin (Janet Jackson and Malik Yoba); the happy family couple, Terry and Diane (Tyler Perry and Sharon Leal); the constantly arguing Marcus and Angela (Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith); and finally the financially struggling Sheila and Troy (Jill Scott and Lamman Rucker). I feel like I'm the announcer for The Newlywed Game.
Each couple has their problems. They have lots. As the movie progresses and we begin to see what the basic problems are in each relationship, director Tyler Perry doesn't spend the second half of the movie (away from the Bahamas) patching up the problems. No, he spends the rest of the movie creating more problems, though darker and more violent.
There is no question that Tyler Perry can make a character drama. I am a big fan of most every one of his films. He creates scenes usually out of single shots. He draws fierce emotions out of all of his actors. Janet Jackson gives one terrific performance here. In fact, the whole casting is flawless. Perry also has a very good eye for comic relief.
But there is one gloomy problem with this movie. I can take a wild stab into thinking that the movie was made to be something of a self-help film for struggling marriages. Unfortunately, the only thing I learned here was that no one could possibly have it as bad as these friends. Something is always going wrong. Someone is always betraying someone. Sometimes it is absurdly predictable. Then the groups of men will get together and gossip and the ladies will get together and gossip.
As the film runs out its two-hour runtime, things become viciously intense. This is one of the most depressing pictures I have seen in a long time. Do not be fooled into thinking this is a feel-good film. It isn't. This is a powerful, unrestrained picture with little redemption in the end. But it gets you thinking. As problematic as these people are, as messed up as their relationships have become, as their natural instincts show their fiery colors, we begin do wonder, why did they get married?
NOTE: There is an extremely awkward cameo at the very end that was really stupid. Maybe it was to lighten the mood...