Why Did I Get Married Too? [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (3rd July 2011).
The Film

I’ve decided to take a page out of Tyler Perry’s book and have a retreat to ask myself a simple question. But instead of deeply looking at my love life, relationships and friendships in the style of “Why Did I Get Married Too?” (2010), I ask myself “Didn’t I Already Watch This Movie, Too?” It’s almost the exact same drama and pacing of the first movie, same actors, same drama and same preaching melodrama. If Tyler Perry can cut and paste the same movie with just a couple tweaks, why can’t I cut and paste the review from the first time I watched this movie? Mostly it’s because I won’t make $60 million like Perry is guaranteed to do every time he puts his name on film, my following isn’t that devoted (maybe someday?).

A few years after their last retreat on marriage, Patricia (Janet Jackson), Gavin (Malik Yoba), Shelia (Jill Scott), Troy (Lamann Rucker), Angela (Tasha Smith), Marcus (Michael Jai White), Dianne (Sharon Leaf) and Terry (Tyler Perry) head for warmer climates to talk about their marriages. It seems like there’s again trouble for the couples as Troy is having trouble finding a job after moving to Atlanta with Shelia, Angela and Marcus still argue, Terry and Dianne are in a potential rough patch and something is amiss with Gavin and Patricia. In the beach resort the couples talk, mostly to eachother rather than their wedded partners, until drama breaks out again with Mike (Richard T. Jones) coming to crash the party.

Suprisingly there’s no actively abusive relationship in the film, a first for a Tyler Perry movie, but all the couple’s drama is the same. The real question is why should I care that they’re married, since every couple seems to get into some new cheating or break-up every year. And these friends don’t seem to find a new source of jokes as every year they come together and tell the same old stories and same old jokes that they seem to find fresh and hilarious again. But like last time the retreat is only half the story and once the couples are back to their day-to-day lives the movie keeps dragging on and on.

For everything I said about the previous “Why Did I Get Married?” (2007), this sequel retroactively kills everything that had potential to be original or genuine in the film. Repeating the same tropes and character conflicts weakens the overall characters as they are trapped in a cycle of marriage that shows little authenticity in relationships and has all the markers of a crafted melodrama that even a soap opera might find over the top. The only thing lacking is an evil twin or coma (hint: these would make what I know has to be coming “Why Did I Get Married Too-er?” (2013) or “Why I Did I Get Re-Married, Too?” (2016) way more exciting). All the credit I gave Perry for moving a little out of his Madea and Joe comfort zone in the first installment loses ground as its fairly obvious these are just new faces on the same story he keeps telling.

As a writer and director, Perry shows little growth in the film. After some experience in the director’s chair his coverage still feels slightly off, lingering on shots of people laughing while the dialogue goes on elsewhere or feeling the need to cut to every reaction for any line that Perry feels is dramatic. Each moment has to harp the emotional tension of the scene, dramatic or comedic, to its fullest extent trying to juice very last bit of reaction out of every scene that just comes up hollow. There’s some added starpower again with a cameo by Louis Gosset Jr. and Cecily Tyson that tries to shift up the film, or even a surprise cameo by Dwayne Johnson at the end that brightened my gloomy outlook on the film, just because I will watch any movie that includes Dwayne Johnson.

Perry is obviously successful and at times can show sparks of talent in bringing together a talented cast, but when the material is so repetitive it makes it harder for more original films to be produced. Tyler Perry has the financial power to greenlight nearly any movie he sees fit in Hollywood, but his inability to touch on issues broader than relationship arguments, abuse, and death limit the ability of others to get produced since these are the issues that are making the most money and neither Perry nor other studios seem to be willing to take a major leap in any other direction. Of course these are the stories that sell, the box office has proved that, but without any risk taking how can we get more storytelling from a dramatic underrepresentation of Black (or even Asian, Latino and Indigenous) filmmakers.

Maybe this is me taking my flare for the dramatic with a more apocalyptic look at Perry’s ongoing filmmaking, but if there’s nothing else to take away this is nearly the exact same film as it’s predecessor, only slightly worse. Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith do the best jobs acting, despite Perry’s lackluster script and directing.

Video

The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with AVC MPEG-4 encoding in 1080p 24/fps and has the same kind of brightness and clarity that you see with the other Perry films. The way the movie is lit and the quality it’s filmed at seem the same as every other Tyler Perry outing, throwing in some extra splashes of color that come through nicely in the outing to the Bahamas. Night scenes are lit in blue like a stage with some happenstance spotlighting that highlights any dramatic action and lights the charcter’s faces when there’s a dramatic moment to be had.

Audio

Similarly the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track at 48kHz/24-bit and comes through cleanly but the levels seem to be a bit off. The dialogue and the music don’t seem fully balanced so at times the fade ins to transition music can drown a bit of the dialogue. Even with the smaller issue, the dialogue is clear and balances with the ambient island noises, though it still has the feel of a stage play in the way the sound moves and audio transitions.
There is also a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital track with English, English for the hearing impaired and Spanish subtitles.

Extras

I can’t tell if Perry has just made himself too busy for commentaries or has nothing left to say anymore, but after coming in full force with featurettes on his early films “Married, Too” only has two featurettes, a music video, a character guide trivia track and a couple of bonus trailers.

“Girl Talk: The Women of Married” featurette runs for 10 minutes and 55 seconds. The four female stars talk about their characters in the film and their relationships between eachother, with of course some praise for Perry. It’s a mixture of talking head interviews and behind-the-scenes looks with the actors to talk at length about the film and the people they play. There’s a few moments that are more interesting in talking about Janet Jackson’s emotional state considering the film was made soon after Michael Jackson’s death.

“Male Bonding: The Men of Married” runs for 12 minutes and 14 seconds. Like the previous featurette (and the featurettes on the disc of the first film) the four male stars talk about the film, but is more praiseworthy of Perry in talking about his role of writer/director/producer/actor. It’s a continuation of Perry’s bible of relationships and the way he conceives that black love and relationships play out. Many of the discussions of characters are just repetitions of every other featurette that we’ve seen about the characters in the film.

Janet Jackson’s music video “Nothing” runs for 4 minutes and 11 seconds.

Finally is the “Couples Character Guide” trivia track that runs as a pop-up subtitle track during the film to throw in any tidbits of information about the film’s production.

Bonus trailers on the disc are:

- “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” runs for 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
- “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself” runs for 2 minutes and 29 seconds.

Overall

The Film: F Video: A- Audio: B Extras: F Overall: C-

 


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