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Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married (2/12/2008)


Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual references and language.

Directed by Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Daddy’s Little Girls…)

Starring Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Janet Jackson...


Jonathan's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Powerful. One of Tyler Perry’s better films.

Tyler definitely has a following. He was known in many circles from his plays and his popular TV series House of Payne. But the “word of mouth” success of Diary of a Mad Black Woman is probably what really made his name known in the film community.

My wife was a fan and I jumped aboard with his film Daddy’s Little Girls (another very good film). I’m now an official Perry fan and will always be on the lookout for his next release.

Why Did I Get Married, is the big screen adaptation of Perry's stage play about the trials of marriage, and what happens to one family when a sexy young temptress arrives on the scene.

I like the story on several levels:

  • The movie kept its nose clean while dealing with some very real and painful issues about marriage (adultery, the death of a child, etc.). Perry doesn’t go where so many other films go with gratuitous sex scenes and raunch. (There was definitely mature material discussed, but all true and necessary to the storyline.)


  • The story really tackled the subject of healing in different situations. It showed the pain that people feel and the consequences of people’s behavior.


  • The film provided some very funny moments in the midst of a serious storyline.


  • Perry once again brought God into the picture, especially in one character who seems to really follow His leading in her life.


  • The performances were excellent across the board. Janet Jackson really surprised me with her performance.


  • The story provided a much-needed view of African Americans on the big screen. (Usually a white guy doesn’t chime in on these issues… so I’m treading carefully here… and I’m saying something positive.) So often the media only enforces the negative black stereotypes that exist. Films propagate the stereotypes of gangbanging, womanizing, etc. Perry provides a real look at black culture, but also a positive one. He reveals to ignorant white America that there are successful African Americans with character and values that we all can learn from.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was a great date movie.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
I wouldn’t show it to elementary school aged kids—the material was too mature—they wouldn’t really understand it. But I would consider showing it to mature teenagers because of the fantastic springboard it provides for discussions about marriage, infidelity and healing.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?


  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?


  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?




Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.



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