|Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tyler Perry|
|Produced by||Tyler Perry
|Written by||Tyler Perry|
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Editing by||Maysie Hoy|
|Studio||The Tyler Perry Company
|Release date(s)||October 12, 2007|
|Running time||113 min.|
|Followed by||Why Did I Get Married Too?|
Why Did I Get Married? is a 2007 American romantic-dramedy film adaptation written, produced, directed, and starring Tyler Perry, which was inspired by the play of the same name. The film stars Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Malik Yoba, Sharon Leal, Tasha Smith, Michael Jai White, Richard T. Jones and Keesha Sharp. The film was released in the United States by Lionsgate on October 12, 2007.
The film is the fourth film that Perry has written and directed. Why Did I Get Married? was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "mature thematic material, sexual references and language". This is Perry's first movie with a sequel to it.
This film is one of only three Tyler Perry films in which Perry's signature character Madea is not featured.
The film is about the difficulty of maintaining a solid relationship in modern times. Eight married college friends plus one other non-friend (all of whom have achieved middle to upper class economic status) go to Colorado for their annual week-long reunion, but the mood shifts when one couple's infidelity comes to light. Secrets are revealed and each couple begins to question their own marriage. Over the course of the week, the couples battle with issues of commitment, betrayal and forgiveness and examine their lives as individuals and as committed couples. This film explores the resultant emotional impact that fidelity and love have upon the constitution of marriage.
The four couples, who are also best friends, converge on a house in the mountains for a week-long retreat that has become their ritual of sorts to help work out their marital problems and ask the question "Why did I get married?". Though the couples have committed to being physically present for the week, some of them have not been emotionally present in their respective marriages for quite some time. The week is not planned out in a well-programmed sequence, so the events unfold somewhat spontaneously, beginning with their "adventures" in getting up to the mountain retreat.
Dianne falls asleep not long after arriving with her BlackBerry close at hand, and when her secretary calls while she is asleep, Terry tells the woman not to call them while they are on their vacation. When Patricia arrives, she goes up to wake Dianne while the men bond over the wine that Terry has poured for his wife.
The sound of arguing signals the arrival of Angela and Marcus.
When Mike arrives without Sheila, the other wives berate him and Trina, for having left Sheila to drive alone. Sheila's husband shows clearly that he does not care for his wife at all. Her friends try to reach Sheila by phone but get her voice mail only. Sheila is persistent to get to the retreat because she wants to make her marriage work. Providence leads her to Sheriff Troy's (Lamman Rucker) office. Due to weather the roads have been closed for the night and she has no choice but to spend the night. That same night, Mike tiptoes--not unseen by Angela-- to Trina's bedroom. Sheila arrives at the retreat house the following morning with Troy in tow. She introduces Troy to the others and tells them she has invited him to breakfast. Troy fast becomes a threat to Sheila's husband Mike, not because of Sheila, but because of Trina, with whom he is having an affair with. Breakfast is a noisy affair with the arguing couples and Angela insulting Trina, the only single woman on the retreat, whom she instantly disliked.
Throughout the few days spent on retreat, there are spontaneous revelations. The infidelity of two of the husbands leads to a discussion by the men of the 80-20 rule. This rule states that most men get 80% of what they need from a marriage yet they tend to go after the 20% that someone outside can provide for them because it appears to be more to them when it really isn't.
The secrets that come out in their heated discussions lead the couples toward a path where they can either choose to reconcile or to separate and the latter is what happens to Sheila and Mike. Mike makes it clear he is not attracted to his wife any longer and when it is revealed he is being unfaithful, he simply tells her he wants a divorce. The vacation is cut short when all the secrets come to light, as the couples suddenly decide they cannot stay in the house any longer. Sheila checks into a local hotel to recover from the shock of her divorce and the realization that Mike has drained her bank account. She is in a depressed state when Troy goes to visit her. He takes her up to a mountain where she cries and mourns the loss of her love and the only life she knew.
The other couples head back home. Patricia and Gavin are barely speaking to each other - he called her stupid because she didn't strap their son in and he died in an accident - but he eventually forces her to face the situation. Patricia breaks down emotionally in his arms, they reconcile. Angela and Marcus are still fighting, especially when Keisha (Marcus' ex girlfriend and child's mother, played by Kaira Whitehead) shows up at Angela's salon and disrespects Angela. Marcus finally stands up to both his wife and his ex, and then frightens Angela into realizing she is wrecking their life with her constant arguing by not showing up for a couple of days. Dianne and Terry fight again right before they leave the mountains because he had a paternity test done on their daughter. They fight again on Terry's birthday at their home because Dianne forgot about his birthday, and did not tell Terry about getting her tubes tied. Terry tells her he is moving out. Patricia meets up with Dianne and Angela, moping over their husbands and gives them the counseling they need to get back on track telling them to make a list of the good things and the bad things their husbands have done. The men drown their sorrows in the bottle.
In the mountains, Sheila is settling into a new life working for Troy in the general store his father owned and getting to know Troy and realizing her own self-worth. The two of them bond.
Angela cooks dinner for her husband when she is finished with her list, but he suspects she is trying to poison him. Eventually she explains, they make up and set conditions of the new order.
Dianne goes to see Terry and begs him to come back after crying over her list. He plays with her head a little to get back at her, but they eventually reconcile too and all the couples converge on the gala celebration for an award that Patricia has received for her work. Dianne, Patricia and Angela are shocked when Sheila introduces Troy as her husband. Ex-husband Mike, although he is still with Trina, is very jealous of Sheila's newfound bliss and tries to weasel his way back into her good graces, but she tells him to go enjoy his "20", referring to the 80-20 rule.
Perry decided to take much of the church and message scenes because wanted the film to be "on a whole 'nother spiritual level--there's a whole 'nother connection to it." He said his writing has improved since the play.
As of November 1, 2007 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 48 percent of 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,...[the film] 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 Sheila, 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 its opening weekend, the film grossed $21.4 million in 2,011 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. In its 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.
The soundtrack was released by Atlantic Records on October 2. R&B crooners Anita Baker and Babyface are on the soundtrack; ironically, Babyface had sued Baker prior to the soundtrack being released. Also featured in the soundtrack is R&B singer Kelly Price, who was featured in the stage play for Why Did I Get Married? as Sheila. The soundtrack to the film features Beyoncé, who starred with Sharon Leal in the 2006 adaptation of Dreamgirls. Another interesting note is Jennifer Holliday being on the soundtrack, who played the original Effie White in the stage play. Neither Janet Jackson nor Jill Scott are featured on the soundtrack.
The film was released on DVD on February 12, 2008. The DVD includes subtitles in English and Spanish, as well as bloopers.
A Blu-ray Disc has yet to be released.