Tyler Perry movies are not for me. They are ever going to be for me. They’re not marketed to me, written or directed with me in mind, or in any way dependent on my interest for their success. No matter what I think, Tyler Perry movies will continue to reach a large audience that is historically ignored by mainstream media. They will continue to cause debate within the African-American community about whether or not they’re insulting to everyone who sees and creates them. And meanwhile, I’ll be over here with my niche films about gay men that often provoke the same debates, anxieties, and shameful viewing parties.
But at the same time, because they are almost always successful, Tyler Perry movies will always be in my face. I will see their trailers in front of Les Miserables, and I will respond to those trailers. Even as I appreciate that they are speaking to an audience that isn’t me, I will respond to them from my point of view. I will respond to them with my tastes and my preferences and my sense of humor.
Put another way, I will see the trailer for this Tyler Perry movie and say, “Oh my god! Are you serious? This looks like the craziest piece of trash I’ve ever seen. They must have been drunk, right?”
We’ve touched on this trailer before, but it has continued to haunt my dreams. You’ll understand, I hope, why I need to keep talking about it.
First of all, this movie is called Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. Which is just amazing. Because you basically get the entire plot right there, which spares you a lot of boring conversations.
“Let’s see a movie! What’s Argo about?”
“It’s about this group of filmmakers in 1970s who…”
“Zzzzzz! I’m bored! Let’s got get a burger.”
See what I mean? With Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, you get everything you need right away… plus a hint that maybe the movie is not going to be very subtle.
And then there’s the fact that Kim Kardashian has a major role. As the employee of a billion dollar online dating service. And then she introduces the lead character to “the largest social media inventor since Zuckerberg.” Which is apparently how people speak now! “Social media inventor!”
Again: Were they drunk?
But for me, these are just the warm-ups to the two most important elements of this trailer.
First, there’s a woman near the end who is warning our titular marriage counselor not to have an affair with that “social media inventor.” In a husky whisper, she says, “He gonna take you straight to hell.” While “Love the Way You Lie” is playing in the background. And that happens just a few seconds after we see the social media guy hitting a woman in a giant walk-in closet. So… domestic abuse as entertainment? While a song made famous by Rihanna is playing in the background?
Finally—and this is the most important thing—there’s Vanessa Williams’ accent at :33. She’s the owner of the dating site, and she has a random “island accent.” But why? Why is she talking like that? Why was it necessary to make her character come from somewhere in the Caribbean? Do accents make a film more serious? The mind whirls. If I weren’t certain this movie is going to be horrifying, then I would see it just to find out which island she’s supposed to be from.