Rec Center: Temptation

Dear Tyler Perry fans, what the hell?! Seriously?!

I just finished watching Temptation, and after hearing a bunch of women and men yelling “Oh no he di’int!” and “Ooohhh child!” with absolute conviction in their tones, over a film with dialogue so elementary it was probably written with crayons on construction paper, I felt like storming out. Not walking out, storming out. And demanding someone give me back the last two hours of my life! Give me my two hours back to do something beneficial with them, like sit on my couch and do nothing. Sadly, the audience gobbled every single tired line, phrase, and action that Tyler Perry threw their way.

The story of a young woman whose marriage just doesn’t do it for her anymore, Temptation stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Judith, the housewife desperate for a change in her average everyday life. She is quickly tiring of her husband Brice (Lance Gross) who has become complacent with their six-year marriage, forgets her birthdays, and believes sex should only be conducted in the missionary position. Judith grows even more dissatisfied with her hubby after he fails to step to a group of thugs who call her out on the street (as if a guy who practices strictly missionary sex would step up to the plate in that situation).

But her private life gets a jolt when she’s introduced to Harley (Robbie Jones), who’s the black “Zuckerberg” of the Internet game, and has set his sheisty eyes on making Judith his forbidden love slave. He sways her mental with prehistoric rhetoric like, “Does he even notice you?” and “If you were mine,” lines that let you know Tyler Perry needed to become a star to get laid.

Anyway, you just knew Judith was going to give into her desires when she asked Harley, “What do you dream of?” to which he responded, “You,” and steam began to rise from her skirt. She probably would’ve started drooling had he said, “You should drop that zero and get with this hero.” Either way, Harley got the drawers and it was all downhill from there.

On the surface, Harley was proving to be the kind of man Judith had been craving: young, handsome, passionate, rich, and quick to beatdown a cyclist who accidently ran into Judith during a jog because she was plain ol’ dumb. Life was good for Judith. She had the man with the looks, the money and the Kama Sutra in his back pocket, but she didn’t know that dude taught Chris Brown everything he knew on how to “handle” women. That man put hands on her like she was a Twister mat. And if it wasn’t enough that Judith got the beats like Dr. Dre, in the end, *SPOILER* she got the monster from him too.

And this is when you knew Perry was trying too hard with the writing, because it seemed like the HIV angle was more for shock value than moral message. Everyone contracted HIV, thanks to their promiscuous ways. Judith, Harley, Melinda (Brandy) – ironically, Kim Kardashian was probably the only person without an STD in the entire film. Oh, did I forget to mention Kimmy Cakes was in this film? Yeah, she was bad enough to make Hayden Christensen’s performance in the Star Wars films Oscar-worthy. The movie would’ve been better off had she been denied a speaking role. 

In the end, this cautious tale of a good girl gone bad only to get worse wasn’t only a waste of time, it was a waste of, well, no, got it right the first time. It was a waste of time and time is nonrefundable. There was nothing this movie offered me in exchange for two hours of my life. The acting was eh; story, completely predictable; dialogue, horrific; and worst of all, I missed a good Knicks vs. Thunder game in order to bring you this warning. All I can say is that Temptation would’ve been better off going straight to bootleg VHS (it’s not even bootleg-DVD-worthy).

Still not convinced? Put it this way, I was halfway hoping that Alex Cross or Madea herself would come into the picture and not only save this marriage, but save the movie as a whole. Now you know when you’re crossing your fingers for an Alex Cross appearance, that the movie should have never gotten past the development stage. But you Tyler Perry fans are to blame for this. Walking out, I was surrounded by chatter about how enjoyable this movie was and how “Tyler Perry knows how to get me every time.”  Y’all will support this man no matter what mediocrity he throws your way.



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