Written by Brian Hickey
There are many things to appreciate about “Temptation” and its world-renowned director, Tyler Perry. It features a few blossoming, talented actors such as Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who you have probably seen in the hit movies “The Great Debaters” and “Roll Bounce.” Starring alongside her is Lance Gross, who has appeared in other Perry works such as the television series “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.”
The movie also includes acting veteran Vanessa Williams, singer Brandy Norwood and tabloid star Kim Kardashian, whose acting was nothing but subpar. The cast seemed to stir a bit of buzz amongst eager, optimistic movie viewers.
However, where Perry manages to excite his audience is also where he ultimately fails them.
“Temptation” focuses on a couple that have known each other since their child years and later get married. Eventually, the marriage falls apart as the wife (Smollett-Bell) falls for an employee played by Robbie Jones, who shows her what she’s been missing at home.
The typical plot, which Perry fails to expand, is nothing but the poor portrayal of a long, inspiring relationship gone awry by money, flirting and a couple of forgotten birthdays. The movie borders along the lines of improbable yet remains steadfast in its predictable sequence.
The movie poses a question of financial stability as Perry portrays the main couple to be struggling financially. They live in a substandard apartment in Washington D.C. and drive an old pickup truck that belonged to Gross’ character from his teen years. This throws a wrench in the film as the husband is a pharmacist who, in today’s day, would make a pretty good living, and the wife works for a company that partners with other multi-million dollar companies.
As usual, Perry finds a way to incorporate drugs in his film. I won’t deny that drugs are still a problem in society, but with such a promising script so much more could have been done.
It also doesn’t help that Smollett-Bell’s character wants to be a marriage counselor but still manages to fall so easily for her co-worker’s over-the-top and sexually harassing ploys.
The ending, which comes minutes after the climax, leaves many questions unanswered. Perhaps Perry expected his audience to infer certain conclusions from his mediocre screenwriting, but it would have been better told than assumed.
Two out of Five stars.