Temptation (2013): Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Posted: March 16, 2014 in Drama
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originalHaving moved to DC from southern Virginia, Judith and Brice are enjoying a quiet life of love and happiness. While Brice has his job as a pharmacist with the hopes of owning his own business someday, Judith is a bit disappointed that she had to take a job with a millionaire matchmaking company as their on-site therapist. When social media tycoon Harley walks in the door, Judith gets assigned to help him understand the company’s method for matching its customers. Judith begins to realize that there is something new and exciting about Harley, which causes her to start questioning the relationship with her husband. Between the charm of Harley and her frustrations with the stagnation of her relationship with Brice, Judith begins to sway from her good intentions and fall victim to a more alluring lifestyle.

Starring: Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Judith), Lance Gross (Brice), Kim Kardashian (Ava), Vanessa Williams (Janice), Robbie Jones (Harley), Renee Taylor (Chapman), Ella Joyce (Sarah), Brandy Norwood (Melinda), Candice Coke (Marriage Counselor)

Tyler Perry’s cast was one that had his charm for overacting and pushing behaviors out of the norm. Smollett-Bell had a sort of innocent charm for most of the film, at least until her character started to sway. Lance Gross played his role as the near perfect husband. While he had a few noticeable flaws, he also appeared to be more invested in their relationship than Smollett-Bell’s character. A real struggle for the casting was Kardashian, who just left a sour taste from her personality on-screen. Williams was interesting with her poor accent, though this was explained later in the film. Robbie Jones, the antagonist, did not seem nearly as smooth as Smollett-Bell’s reactions made him appear.

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This film’s focus on seduction and the strength of relationships was portrayed through its lead actress’s struggle. Her relationship with her husband was one that was built out of childhood love that appeared to be eternal. They were traditional in their relationship and waited until marriage to become intimate. Moving to the city was something that her mother was worried about, but they wanted to achieve their professional dreams. Judith was derailed because her dream to open a practice was too costly, but Harley entered her life as quite the distraction. He started putting the moves on her from the beginning and was successful at planting the seeds to eventually tempt her away from her husband. While Judith was convinced to stray, Brice finally wised up and became impassioned to take action. In the end, it was too late to save their marriage.

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This film contained a number of interesting messages and subplots, but most of it was shadowed by the cheesiness of the acting and main storyline. It seemed unrealistic that someone with such a strong marriage at the start her challenge with Harley would stray so easily, and with Harley knowing that she was married. It was also very disappointing that Ava’s obsession with image seemed to overtake Judith’s better sense of self. Meanwhile, the film takes a major stab at the issue with infidelity and with safe sex practices. Judith allowed herself to be attracted to Harley’s lifestyle. What she did not know was that Harley had been diagnosed with HIV, which he had given to his previous girlfriend. Brice had no clue that his coworker had contracted the disease from Harley previously and Judith had quickly put herself in danger of the same fate.

The film had potential but failed to produce any likable, developed characters other than Brice.

Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5

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