Tyler Perry’s Acrimony Review: What happened Tyler?
Acrimony showcases the saying, “ride or die” to the fullest. Taraji P. Henson gives us Empire’s Cookie vibes but without the intelligence or strong backbone. Acrimony dealt into the psyche of the angry black woman and truly tells us that there is truly a thin line between love and hate…or in this case murder. Acrimony is a prime example of how black women ride for black men through thick and thin. Sometimes, even going against their family and putting their man first. Taraji’s character Melinda repeated voices that even though she’s essentially taking care of her husband Robert, played by “She’s Got to Have It” actor Lyriq Bent, she feels she’s not taking care of him, but essentially holding her man down during turbulent times. However, this beginning optimism starts to dwindle when the years start to roll by, money begins to get low, and Robert refuses to get a stable job while slowly diminishing her pride. I kept hoping throughout the movie that Melinda would recover from all the false promises, hurt and bitterness, but clearly sister girl was far gone than anyone thought.
First off, I must say I love the format of the movie. However, this movie is nothing but an overload of stereotypes; especially for black women all the while trying to diminish these stereotypes by having Melinda (Henson) say, “Every time a black woman gets mad she’s a stereotype.” Viewers are immediately introduced to Melinda’s rage, a courtroom and a therapy session, while trying to see if her anger is warranted. However, as Melinda weaves her tale of betrayal morphed into mental instability, we begin to see that all is not what it seems. Melinda meets Robert at college, with his smooth talk begins to win her over and start tutoring her. Her mother passes away and he’s there to “comfort” her (or con her as she repeated says), thus beginning there love story. Robert (Bent) is a mechanical engineer major who has hopes of inventing and selling his beloved rechargeable battery. Seriously, he only truly cares about this thing.
As time time passes, viewers see their relationship go through a voyage of deceit, loss of ever having kids, and Robert’s constant mooching of the insurance money Melinda’s mom left her. He even manipulate her into refinancing her mother’s house that is already paid off. Through all of this, Melinda subconsciously sees this violation of trust, and yet she goes with it (we’ll discuss this later) believing that the battery will be their big break. Unfortunately, when the big break does happen, Melinda and Roberts relationship has hit a tipping point. With a push from her sisters, who believed that adultery has taking place, Melinda has thrown in the towel on their relationship. Subsequently, Robert’s primary focus on his battery lands hims into multi-millionaire status. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that timing is all bad. Robert surprises Melinda and even the viewers I believe when he gives her $10 million and buys her back her mom’s house.
From this point, Melinda becomes regretful and tries to get Robert back. However, Robert has moved on with a previous companion and enjoying the luxuries he promised Melinda. This denial caused something to break loose in Melinda. Thus, resulting in stalking, a restraining order, an axe, and murder. The question arises, is she justified in her actions?
Finally, I must say that I expected more from Tyler Perry. Taraji P. Henson’s performance was the same, but what do you expect with a script that lacks everything. Let’s talk about Mr. Tyler Perry. I am a fan first off, but I want to see some growth from him. I am tired of the angry black woman tagline. This Fatal Attraction mixed with A Thin Line Between Love and Hate just didn’t do it for me. It showcased black women as being not only angry (justifiably so), but that we can’t elevate from this level of hurt. Why must we continually be casted in this light? The tagline of “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” does not fit this movie at all. This could have been a great opportunity for Perry to talk about mental health (Why did Melinda continue to be with Robert even when she felt resentful?) and the importance of having healthy communicative relationships (Robert cheating and lying about his felony), but it truly lacked depth. The suspenseful moments felt like a improv session and Henson and Bent failed to carry any type of chemistry. The whole movie was an oxymoron of black women stereotypes that it starts to feel like a slap in the face to all black women. I’m not saying that in the black community there are angry black women, but there are plenty of tenacious women taking their pain, hurt and disrespect and making positive impacts in the world. So, Mr. Perry get in-tune. Overall, I think Perry needs to go back to the drawing board and hire new, fresh script writers. Acrimony was not worth the movie fee it cost to see it. It would be a great pickup during Black Friday though.
Written by Teresa Washington
Photos provided by Getty images
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