Movie Reviews: Tyler Perry's Temptation...

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Movies that aren't screened for the nation's major critics are often reviewed by them nonetheless -- after they file into theaters with first-night audiences at their local multiplex. Such is the case with virtually all Tyler Perry films, but the fact that most of those films are dearly loved by the audiences that the critics are sitting with does not seem to have any bearing at all on their reviews, which, in virtually every case, are disparaging. Perry's latest film -- it has the lengthy title Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor -- is no exception. Mark Olsen, in his Los Angeles Times review, notes that while ads for the movie promise a sexy melodrama, Perry actually delivers a film that seems disinterested in sex but entirely invested in cluck-clucking comeuppance. He also notes: Perry being Perry, a simple saga of infidelity isn't enough; there also has to be drug abuse, domestic abuse, general wickedness, a turn away from family and the church and, for good measure, the late-breaking threat of HIV infection to punish the promiscuous. Several other critics also agree that the movie is an exercise in bait-and-switch: bring 'em into the theater with the lure of sex and then lecture them on the perils of their attraction. As Rafer Guzmán puts it in Newsday: Despite the bared flesh visible on its posters, Temptation is not a steamy melodrama but a jowl-shaking Sunday-school lecture. Several critics have expressed the opinion that, as Frank Scheck puts it in the Hollywood Reporter: This heavy-handed melodrama represents one of Tyler Perry's weakest efforts ever, and that's saying something. Many of the critics suggest that Kim Kardashian appears in the movie simply because she is Kim Kardashian. Andy Webster in the New York Times described her performance as entertaining for all the wrong reasons and faulted the rest of the movie for its limp pacing. But those are mild comments compared with Peter Sobczynski's in the Chicago Sun-Times, who calls the movie flat-out ludicrous from beginning to end. And while it might not be Perry's most excruciating cinematic effort date ... it is definitely wretched enough to be in the running for that dishonor. There's more in that vein from Sobczynski. He concludes that Temptation is an awful, awful film and while it is easy to mock and dismiss, it is also kind of a shame to behold.


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