Why Did I Get Married? is a 2007 comedy-drama film adaptation written, produced, directed, and starring Tyler Perry, which was inspired by his play of the same name. The film stars Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Malik Yoba, Sharon Leal, Tasha Smith, Michael Jai White, Richard T. Jones, and Keesha Sharp. The film was released in the United States by Lionsgate on October 12, 2007.
The film is about the difficulty of maintaining a solid relationship in modern times. Eight married college friends plus one other non-friend (all of whom have achieved middle to upper class economic status) go to Colorado for their annual week-long reunion, but the mood shifts when one couple's infidelity comes to light. Secrets are revealed and each couple begins to question their own marriage. Over the course of the week, the couples battle with issues of commitment, betrayal and forgiveness and examine their lives as individuals and as committed couples. This film explores the resultant emotional impact that infidelity and love have upon the constitution of marriage.
The four couples, who are also best friends, converge on a house in the mountains for a week-long retreat that has become their ritual of sorts to help work out their marital problems and ask the question "Why did I get married?". Though the couples have committed to being physically present for the week, some of them have not been emotionally present in their respective marriages for quite some time. The week is not planned out in a well-programmed sequence, so the events unfold somewhat spontaneously, beginning with their "adventures" in getting up to the mountain retreat.
- The first couple, over-worked Dianne and over-ignored Terry, drive up together and argue most of the way because Dianne (a lawyer) refuses to leave her job at the office. She takes calls on her BlackBerry or makes calls instead of talking to Terry.
- The second couple, over-the-top Angela and over-Angela'd Marcus, take the train. Angela constantly argues with Marcus and anyone who dares to interrupt them.
- The third couple is overweight Sheila and over-Sheila Mike. Sheila is made to deplane because of her weight and the requirement to purchase two seats and drive the long distance in the snow, while her husband Mike continues on the flight with Sheila's single friend, Trina.
- The fourth couple is overly-perfect Patricia and depressed Gavin who arrive by limo cab. Their journey is not documented. However, right before they leave to go to the retreat, Gavin shows up to pick up Patricia at a lecture she was giving (she is the author of a book called "Why Did I Get Married?") and artlessly dodges a question about their own marriage.
Dianne falls asleep not long after arriving with her BlackBerry close at hand and when her secretary calls while she is asleep, Terry tells the woman not to call them while they are on their vacation. When Patricia arrives, she goes up to wake Dianne while the men bond over the wine that Terry has poured for his wife. The sound of arguing signals the arrival of Angela and Marcus. When Mike arrives without Sheila, the other wives berate him and Trina for having left Shelia to drive alone. Sheila's husband shows clearly that he does not care for his wife at all. Her friends try to reach Sheila by phone but get her voice mail only. Sheila is persistent to get to the retreat because she wants to make her marriage work. Providence leads her to Sheriff Troy Jackson's office. Due to weather the roads have been closed for the night and she has no choice but to spend the night. That same night, Mike tiptoes, not unseen by Angela, to Trina's bedroom. Sheila arrives at the retreat house the following morning with Troy in tow. She introduces Troy to the others and tells them she has invited him to breakfast. Troy fast becomes a threat to Sheila's husband Mike, not because of Sheila, but because of Trina, with whom he is having an affair. Breakfast is a noisy affair with the arguing couples and Angela insulting Trina, the only single woman on the retreat, whom she instantly disliked.
Throughout the few days spent on retreat, there are spontaneous revelations. The infidelity of two of the husbands leads to a discussion by the men of the 80/20 rule. This rule states that most men get 80% of what they need from a marriage yet they tend to go after the 20% that someone outside can provide for them because it appears to be more to them when it really isn't. The secrets that come out in their heated discussions lead the couples toward a path where they can either choose to reconcile or to separate, and the latter is what happens to Sheila and Mike. Mike makes it clear he is not attracted to his wife any longer and when it is revealed he is being unfaithful, he simply tells her he wants a divorce. The vacation is cut short when all the secrets come to light, as the couples suddenly decide they cannot stay in the house any longer. Shelia checks into a local hotel to recover from the shock of her divorce and the realization that Mike has drained her bank account. She is in a depressed state when Troy goes to visit her. He takes her up to a mountain where she cries and mourns the loss of her love and the only life she knew.
The other couples head back home. Patricia and Gavin are barely speaking to each other because she was deemed "stupid" for not protecting their son in a tragic accident by Gavin; Patricia breaks down emotionally in his arms and eventually confesses that she was only trying to be perfect. They both agree to face the situation and soon reconcile. Angela and Marcus are still fighting, especially when Marcus' ex-girlfriend and son's mother, Keisha, shows up at Angela's salon, who disrespects her. Marcus finally stands up to both women, and manages to frighten Angela into realizing she is wrecking their life with her constant arguing by not showing up for a couple of days. Dianne and Terry fight again right before they leave the mountains because he had a paternity test done on their daughter, and later on Terry's birthday at their home; Terry moves out because Dianne forgot about his birthday and did not tell him about getting her tubes tied. Patricia meets up with Dianne and Angela, moping over their husbands, and gives them good counseling about the need to get back on track: making a list of both the good and bad things their husbands have done. The men drown all their sorrows in bottles.
In the mountains, Sheila settles into a new life at her new job at the general store owned by Troy's father and, while she realizes her own self-worth, the two bond. Angela cooks dinner for Marcus after finishing with her list, but he suspects she is trying to poison him. Eventually she explains, they make up and set conditions of the new order. Dianne goes to see Terry and begs him to come back after crying over her list. He plays with her head a little to get back at her, but they eventually reconcile as well. All the couples converge on the gala celebration for an award recently received by Patricia. Dianne, Patricia and Angela are shocked when Sheila arrives and introduces Troy as her husband and has successfully lost weight thanks to his help. Her very jealous ex-husband, Mike, although he is still with Trina, tries to weasel his way back into her good graces, but she tells him to go enjoy Trina as his "20", referring to the 80/20 rule. Patricia includes a confession of her love for Gavin, as well as a message of loving, respecting and trusting God in her acceptance speech.
Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia, USA; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
First Couple, The Bobbs
- Tyler Perry as Terry, a pediatrician & Sharon Leal as Dianne, an attorney.
Second Couple, The Agnews
- Malik Yoba as Gavin, an architect & Janet Jackson as Patricia, a psychologist.
Third Couple, The Williams
- Michael Jai White as Marcus, a former football player & Tasha Smith as Angela, owner of a hair salon.
Fourth Couple, last name unknown
- Richard T. Jones as Mike, an entrepreneur & Jill Scott as Sheila, a housewife.
- Lamman Rucker as Troy Jackson
- Denise Boutte as Trina
- Keesha Sharp as Pam
- Kaira Whitehead as Keisha
- Sheri Mann Stewart
Production and development
Perry decided to take out many of the church and message scenes because he wanted the film to be "on a whole 'nother spiritual level--there's a whole 'nother connection to it." He said his writing has improved since the play.
Perry invited experienced and neophyte African-American actors to a reading of an early script in order to field reactions, including Tracee Ellis Ross.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 45% based on 42 reviews. The consensus was "Despite some poignant observations on modern marriages, Why Did I Get Married? is too preachy and melodramatic." On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 54/100 based on reviews from 12 critics.
Paul Grenada said that while "there are times where the script seems stiff,...[the film] teaches without hammering, and you leave the movie feeling good about what you saw." Giving the movie a B-, Entertainment Weekly said that Perry is of the "spell-everything-in-capital-letters and act-it-out-loudly schools," but added that "one performance glistens--Jill Scott's as the sad, heavyset Sheila, who locates the faith that's the source of love." Time magazine gave the film a B and called it the "usual artless mix of broad comedy, teary confessions and spiritual uplift."
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $21.4 million in 3,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. In its second weekend, the film slipped to #2 in the box office charts, with a gross of $12.1 million, bringing the 10-day total to over $38 million. In total, the film domestically grossed $55,862,886.
The soundtrack was released by Atlantic Records on October 2, 2007. Neither Janet Jackson nor Jill Scott are featured on the soundtrack. The soundtrack debuted at number 51 on Billboard 200, number seven on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number six on Soundtracks with 58,000 copies sold in first week.
- Keith Sweat feat. Keyshia Cole - "Love U Better"
- Babyface - "Sorry for the Stupid Things"
- Anita Baker - "You Belong to Me"
- Kelly Price - "Why"
- Gerald Levert feat. Jaheim - "DJ Don't Remix"
- Musiq Soulchild - "Betterman"
- Tyrese - "One"
- Hope - "Who Am I To Say"
- BeyoncÃ© - "Flaws And All"
- Laura Izibor - "Mmm..."
- Amel Larrieux - "No One Else"
- Tamika Scott - "Why Did I Get Married"
- Michael BublÃ© - "L-O-V-E"
- Jennifer Holliday - "Givin' Up"
The film was released on DVD on February 12, 2008. The DVD includes subtitles in English and Spanish, as well as bloopers.
A Blu-ray was released on November 23, 2010.
Awards and nominations
- Image Awards
- Outstanding Motion Picture (Nominated)
- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Jill Scott (Nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Tyler Perry (Nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Janet Jackson (Winner)
A sequel, titled Why Did I Get Married Too? starring Perry and Tasha Smith, was released on April 2, 2010.
Subsequently, Perry created a comedy-drama television series based upon the two films titled Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse. The series, which stars White and Smith as Marcus and Angela, premiered on TBS on November 25, 2011.
- Why Did I Get Married?
- Why Did I Get Married? at the Internet Movie Database
- Why Did I Get Married? at AllMovie
- Why Did I Get Married? at Box Office Mojo
- Why Did I Get Married? at Rotten Tomatoes
- Why Did I Get Married? at Metacritic