“If I had a chance to rename the movie, I would have named it Saved”– Ella Joyce
This weekend in theaters, film and theater mogul Tyler Perry will release his latest work entitled “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.” The film stars Lance Gross (Brice), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Judith), Kim Kardashian (Ava), Vanessa Williams (Janice), Robbie Jones (Harley), Brandy Norwood (Melinda), Ella Joyce (Sarah) and Renee Taylor (Ms. Waco Chapman).
“Temptation” surrounds the love and betrayal of a couple that were under the protection of innocence and truth until one spouse’s need for attention spirals their bond into a hurricane of deception. The film is based upon Perry’s stage play “The Marriage Counselor.”
Judith and Brice were friends from childhood. Raised in a protective spiritual household, Judith understood the world from the pages of her mother’s Bible. It was almost as if she and Brice were brought together through an arranged marriage, except their bond was a simple common crush as children that bloomed into a mature, responsible love. But along with that responsibility came monotony, regret and discontent for Judith.
As with so many married couples in today’s society, the vows and covenant will be tested, usually at a moment when one or both spouses are at their most vulnerable point. Cue the story of Judith and Brice. Enter Harley – a successful self-made billionaire with a thirst for anything that he doesn’t own from jump. This time his mission of divide and conquer involves another man’s wife.
In “Temptation,” Tyler Perry uses the love story between Judith and Brice and the survival of a town stranger named Melinda (Brandy Norwood) to illustrate a woman’s struggle with her fleshly desires and her better judgment. Both overlapping storylines in the film expose the consequences of making a wrong turn at critical decision boulevard. Sometimes there’s no going back.
So Help You God
On Sunday, May 24, 2013, Perry was gathered with the cast for a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. The small room was filled with reporters who were unexpectedly taken to Sunday service through the praises of Ella Joyce. Joyce’s character (Sarah) was Judith’s God-fearing mother who did everything in her power to shield her daughter from the ways of the enemy. As Sarah could no longer watch her daughter deteriorate from sin, she removed herself from the destruction and downfall of the child she once knew.
Joyce took her moment to deliver a soliloquy on the state of black Hollywood in an effort to thank Tyler Perry for keeping the black actors employed and in positive roles on film. Her comments received a round of clapping from the media.
To Have and to Hold
“This was very deep. I dealt with this from my past that I ‘kinda’ tucked away.” – Lance Gross
The character of Brice (Lance Gross) was that of a model husband whose mission was to be a family man. Like many imperfect men, however, he unnoticeably began to take his wife for granted. One more missed birthday. A lackluster sex life that, (until it was so abruptly pointed out by his wife’s lover), was the couple’s normal routine. Brice’s complacency became Harley’s (Robbie Jones) tool of destruction for their happy home.
The role of Brice was refreshing to see in black film. His clean-cut, straight-laced persona will be a welcomed site for black audiences. Gross, as usual, was fit and fine for the part (as was Robbie Jones). It’s amazing how the camera fit all those muscles in one film.
Now..back to the film.