‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’ Finds a Fierce Taraji P. Henson Paired With an Unrelieved Script
There is no question that Taraji P. Henson provides a marquee name. The “Empire” actress has no problem attracting large crowds to her pleasurable awards-season fare, most recently the box office and critical hit, “Hidden Figures.” However, her popcorn titles don’t attract much of the same fate. Henson’s last big-screen venture, “Proud Mary,” which ranked in relatively low box office along with sub-par reviews, failed to hit the mark back in its January release. Now, Henson top lines “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony,” that unfortunately falls into the latter category.
The opening moments of the film quickly catches the viewer up to speed in regards to who Melinda (Henson) is and what she has led her to living in such an agitated state. She has been entered into court-ordered anger management. As a vexed Melinda sits with the shrink, the viewer learns of her backstory.
Melinda met Robert when they were both in college. She quickly falls for the suave and smooth-charmer but is a bit sour over the fact that he is the man who took her virginity. Antonio Madison and Aijona Alexus play the younger versions of Robert and Melinda respectively. Both actors do a fine job of portraying the younger counterparts.
Throughout their rather toxic relationship, Melinda catches Robert cheating on her – to which she reacts with fairly harsh retaliation. Much to her sister’s dismay, Melinda and Robert (played as an adult by Lyriq Bent) marry. The two live a life that is somewhat less-than. She works several jobs in order to make ends meet while he spends his days inventing a rechargeable battery that will supposedly revolutionize the tech-field. Eventually, Melinda grows tiresome of their marital situation and struggling financial status, so she asks for a divorce.
But as the saying goes, “success is the sweetest form of revenge.” Robert hits big with his tech idea, landing him money and a new relationship with the woman that he cheated on Melinda with. The new girl, Diana (Crystle Stewart), also happens to be working for the very tech company that Robert sold his invention to. This sets Melinda into a “Fatal Attraction” fury. As the film progresses, it is evident that one side might not be as innocent as they proclaim.
As Melinda, Henson portrays what she does best – playing a fierce, confident, and angry woman empowered by rage and revenge. It is a role that Henson has perfected throughout her career. When it comes time for the actress to show her strength, she possesses an innate ability to unleash the proper aggressive emotion.
For Perry, the powerhouse writer/director/producer/sometime-actor has helmed over dozens of films, both comedy and drama, but “Acrimony” doesn’t shine. The filmmaker displays no strong suit with this project, presenting of the ordinary camera direction with a rather dull, clichéd, and yet sometimes-juicy script. The movie is better fit for a matinee slot on the Lifetime Movie Network. However, the combined star power between Perry and Henson allow the film a chance to screen in theaters for what is most likely going to be a brief and forgettable run.
“Tyler Perry’s Acrimony” opens March 30 in theaters nationwide.