Minor spoilers to follow.
Tyler Perry's Temptation is the kind of over-the-top drama that leaves you speechless as the credits abruptly begin to roll. Perry doesn't bother trying to cloak his morality tale with details like fully developed characters or insightful dialogue or logic. The heartbreaking story of Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is introduced by her marriage counselor sister as a warning to all young married woman who have their eyes on someone else. Judith was once a happily married woman who was led into temptation by an intense, rich man who promised to appreciate her in all the ways her husband didn't. Sounds fairly standard, right? Well… no.
Judith works as a therapist for a matchmaking service owned by Janice (Vanessa Williams), a glamorous older woman with a French accent who may or may not be running escorts on the side. Her coworker Ava is played by Kim Kardashian, a true feat of stunt casting that's only made all the more impressive by her inability to inject the slightest bit of emotion into her steady stream of insults. Judith has designs on starting her own practice as a marriage counselor but her husband Brice (Lance Gross) wants to wait until they get more settled. Her frustration comes into full flower soon after a young social media exec comes in to the office to strike up a deal with Janice. Harley (Robbie Jones) begins coming on to Judith almost immediately. At first, she finds it easy to resist. Brice is the only man she's ever been with — a detail that Harley finds amazing — and he's a good man, a sensible guy, and it probably doesn't hurt that he looks like a finely chiseled Greek god. But those perfect oblique muscles will only get him so far: after Brice forgets her birthday for the second year in a row and rejects her advances one night when she wants to get frisky in the kitchen, Harley starts looking a whole lot better.
A large chunk of the movie is spent on a somewhat boring back-and-forth between Harley and Judith, with some extraordinarily strange asides tossed in. For instance, singer and actress Brandy plays Brice's coworker Karen, a haunted young woman who's on the run from an abusive ex. (Did I mention Brice is an incredibly handsome pharmacist?) Their other coworker is an older woman who can be counted on to say something crazy about Valium or lesbians at any given time. You could get whiplash from how quickly the tone goes from comedy to high drama, but at some point the drama transmogrifies into sheer absurdity with a very nasty undertone.
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As you'd guess from the title, religion is a strong theme here, which is par for the course in Perry's films. It's very much a tale of good versus evil, and Perry is an Old Testament-style deity raining hellfire and brimstone down on his characters. It's not enough that they might be unhappy or heartbroken or full of regret, but they must pay dearly and cruelly. At the same time, religion is subject to the movie's tonal whims as well. Judith's mother Sarah (Ella Joyce) is a religious woman who raised her daughter in the church, but by the end of the movie, I wouldn't have been totally surprised to see her try to perform a full-on exorcism.
Besides the rather sadistic treatment of its characters, Temptation has an incredibly troubling scene that kicks off the last third of the movie, when things get really dark and mean. Judith and Harley are returning from a business trip to New Orleans on Harley's private jet. Judith got a makeover before she left (with help from Ava, naturally) and has been partaking of the many adult beverages NOLA has to offer. The flirting gets pretty steamy between them, but when Harley goes to touch and kiss her, she tries to stop him. She tells him no repeatedly and loudly and physically tries to defend herself. "Now you can say you resisted," he tells her, and the scene fades into some sort of embrace. Later, Judith is shell-shocked and tells Harley she never wants to see him again. She goes to take a shower but stops to stare into the foggy mirror. She reflects back on the scene on the plane, but it's… a love scene? Really? I don't even know how to untangle this. There are so many ways to interpret this chain of events, and none of them are acceptable. Any sort of goodwill or patience I'd had for Temptation and its bizarro world disappeared with a poof.
Temptation is worth watching in the same way a movie like Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven is worth watching: it's such an audaciously ridiculous movie that you have to see it for yourself.
[Photo Credit: KC Bailey/Lionsgate]
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True love: something that for a long time seemed only reserved for fairytales — until ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette series came around. Finally! Regular people (who are very attractive and vetted through a long and involved casting process) could find fairytale love! Love that was real and true, just like in the movies!
...at least, that's what we all hoped. But, it turns out, televised matchmaking doesn't work out so well. The Bachelor/Bachelorette couples who remain happy in love are in the minority (to say the least), and the recent breakups of Jef Holm and Emily Maynard as well as Ben Flainjk and Courtney Robertson are just icing on the cake. Who would've thought, right? How is it possible that hand-picked attractive people from around the country going on extravagant dates can't find true love over the course of six weeks? It's shocking, really.
Don't believe us? Check out the numbers and über-fancy statistics, below.
The Bachelor Relationship Rundown
Bachelor Season 1:
Alex Michel and Amanda Marsh — Broke up after 10 months. The beginning of the reinvention of love.
Bachelor Season 2:
Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz -— Broke up 5 weeks after the finale. Woops.
Bachelor Season 3:
Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft — Broke up 7 months after the finale. No spare tires for this relationship!
Bachelor Season 4:
Bob Guiney and Estella Gardinier — Broke up 1 month after the finale. What about Bob, indeed!
Bachelor Season 5:
Jesse Palmer and Jessica Bowlin — Broke up 1 month after the finale. It's hard to make a relationship work when your names are THAT similar.
Bachelor Season 6:
Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado — Broke up after 5 years. They became engaged in November 2004 and, while they did endure some domestic squabbles, they didn't officially end their relationship until December 2009.
Bachelor Season 7:
Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice — Broke up after two attempts at making it work: May 2005 - September 2007 (28 months), then again November 2008 - April 2010 (19 months). Total: 47 months together; certainly nothing to balk at!
Bachelor Season 8:
Travis Stork and Sarah Stone — Broke up after 1 month, probably because of all the stork jokes.
Bachelor Season 9:
Lorenzo Borghese and Jennifer Wilson — Broke up after 2 months, which makes zero sense because this guy was A REAL-LIFE PRINCE so, like, Happily Ever After was guaranteed, I thought! Isn't that in the Ye Olde Royal Contract?
Bachelor Season 10:
Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst — Broke up after 4 months. Guess he wasn't a total Baldwin.
Bachelor Season 11:
Brad Womack chose NO ONE because he hates everyone.
Bachelor Season 12:
Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas — Broke up after 2 months. Lorenzo Lamas reportedly weeped for years.
Bachelor Season 13:
Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft — Broke up at the reunion.
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney — Got together at the reunion (yikes!) and married in February 2010. They're still together and expecting a baby! Mazel!
Bachelor Season 14:
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi — Broke up after 3 months, and were totally casual and not-at-all mean about it (haha just kidding it was the ugliest break-up on TV maybe ever)!
Bachelor Season 15:
Brad Womack and Emily Maynard — Released an official "we broke up" statement after 3 months (though reports say it ended much earlier).
Bachelor Season 16:
Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson — Broke up after 7 months, when Ben realized that the entire planet really didn't like his decision-making skills..
And the Bachelorettes — How Did the Ladies Fare?
Bachelorette Season 1:
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter — Married for 8 years and counting! With kids! What a bunch of weirdos.
Bachelorette Season 2:
Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee — Broke up after 1 year. Does anyone remember this season?
Bachelorette Season 3:
Jen Schefft and Jerry Ferris — Broke up 3 weeks after he proposed. Woops!
Bachelorette Season 4:
DeAnna Pappas and Jesse Csincsak — Broke up after 4 months, probably because Jesse's last name was really hard to spell.
Bachelorette Season 5:
Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski — Broke up after 1 year, probably because she was Canadian.
Bachelorette Season 6:
Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez — Broke up after 15 months. And, somehow, Roberto did not become the next Bachelor (sorry, Sean Lowe, sure you'll be great).
Bachelorette Season 7:
Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum — Engaged with plans to marry (on live TV! The way it was meant to be done, obviously) in December of this year after 14 months. Hooray for them!
Bachelorette Season 8:
Emily Maynard and Jef Holm — Broke up after 5 months and lots of marionette fights.
Failed relationships: not just for the normals anymore! So what have we learned from all of this? Well, namely it seems like Brad Womack has a terrible track record but loves television. And so does his second-go-around winner/ex-fiancée, Emily Maynard. (Maybe those two crazy kids were meant for each other after all!)
After compiling the numbers and doing a little bit of Bill Clinton's favorite thing (no, not ladies — dirty minds, all of you!), arithmetic, we have put together this handy guide for understanding love, Bachelorstyle.
Here Are Some Fancy Math Facts:
Mean Length of Relationships:13.6 months
Median Length of Relationships:4 months
Mode Length of Relationships:1 month
Analysis:So while the marriages and successes may have thrown us off a bit (13.6 months: what are these people, monogamists?), it generally seems to be that 4 is every bachelor and bachelorette's lucky number. Unless they're one of the five couples who only like quickie, one-month-long relationships.
It seems that the one thing we cantake away from this is that we, as a nation, need to completely rethink our definition of "true love." Obviously, these very attractive and well-groomed pseudo-celebrities know what true love is: they were on a TV show and are good-looking! Duh! So, maybe we should reevaluate what true love really means. If all of these love experts have relationships with an average shelf-life of 1 - 4 months, maybe that's how long true love really lasts! Maybe we've been fooled all of this time by the movies, the Disney princesses, the happily ever afters. Maybe true love can only last a brief period of time (I mean, forever is like, so many years).
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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Dude, Where's My Car? star Charlie O'Connell has split from the girlfriend he picked on reality TV show The Bachelor.
O'Connell had been dating Sarah Brice for two years.
Brice, who was among the ladies fighting for O'Connell's affections on The Bachelor, tells In Touch Weekly magazine that she and the actor had split before his brother Jerry wed Rebecca Romijn in July.
She says, "It was a clean break-up, nothing out of control.
"I definitely thought I'd spend the rest of my life with him...but there were some things between us that we couldn't resolve. We still love each other a lot."
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