There’s not much point in treating Tyler Perry movies as freestanding entities, a perspective to which no one subscribes more than Perry himself. The follow-up to 2007’s Why Did I Get Married? plays less like a sequel than a prolonged epilogue. If lines like “You remember Keisha and the penicillin shot” don’t mean anything to you, you’re not likely to find your footing quickly, if at all. Luckily, Perry’s sense of drama is so generic that newcomers can fill in the backstory themselves. Chances are whatever they come up with will be more interesting.
Too? begins at a resort in the Bahamas, whose pastel backgrounds add a hint of color to an otherwise dreary procession of identical medium shots as each of the movie’s eight protagonists lays out their sundry dilemmas. (Visually, it’s somewhere between the relatively high production values of the Madea movies and the threadbare look of The Family That Preys.) Sportscaster Michael Jai White and wife Tasha Smith are constantly at each others’ throats over his busy schedule and her lack of trust; advice-book scribe Janet Jackson is suffering in silence as her marriage to Malik Yoba disintegrates, able to confront everyone’s problems but her own; and Perry begins to suspect attorney wife Sharon Leal is engaging in a little ex parte infidelity at work.
Things really get cooking when Jill Scott’s abusive ex-boyfriend Richard T. Jones drops in uninvited, determined to undermine her happy but fragile marriage to Lamman Rucker, whose difficulty finding a job has put a dent in his manhood. Given that Perry’s audience is largely female, he can’t afford to be too traditional in his outlook, but he’s always got something nasty in store for professional women who grow too enamored of their own success, a plague that strikes Leal’s and Jackson’s character as the pots start to boil.
That might seem like a lot of plot, but it’s only getting warmed up. Perry’s films are shapeless, but they’re crammed to bursting with melodramatic twists, the kind that make the audience gasp as they chuckle. The movie’s like an old sofa, overstuffed and misshapen, but so familiar that it gives comfort all the same.