Perry’s ‘Temptation’ tells tale of lust and infidelity

By Jennifer S. Brown | 4/17/2013, 11:14 a.m.
Brice (Lance Gross) and Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation.” (KC Bailey photo)By Jennifer...
Brice (Lance Gross) and Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation.” KC Bailey

Still preying on her naiveté, Harley exposes her to a life filled with sex, alcohol and drugs. She mistakes his unwelcome advances as passion, his possessiveness as love, his erratic behavior as excitement, until the first blow comes and Judith realizes that she is in too deep and she doesn’t know how to break free of this destructive relationship. Judith becomes more distanced from her husband and is filled with disdain and total disrespect towards her mother. She becomes the living example of another biblical scripture, gaining, in a sense, a whole new world at the expense of losing her soul (KJV, Mark 8:36).

In nearly all of Tyler Perry’s works, he delivers a message that his devoted viewers have come to expect and embrace. In this film, Perry is calling to our attention what we value and hold in high regard. Today, too much emphasis is placed on material, fleeting items often overlooking and under-appreciating what we already have. Values like marriage, honoring your wedding vows and remaining committed to one man or one woman lose out to a society and culture that promotes promiscuity. And like Judith, choosing a modest style of dress where one leaves a little to the imagination is mocked and ridiculed for designer labels and showing more skin.

In “Temptation,” Tyler Perry is not insensitive to women in abusive relationships. In fact, it is clear to see that Perry is trying to convey to his viewers, how easy it is for anyone to become a victim in an abusive relationship and how easy it is to blur the lines of love and abuse. Judith was a “good, Christian girl.” She was raised in the church with supportive, caring loved ones. She also had an educational background, holding a master’s degree in psychology. But through Judith’s character, Perry illustrates how letting our own insecurities lead us and ignoring the small, knowing voice that is deep within all of us can result in our downfall.