[Screen It]


(2018) (Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent) (R)

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Drama: As a woman's marriage falls apart, her anger issues mount, leading to unpredictable, sociopathic behavior.
While meeting with a court-ordered therapist about her anger issues, an openly defiant Melinda (TARAJI P. HENSON) recounts her history with her ex-husband, Robert (LYRIQ BENT), and all that he did to wrong her over the years. The story then rewinds to college when Melinda (AJONA ALEXUS) and Robert (ANTONIO MADISON) meet, and after an initially tenuous start, they soon become an item, much to the chagrin of her sisters, Brenda (BRESHA WEBB) and June (RACQUEL BIANCA JOHN), who believe he's only after Melinda's inheritance from their late mother.

While that's not true, his desire to try to bring a rechargeable battery to market does end up eating into their savings, and the sisters believe their predictions are true after Melinda catches Robert having a fling with another student, Diana (SHAVON KIRKSEY). But he asks for forgiveness, Melinda grants it, and they end up married.

Nearly two decades pass and the love between them evaporates along with all of their money, with Brenda (PTOSHA STOREY) and June (JAZMYN SIMON) still sure Melinda made a mistake. That comes to a head when one of them finds a wallet belonging to Diana (CRYSTLE STEWART) in Robert's work truck, thus making Melinda think he's cheating on her again with the same woman.

In reality, she now works at the company where he's been pitching his product for nearly twenty years, and she's trying to help him make his dreams a reality. But Melinda doesn't buy any of that and her anger overwhelms her, both then and after their divorce when Robert finally makes it big and Diana ends up living the life with him that Melinda believes should rightfully be hers.

OUR TAKE: 0 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

Since writer/director Tyler Perry likes to put certain words up on the screen along with their definitions in his overheated melodrama, "Acrimony," I'll do the same.

Show, Don't Tell: - 1. How one is supposed to write a screenplay where the actions of the characters are designed to impart what's happening and their state of mind rather than them lazily telling us directly. 2. The exact opposite of what occurs in "Acrimony" that features not only an abuse of voice-over narration, but probably some of the worst such writing you'll ever hear in any film. Ever.

Overacting: 1. Something a performer should never engage in unless one is appearing in a spoof or parody. 2. The very definition of lead actress Taraji P. Henson's performance in "Acrimony."

Taraji P. Henson: 1. An American actress who's received accolades for her work in films such as "Hustle & Flow," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Hidden Figures." 2. A talented performer who should fire her agent, manager or her own decision making process after signing on to appear in both this fiasco and the equally bad "Proud Mary," both in the first quarter of 2018.

Acrimony: 1. Bitterness or ill feeling. 2. The way you'll feel after wasting two hours of your life watching "Acrimony," a film that's absolutely dreadful from start to finish, and makes the worst soap opera you can imagine look Oscar-worthy in comparison.

0 out of 10: 1. The bottom of the barrel. 2. Something that's the epitome of awfulness. 3. The score I'm giving "Acrimony."

Reviewed March 29, 2018 / Posted March 30, 2018

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