Blu-ray Review: Acrimony

By , Contributor
It's quite difficult to understand just what writer-director Tyler Perry was aiming for with Acrimony. First of all, if you're in the mood for a Medea comedy, run the other direction. That's fine—Perry has done drama before. What helps here is the presence of star Taraji P. Henson (TV's Empire) who occupies nearly every frame as Melinda Moore-Gayle, with the exception of flashback sequences in which Ajiona Alexus portrays Melinda.

Strangely, while Alexus looks nothing at all like Henson, supporting cast member Bresha Webb is a dead ringer. Yet Webb plays the younger version of one of Melinda's best friends, Brenda. Not a huge deal, just very odd casting. And one of the various things that crossed my mind while attempting to invest any emotional commitment in the uninvolving Acrimony.

It seems Perry was aiming for a sympathetic depiction of a woman who has been cheated on. "Hell hath no fury" reads the tagline, but in reality I'd be surprised if anyone watching actually believes it is Melinda who has been scorned. Yes, after claiming her virginity, Robert (Lyriq Bent as the middle-aged version, Antonio Madison in the flashbacks) cheats on Melinda. But he's not abusive on a physical or psychological level, which means Melinda is quite free to leave him any time she wants.

Instead, she literally loses her mind on a semi-regular basis. When she's first made aware of Robert's dalliances, she rams the trailer he lives in with her car. Twice. Nearly killing Robert and his date. On top of it, she puts herself in the hospital in the process, with a concussion and ruptured ovary (leaving her unable to conceive). The term over-reaction is a straight-up understatement when it comes to Melinda.

As Robert moves past young adulthood into middle age, he struggles to push for a tech company to purchase the new high-efficiency battery he has developed. Melinda stands by his side, continuing to slip into out-and-out psychosis each time Robert slips up. Yet Perry seems to paint his main character as if she's a signpost for the #MeToo/#TimesUp era. Not sure why Robert stays with her either, but in the end this pair certainly deserves each other.

Lionsgate's new Blu-ray edition offers little in the way of special features. There's a promotional featurette called "Unleashing Acrimony" that does little more than advertise the film to viewers who have presumably already rented or purchased the film.

 
Acrimony BD.jpg

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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