Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

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Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
Temptation Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tyler Perry
Produced by Tyler Perry
Ozzie Areu
Paul Hall
Written by Tyler Perry
Starring Jurnee Smollett-Bell
Lance Gross
Kim Kardashian
Vanessa L. Williams
Robbie Jones
Brandy Norwood
Music by Aaron Zigman
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Edited by Maysie Hoy
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • March 29, 2013 (2013-03-29)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $37 million [1]
Box office $53 million[2]

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is a romance drama film produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry. The film is adapted from Perry's play The Marriage Counselor, with several changes. This is the thirteenth film by Perry. It was released on March 29, 2013.[3]


The film begins in a run down building with a counselor helping with a couple that are frustrated in their marriage. After an argument that results in the husband leaving the room, the counselor can tell that the wife has met someone and is considering having an affair. She then proceeds to tell her a story about her sister named Judith.

Years ago, Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is a therapist working at a matchmaking agency owned by Janice (Vanessa L. Williams). She is married to her childhood sweetheart Brice (Lance Gross) whom she has known since she was 6. Brice and Judith attend the same church as her mother Miss Sarah (Ella Joyce), a devout Christian with strong beliefs. Brice is a pharmacist and is soon introduced to a new employee, Melinda (Brandy Norwood). Melinda soon reveals that she is on the run from an abusive boyfriend, who had tried to kill her. Judith is dissatisfied with her job and anxious to start her own business in marriage counseling, but Brice is cautious and tells her to wait until they are more financially stable, which frustrates Judith. She is further frustrated when Brice refuses to confront men who catcall her on their way home from dinner.

Judith meets Harley (Robbie Jones) while at work, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur who wants to invest in Janice's business. Harley attempts to seduce Judith as they work late together on matchmaking surveys. When Harley questions as to why there is no discussion regarding sex, Judith reveals that she does not believe in premarital sex. Harley concludes Judith's sex life is boring and on a schedule, which leads Judith to question her sex life with Brice. She tries to spice up their sex life later at home, only to be rejected.

For her birthday, Judith does something new with her hair and makeup. Brice fails to notice and forgets about her birthday, not for the first time. Later at work, she is sent flowers and happily believes them to be from Brice. However, Harley arrives and immediately takes notice of her change in appearance, revealing the flowers are actually from him. When Judith questions why he is always meeting with her, Harley admits he is willing to do anything just to be near her. At home, Brice still has no idea that it is Judith's birthday. Judith reminds him by leaving a cupcake with a candle in it on the counter. Realizing his mistake, Brice makes it up to her by dancing in a cowboy outfit and singing. The two happily make up.

Judith is sent to New Orleans with Harley to finalize a deal with shareholders. Janice tells her to flirt with Harley, but not to compromise herself and to be careful. Judith gives coworker Ava (Kim Kardashian) permission to make her over, switching to more sexy clothes and heels before joining Harley on a private jet for the trip. Once in New Orleans, Judith and Harley seal the business deal and go out drinking, eating, dancing and sightseeing together. On their way home, Harley begins seducing Judith once again and makes a move on her. Initially resisting, Judith soon gives in and has sex with Harley.

Harley takes Judith home where he meets Miss Sarah for the first time, having already met Brice. Judith flashbacks to the sex they had and starts to cry. Judith becomes increasingly bored with her husband's inattentiveness and sneaks out to meet Harley for sex. Harley keeps demanding that she leave her husband, promising to jump-start her career in the marriage counseling business. Brice, noticing her sudden closeness to Harley, surmises she is having an affair. After coming from Harley's, Judith and Sarah argue about her affair, resulting in Sarah hitting Judith in the face. After the fight, Judith and Harley have sex once again. Brice finds out Judith is at a party with Harley and goes to meet her. After dragging her out on the street, he begins begging Judith to come back to him, insisting he loves her and is willing to forgive her, but Judith refuses and chooses to stay with Harley.

Judith returns to the apartment she shared with Brice to retrieve a laptop and is surrounded by a prayer circle of her mother and members of the church. Sarah begs Judith to stay and grabs her in an attempt to prevent her from leaving. Harley knocks Sarah to the ground and snatches Judith away, forcing her to leave. Back at Harley's, Judith is furious over how her mother was treated and yells at him for it, and Harley beats her in response. Later, Brice has dinner with Melinda at her apartment and when bringing up the topic of dating again, she reveals that she has HIV and contracted it from her ex, Harley. Brice immediately drives to Harley's place and rescues Judith after finding her beaten in the bathroom. He finds Harley somewhat semi-conscious after fighting with Judith and begins to beat him for hurting her. Melinda rushes in and stops him before things escalate. Harley recognizes Melinda and calls her by her real name, Karen. Melinda/Karen is visibly shaken to see him, but still tries to keep Brice calm. Brice warns Harley to never come near Melinda or Judith again, and Harley is left there.

In the present time, the wife asks the counselor what happened to Judith. She says that Judith is alive, but HIV-positive. The wife thanks her for telling the story and goes to reconcile with her husband and end her almost-affair. Later, the counselor, revealed to be Judith herself now older, heads to a pharmacy that is owned by Brice, who now has a wife and son. After briefly looking at Brice with his family, Judith slowly turns around and leaves to meet her mother at church, clearly with regret.



Principal photography commenced on October 26, 2011 in Atlanta at Tyler Perry Studios.[4] Tyler Perry, Ozzie Areu and Paul Hall produced the film.[5] The film was originally scheduled for release in 2012, but was pushed back for a March 2013 release. In initial reports regarding the film's cast, it was stated that veteran actor Jerry Stiller was going to have an unspecified role in the film, but it was ultimately proven to be false.

Box office[edit]

Temptation grossed $21,641,679 on its opening weekend and debuted at number 3 at the box office behind G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods. Its box office total was $53,125,354. It is the highest-grossing Tyler Perry film which the writer-director did not star in and the highest-grossing Tyler Perry drama.

Home media[edit]

Temptation was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 9, 2013 with two featurettes and includes a digital copy. Tyler Perry's play The Haves and the Have Nots was also released on DVD on the same date.


The film was not screened for critics,[6] but has received predominantly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 15% based on 33 reviews.[7] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 27%, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[8] Many point to the fact that the main character was "punished" with HIV for cheating on her husband, further miseducating and stigmatizing the disease.[9]

Kim Kardashian won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for her performance in the film, while Tyler Perry was nominated for Worst Director (where he lost to the 13 people who directed Movie 43).


  1. ^ "Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013)". Box Office Mojo. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013)". Box Office Mojo. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike (October 21, 2011). "Kim Kardashian To Co-Star In Tyler Perry's 'The Marriage Counselor'". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 20, 2011). "Smollett to star in Tyler Perry's 'Marriage'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Also in theaters: 'Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor' | Dallasnews.com - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News". Dallasnews.com. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  7. ^ "Temptation". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  8. ^ "Tyler Perry's Temptation Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Miller, Veronica (3 April 2013). "Tyler Perry’s plot twist in ‘Temptation’ puts down HIV/AIDS victims". Retrieved 5 February 2014. 

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