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 West
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 2013 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]


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 later 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. 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, 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 the way home, Harley makes a move on her and, although she is resistant and never formally consents, Harley coerces her into sexual activities.

Harley takes Judith home where he meets Miss Sarah for the first time, having already met Brice. Judith is 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 (which leads to Judith leaving Janice's business and the two having a falling out). Brice, noticing her sudden closeness to Harley, surmises she is having an affair after speaking with Melinda. Brice heads over to Harley's place, where during a party, he grabs an under the influence Judith and takes her outside. Brice pleads with her to come back, 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 ends up beating her. Brice is having 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 who is revealed to be Harley. Realizing Judith is with Harley, Brice leaves with Melinda and immediately drives to Harley's place. Brice breaks into Harley's place and rescues Judith after finding her beaten in the bathroom. He beats Harley and is stopped by Melinda who rushes inside to calm things down. Harley, regaining consciousness and in pain, calls out to Karen (which we learn is Melinda's real name and that Harley is the abusive boyfriend she left). The two then leave Harley beaten on the floor.

Forwarding to present time, Judith is alive, but is now HIV positive as a result of her affair (Brice fortunately does not contract HIV). When she heads to a nearby pharmacy run by Brice, now visibly older, Brice and Judith briefly talk and Brice's new wife and son come to visit him at work. After briefly staring at Brice with his new family, Judith turns to leave to meet her mom at church, clearly with regrets.



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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