|Directed by||Tyler Perry|
|Written by||Tyler Perry|
|Cinematography||Richard J. Vialet|
|Edited by||Larry Sexton|
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Box office||$46.4 million|
Acrimony is a 2018 American psychological thriller film written, produced and directed by Tyler Perry. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent and Crystle Stewart. It follows a betrayed wife who stalks and nearly kills her ex husband when he becomes successful after she spent her whole life supporting him. Principal photography began in October 2016 in Pittsburgh. Acrimony was released in the United States by Lionsgate on March 30, 2018. It received generally negative reviews and grossed $46 million worldwide.
Melinda Moore is a wife who supports her husband, Robert Gayle, an engineer trying to sell an innovative battery design. A running total/dwindling balance of the proceeds Melinda receives after her mother's death is portrayed as the couple gets in over their heads in debt, along with the interference of her sisters fractures their marriage over time. The film is divided into categories based in the emotional spectrum that Melinda experiences, as follows:
Melinda bumps into engineering student Robert during college, goes into a rage and assaults him physically and verbally, revealing her abnormal tendencies. Later that day he appears at her dorm room to return some papers that got mixed up when they bumped into each other, and they gradually become close. On the day of her mother's funeral, Melinda and Robert go to his RV leading to them having sex, and the pair start dating. Melinda frequently listens to Robert speak about his life and she decides to buy him a new car. Although he did not ask her to buy the car, he accepts it. Melinda believes he is aware of his own influence on her but she strives to please him anyway. Melinda later then decides to wait for Robert call her. One day passes, then two until one day she decides to call him one night. Melinda is very confused when Robert starts talking and acting in a very strange way so she decides to go visit him at his RV and discovers him cheating on her with a woman named Diana Wells. She goes into a murderous rage and rams the RV with her car with both the two lovers inside, seriously injuring herself in the process. Melinda destroys Robert's car before passing out from injury and is rushed to the hospital for an emergency full hysterectomy, rendering her unable to bear children. Melinda and Robert reconcile and marry, despite the objections of her sisters, June and Brenda. Brenda warns Melinda not to tell Robert about the amount of money their mother left her.
For the next eighteen years, Melinda supports them both, as Robert is unable to find work because he is focused on developing his invention. June and Brenda are leery of Robert's intentions with Melinda's inheritance. Robert talks Melinda into mortgaging their house so he can build a prototype of a revolutionary self-charging battery he has been designing, which he hopes to sell to Prescott, a venture capitalist. Diana, now working as an assistant to Prescott, arranges for Robert to have a meeting with him. After finding Diana's wallet in Robert's truck, June and Brenda tell Melinda that Robert is cheating on her despite it being an innocent meeting. Melinda's family runs a catering business and they offer Robert a job, warning him that if they miss out on delivering to a client they will lose their truck contract. As Robert is in route to his delivery, he gets a call from Diana saying Prescott wants to reconsider his deal. This causes Robert to abandon his delivery job during mid-route. Prescott offers Robert $800,000 for the design, but Robert wants to license the technology to them instead and declines the offer. Melinda, furious at both Robert's declining of Prescott's offer and his interaction with Diana, files for divorce and moves in with Brenda. Robert moves into a homeless shelter, but Diana finds out and insists that he live with her.
Prescott reconsiders and offers Robert a multimillion-dollar deal while allowing him to keep the intellectual property of the battery technology proprietary, which he accepts. Robert visits Melinda at work, although she refuses to reconcile. Robert accepts her decision but, as an apology to her and much to Melinda's surprise, gives her $10 million and buys back her home.
After showing her sisters the money Robert has given her and berating them for their influence, Melinda visits Robert in his new penthouse apartment and attempts to seduce him and rekindle their relationship, but Diana comes in and introduces herself as Robert's fiancée.
Angry and hurt for not being able to live the life Robert has promised her prior to the divorce, Melinda becomes obsessed with the couple and swears to destroy them. Melinda sues Robert and Diana, claiming that the deal with Prescott happened before their divorce, but the case is dismissed. Robert and Diana file a countersuit against Melinda and obtain restraining orders. As Melinda's behavior is getting worse, even her own family turns on her as they give advice to Robert and Diana to hire bodyguards and install security measures in their house. Enraged that her own family now sides with Robert, Melinda angrily chases the couple away. Eventually, Melinda retaliates by visiting the bridal shop and destroying Diana's wedding gown with hydrochloric acid, although she is caught and sentenced to court-mandated counseling, where she tells her therapist that Robert took advantage of her. Her therapist suggests that she may have borderline personality disorder. Melinda's mental state further deteriorates after learning Diana is pregnant. On Robert's wedding day, Melinda's family and friends are forced to prevent her from leaving her house and ruining the wedding.
Robert and Diana leave on their honeymoon cruise. Melinda sneaks onto the boat, shoots Robert, and makes the crew of the boat jump overboard. Melinda attempts to shoot Diana but Robert tells Diana to take the dinghy and rescue the crew before overpowering Melinda and throwing her in the water. Melinda returns and attempts to kill Robert with an axe but is trapped by the anchor that pulls her off and into the ocean, thus she drowns. Diana returns with the crew and comforts a bleeding Robert.
- Taraji P. Henson as Melinda Moore Gayle
- Lyriq Bent as Robert Gayle
- Crystle Stewart as Diana Wells
- Ptosha Storey as Brenda Moore
- Jazmyn Simon as June Moore
- Ajiona Alexus as Young Melinda Moore Gayle
- Antonio Madison as Young Robert Gayle
- Bresha Webb as Young Brenda Moore
- Danielle Nicolet as Sara
- Nelson Estevez as Casey
- Kendrick Cross as Kalvin
- Racquel John as Young June Moore
- Douglas Dickerman as Mr. Prescott
- Shavon Kirksey as Young Diana Wells
Acrimony has grossed $43.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $2.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $46.3 million.
In the United States and Canada, Acrimony was released alongside God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness and Ready Player One, and was projected to gross $10–15 million from 2,006 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $7.6 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $17.2 million, finishing second, behind Ready Player One, and besting both projections and the $10 million opening of Henson's Proud Mary two months earlier. It fell 51.2% in its second weekend to $8.4 million, finishing fifth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 18% based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 3.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Tyler Perry's Acrimony might be of interest to hardcore Tyler Perry fans, but all other viewers are advised to make time for another Fatal Attraction screening instead." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 32 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally negative reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
Monica Castillo of RogerEbert.com gave the film a negative review, writing that "Taraji P. Henson deserves better." Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times also gave the film a negative review, writing that "the moral of Acrimony seems to be: Leave a bad man, especially one who cheated on you before marriage and leeches off your financial resources — unless he has poured his life into the dream of inventing a self-recharging battery, in which case the bonds of matrimony are sacrosanct and no sacrifice is too great." He further wrote that the film itself was "endorsing the logic that keeps spouses Stockholm syndrome'd in bad marriages".
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