It’s no secret that Tyler Perry’s latest film, Acrimony has caught the public’s attention and led to widespread debate over which characters side one should take.
But aside from being debate fodder, it also has quite a few lessons we can all learn.
1. Bad advice is actually a thing
Just because you’re being advised it really doesn’t mean you should take it hook, line and sinker. Melinda’s sisters advised her pretty much every step of the way when their own marriages were clearly nowhere near perfect liked they pretended. Though Melinda points this out of spite, it dawns on the audience that perhaps her sisters didn’t know all the answers like they made out. If that wasn’t bad enough, Melinda had another epiphany when she realized that her sisters had dismissed Roberts claims of his battery finally having a buyer as made up lies which turned out to be pretty real three months later.
2. Your dream is valid but life won’t be waiting for you
Almost the entire plot revolves around Robert’s almighty battery invention and research so it’s pretty hard to miss. It’s also where the Robert and Melinda’s relationship begins to unravel when it dawns on Melinda that she has worked to support someone else dream. But if this film is anything to go by it’s realizing that having a dream and working towards actualizing isn’t enough reason to put your life on pause. Whether it’s pulling a fulltime job and then all-nighters to work on his invention, Robert needed a reality check.
3. Not everyone who competed in the ‘suffering Olympics’ actually won
If there is anything people love even more than a rag to riches story, it’s one where a woman stuck by her man while she prayed and believed in him while they didn’t have two coins to smudge together. But what they tell you is stories like Melinda’s where actually there was no happy ending and the woman wasn’t one of the biggest winners. So newsflash for all of you praying in your ‘war rooms’, the suffering Olympics dishes out L’s too.
4. It’s pretty easy to continue what someone else started
Quite a good number of people have taken Diane’s side with the argument being that she saw a man at his worst and picked him up. This may be correct to a certain degree but it doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the last time she had seen Robert was 18 years prior as teenagers. Between then and now, she didn’t have to hold down two jobs and support a grown ass man who tinkered around in a dark room. By the time Diane did come into Robert’s life, most of the harder work had been done and all she had to do was give her boss a nudge in the right direction. Also, are we going to forget that she was in the meeting with Prescott and was assured that the invention was actually worth something? I thought as much.
5. If you lose, you lose. Life has zero do-overs.
Life is pretty much a gamble, it’s an infinite set of choices which lead to another set of infinite choices which can seem quite comforting. But there’s always a T & C and if any of us had bothered to read life’s manual, wherever that may be, we’ll all realize that you get to make choices but you don’t get to undo them.
When Melinda asked for a divorce and eventually had Robert sign the divorce papers, she made a choice. So when Robert’s invention FINALLY, yeah it took two decades, saw the light of day and had a buyer, she didn’t get to undo her choice of a divorce. Honestly, as an audience, we all hoped she got the perfect ending but like life, observers don’t have much of a say in the turnout of other people’s lives.
6. Invest and sacrifice considering the odds of no benefits
See, think of people as a stock exchange of a business that you’re about to invest your time, money and effort on. If it were money you’d do a thorough risk calculation and the probability of never having a return on your capital investment. Guess what? If Melinda had applied it even halfway on her relationship with Robert, well Tyler Perry might not have had a film on his hands and we wouldn’t be here writing this now, would we?
7. People can be selfish, extremely selfish
Selfishness is really just another one of those mundane things humans have as part of their personalities which is fine, when in moderation. Sadly moderation wasn’t something Robert had much of, not even when it came to the woman he said he loved. Even when Robert saw his wife having to take a second job to keep their finances afloat or even the incident of his battery being responsible for blowing all their electrical wiring, he was still much more concerned with himself and achieving his own goals.
8. The one person you can depend on is yourself
Acrimony was an endless cycle of dependency brought to abrupt ends and the realization that the character was in a situation alone. The more obvious one is, of course, Melinda leaving Robert when she believed he was cheating. They might have been together for a really, really long time but it didn’t stop Melinda from leaving Robert and a dream that he had thought that they both shared belief in. Or Robert deciding that yes he would always love Melinda but he was better off starting a life with Diane. Or Melinda’s sisters who were there to whisper advice but thought it was only right to get chummy with Robert and his fiancee in order to warn them.
9. Mental illness should be taken seriously
Melinda narrated some of the events from the seat in a therapist office and in between we hear her asked if she has heard of bipolar personality disorder which she dismisses. But it presents an explanation for her anger and the feeling of being another person when angry. Unfortunately, her family who had known her for years and even Robert failed to examine any of the obsessive, near-manic actions she was taking. Perhaps if it had been understood from the angle of mental illness, the eventual end of the film may have been prevented.
10. For heaven’s sake, get a life outside of your partner
This can’t even be emphasized enough especially now in the social media age where couples have even joint social media accounts. You’re both individuals first before you are a couple which means you shouldn’t have an entire world revolving around them like Melinda and Robert. While Robert’s lack of a social life could be put down to him focusing on his invention, Melinda’s was inexcusable. Outside of her two sisters, she didn’t have any friend or third party she could have a mull over the situation with. Melinda also didn’t have any dream of her own or goals, instead, she chose to share Roberts dream. When that dream didn’t exist anymore she was directionless without it and also lost when she no longer had a husband she was married to.