Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (official title: “Tyler Perry’s Temptation“), written by Tyler Perry, directed by Tyler Perry, and produced by the Tyler Perry Company, scored another hit for Tyler Perry this weekend, earning $22 million, to become Tyler Perry’s ninth movie to debut above $20 million (only Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis have had as many). And do you know who wasted no time discussing the success of Tyler Perry? You guessed it, Tyler Perry.
Yes, I do subscribe to his newsletter. The extended metaphor about his groundwater (“sometimes Jesus wants you to keep digging”) a few months back was more than enough to convince me.
I’ve been hanging out all weekend on my message board and on Facebook to see what you thought and wow! Some of the most powerful things I have ever read are on my message board. Thank you for opening up your lives and sharing your stories – stories of betrayal and of your own temptation, but most of all thank you for letting me know that this movie gave you hope or a new outlook, which is what it’s all about for me. There were several testimonials of how this movie has spoken to marriages. One person wrote, “Thank you for this film, now I have closure.” Several of you said that I must have been peeking in your window because this movie was too close to home. Another lady said that she left feeling hopeful, and another couple went home talking about how this movie stopped both of them from making the wrong decision. You have no idea how this moves me.
I can’t stop reading the sentence Some of the most powerful things I have ever read are on my message board. I mean, it should come as no surprise that a guy who puts his own name in front of the titles of his movies would be his own biggest fan, but even for Tyler Perry, that is a stunning assertion. Here’s my imagined conversation:
JAMES LIPTON: So, Tyler Perry, you read a lot. What would you say is the most powerful thing you’ve ever read?
TYLER PERRY: Good question, James. I’d say the most powerful things I’ve ever read are the entries on the website I set up specifically for people to praise me. I love the Bible, but it doesn’t hold a candle to people telling me how important I am.
Let this be a lesson to all the aspiring media magnates out there: there’s no such thing as too much self-mythologizing.