The movie opens with Patricia Agnew (Janet Jackson) speaking to a group of students about a book that she recently had published. However, the students begin to ask her questions about a previous book that she wrote called ‘Why Did I Get Married’ The teacher of the class tries to steer the conversation and questions back to the current book, but Patricia says she is okay answering questions about the previous book.
She then asks the class who has read the book and who has not and the students respond via a show of hands. For the benefit of those who have not read the book Patricia goes on to explain that the book is about a study that she did on her friends (with their consent of course). Her friends are made up of three couples besides Patricia and her husband, Gavin (Malik Yoba) making a total of four couples. She goes on to say that each year the four couples spend a week long vacation together (anywhere in the world) where they ask themselves ‘Why Did I Get Married’ and try to work through any relationship issues that may be present. As Patricia is asked questions by the students about each couple we cut to them to get a view of their relationship. The couples and subsequent events are as follows:
Terry (Tyler Perry) and Diane (Sharon Leal) We hear Patricia say that they know how to communicate and then we cut to the car that they are driving and hear Terry continually asking his wife to spend time and interact with him. They are headed to Colorado (presumably from Georgia, based on their license plates), which is the site of this year’s group vacation. Terry wanted to drive so that he and Diane could talk and reconnect with each other. As they are driving, Diane’s cell phone rings constantly. She is an attorney with a new high-profile case and her assistant keeps calling to discuss work. Terry asks Diane to turn off the phone or not answer it because they are on vacation and he wants to spend time with his wife. She replies that she has to work. She and Terry continue to discuss matters and we find out that they have one child together. Terry seems to want more children and Diane seems pretty reluctant. Then we see Terry and Diane pull up to the cabin that they’ll be using for the week. This where we meet the local sheriff named Troy (Lamman Rucker) of Pemberton (the town they are in) and he provides them with the keys to the cabin and asks where the rest of the guests are. To which they reply, that the remaining guests will be arriving shortly. Sherriff Troy remarks that a storm is coming and hopefully the remaining friends will arrive before nightfall when the snow storm is expected to hit.
They go inside the cabin and Diane disappears upstairs while Terry gets some wine and glasses hoping for a romantic interlude. When Diane doesn’t return in a timely manner, Terry wanders the house looking for her. He finds her in the bedroom asleep with her blackberry and laptop in the bed with her. He sits on the bed and then her cell rings again. This time Terry answers it. It is Diane’s assistant again and he is clearly annoyed and asks her not to call anymore because they are on vacation.
Sheila (Jill Scott) and Mike (Richard T. Jones) - We are cut back to the classroom and Patricia is asked about Sheila and Mike. Patricia says that they are still together and we see the couple along with a friend of Sheila’s getting on a plane. They have 2 seats on one row and the third seat is one row ahead. Mike says that Sheila should take the seat on the row in front while he and Trina (Denise Boutte) Sheila’s single friend will sit together. Sheila looks disappointed, but acquiesces and moves to the single seat in the row ahead. She has the center seat. As she sits down, she bumps the gentlemen on either side of her. Then we see the gentleman in the aisle seat get up and approach the flight attendants. The flight attendant then approaches Sheila and tells her that the flight is full today. She acknowledges the fact and says she purchased her tickets months ago. The attendant says that he must ask her to de-plan because a person of her size is required to purchase two seats. She is clearly humiliated and we hear Mike saying that he has told her to lose weight. He then tells Sheila to get off the plane and take the bus or drive to Colorado, while he and Trina remain on the flight. He gives her some money for gas and tells her that she will enjoy the quiet ride. Mike hands her a bag from the overhead compartment and tells her to go ahead and they will see her there. She then gets off the plane, presumably to drive to Colorado.
Marcus (Michael Jai White) and Angela (Tasha Smith) - We then return to the classroom and another student inquires about Angela and Marcus. We are then shown Angela and Marcus on a train headed to the vacation site. They are arguing about Marcus’ ex (Keisha) while Angela continues to drink heavily. Two passengers seated behind the bickering couple ask if they can keep it down. Marcus apologizes and remarks that Angela is drunk. Angela then turns her ire on the passengers and begins to shout at them. We pull away from the train and we still hear Angela yelling.
We then cut back to Patricia in the classroom and we hear a student say that she is sorry for Patricia’s recent loss and how is her marriage holding up. Patricia then says that the student should ask her husband how their marriage is holding up. Gavin, clearly put on the spot, says that they are going to be late for their plane. Patricia says to the student ‘There you have it’ and proceeds to exit the classroom with Gavin to head to the airport. We do not see Patricia and Gavin’s travels
Patricia and Gavin are the 2nd couple to arrive at the cabin. As they enter, Patricia asks Terry where Diane is to which he replies ‘upstairs sleeping.’ Patricia heads upstairs, while Gavin and Terry sit down and have the wine and some male bonding. Terry then comments on how successful each of the couples are and they are all doing what they said they wanted to do when they were in college. Gavin agrees and reminds Terry that he wanted to have more kids by now. Terry then says he thought that Gavin and Patricia would have 2 kids by now. He then stops himself from going further with the discussion and apologizes.
Patricia is upstairs waking up Diane. She wakes her up and they have a little girl talk. We then hear Angela yelling at Marcus, indicating their arrival. They greet everyone, Angela gets a drink ad continues to argue with Marcus. She is berating him for not having a job (he works for her) and not contributing financially to the household. The other guests remark how they have not changed and that they still argue constantly.
Terry goes outside to chop some wood and Marcus is sitting outside with him. Marcus asks Terry (who is a pediatrician) to give him a shot. When Terry asks what he needs a shot for, Marcus reveals that he has an STD and needs to get it cleared up. Terry says he will get his nurse to overnight the stuff that he needs. Terry then tells Marcus that Diane is a workaholic and that they have not had sex in 3 months. Terry also says that Marcus should tell Angela that he has an STD and that he has to stop sleeping with her until everything is cleared up. Marcus replies that Angela doesn’t ask for sex from him, she just takes it and that he would be killed if he told her about the STD.
We then see Mike and Trina arrive. All of the guests are outside to greet them. The ladies ask who the woman is, referring to Trina. Mike reveals that she is a friend of Sheila’s. When Sheila found out that there would be an extra bedroom she invited Trina along. Everyone notices that Sheila is not with them, and asks where she is. Mike replies that Sheila is driving to the cabin. He is very uncaring when talking about his wife and remarks that he has told her to lose weight and that she will be okay driving alone. The ladies go into the kitchen to call Sheila’s cell phone. They get her voicemail and leave a message. They then comment to each other that Mike should not have let Sheila drive up here alone. They also ask themselves why Trina didn’t drive up with Sheila if they were true friends. They wonder aloud if something is going on between Mike and Trina.
The gentlemen have retired to another room, talking amongst themselves. Terry reveals that Marcus has an STD. Marcus reveals that Terry and Diane haven’t had sex for 3 months. Mike reveals that he is having an affair with Trina. To which Terry and Gavin say they have never gone outside of their respective marriages. Mike tells Terry that he has a right to sex and if Diane isn’t meeting his needs then he should go get it from someone else.
We then see Sheila on her roadtrip. She is trying to stay upbeat and comments aloud that she is going on this vacation to make her marriage work. She continues to drive and runs into the storm. She stops at the Sherriff’s office in Pemberton and asks where the cabin is. He says that the cabin is a few miles up the road, but she won’t be able to get there tonight because the storm has knocked some trees over, blocking the roadway. He says that she is welcome to stay on the cot in the jail cell for the night. She reluctantly accepts.
Back at the cabin, we see Terry trying to have sex with Diane. She refuses saying how can he think about sex when they don’t know what has happened to Sheila. She turns over and goes to sleep, he does the same but he is clearly frustrated. Gavin and Patricia have a chat in the bed. Gavin says something about kids and Patricia says she doesn’t want to discuss it now. She just wants to tell him how much she loves him. We see Angela trying to initiate sex with Marcus. He refuses saying it has been a long day and he has a headache. She knows he’s lying. She hits him with a pillow, kicks him and then turns away frustrated and angry. She tosses and turns in the bed. At some point she goes to the bedroom door and cracks it and we see Mike sneaking into Trina’s room.
The morning comes and Sheila arrives at the cabin, escorted there by Sherriff Troy. She has invited Troy for breakfast and is clearly trying to set him up with Trina. Mike acts a little jealous, while everyone is getting Trina and Troy to sit next to each other at the breakfast table. Sheila gives Mike a plate of food and Angela slams a plate of food down in front of Marcus. The cabin phone rings and Diane answers it. It is her assistant. We hear Diane saying that it is okay to call. We assume the assistant is telling Diane that Terry told her not to call based on her reply. Once she hangs up the phone, Diane asks Terry if he told her assistant not to call. He says yes he did because they are on vacation. Diane then asks Terry if she can have a word with him privately. To which he replies no. Angela calls Trina a lot of names and Trina then lunges at her over the breakfast table. The gentlemen break up the argument.
The men are having their roundtable discussions without the ladies, who have gone shopping. During this discussion Gavin tells the other men about the 80/20 rule. The rule says that in marriage you will only get 80% of your needs met. An outsider may offer you the other 20%. If you take the 20% you may risk losing out on the 80% that you were getting and then you’re left with less than you had before. As such, Gavin says that the guys should stay faithful and make the most of their relationships.
Cut to the ladies shopping and we see Trina telling Sheila that she should purchase a sexy negligee to wear for Mike. Sheila says that she is too big for that and Trina continues to encourage her. Sheila eventually gets the negligee. She wears the negligee for Mike that evening and he laughs non-stop. He lets Sheila know that he is not attracted to her. If she lost 50 pounds he may become attracted to her. Sheila is clearly hurt by Mike’s rejection.
The next evening the guests have dinner together and they ask Sheriff Troy to join them. During the dinner, Angela reveals that Mike is sleeping with Trina. Sheila sits in disbelief and asks Mike if it is true. He confirms that it is and says hat he wants a divorce. She there sits in shock. Mike then proceeds to reveal the secrets of each couple.
The secrets are as follows:
Terry had a DNA test done on his daughter because he wasn’t sure that she was his (because he and Diane have not been having sex).
Diane had her tubes tied after the birth of their daughter without telling Terry because she doesn’t want anymore children, as they would interfere with her career.
Gavin blamed Patricia for the death of their son.
Marcus has an STD.
Angela asks Marcus if he got the STD from Keisha (his ex). He says yes. Angela then says no you didn’t, you got it from Walter. Marcus is clearly confused and remarks that he is not gay. Angela then says, she is the one that slept with Walter and gave the STD to Marcus. She said that she already got a shot and she was waiting on Marcus to say something.
Everything is quiet at the table for a short while. Then Marcus gets up and chokes Angela. The other guests intervene. As Mike gets up to leave the table, Sheila hits him on the back of the head with a wine bottle.
We cut to the next day, when the trip is cut short by the revelations and everyone is going home. Gavin and Patricia get in a hired car. Terry and Diane get into their car and drive away. Angela gets in a cab. I don’t think they show Marcus, Mike or Trina leaving.
Sherriff Troy shows up at a hotel and enters a room. We see a devastated Sheila sitting on the bed. She asks if she killed Mike and if he is there to arrest her. Sherriff Troy says no that he has come by to check on her. Sheila then laments that she gave her life to Mike, she has nothing without him and he cleaned out her bank account. Troy takes her to an overlook and tells her that it is the place that he comes when he has a problem. Sheila cries and Troy consoles her.
Terry and Diane argue as they get into the car to leave the vacation. Terry says how could she get her tubes tied without telling him especially knowing that he wanted more kids. She replies that it is her body and how could he have their daughter tested without her knowledge. He says that when she became pregnant they had only had sex one time and he had to be sure. He doubted her fidelity because she was never home. He then says that the test showed that the little girl is his daughter. Diane then puts her headphones on for the long drive home.
Back at home everyone is back to their normal routine. Sheila calls the ladies to let them know that she is okay. On a conference call, she tells them that she has to get her own life together and take responsibility for herself. As the conversation is ending she tells Diane to say happy birthday to Terry for her. Diane has forgotten about his birthday and rushes off to get home. When she arrives Terry is having cake and ice cream with a nurse from his office. After the nurse leaves they continue to argue about her working hours and lack of intimacy. Terry then announces that he is moving out.
Keisha then enters Angela and Marcus’ place of business saying that she needs to speak with Marcus. Angela approaches her and starts an argument. Marcus intervenes and stops the commotion. Marcus then escorts Keisha out to find out what she wants.
Cut to Patricia arriving home from work. Gavin is already there. She starts to cook dinner, but Gavin wants to talk. She tries to put him off, but he refuses constantly showing her a picture of Noah (their deceased son). She tries to carry on, but he refuses to drop the subject. She then breaks down and tells him about the day their son died. She said that she was in a hurry and she strapped him in his car seat, but she didn’t check to make sure the seat was secure. Because it was raining that day, she slid off the road and he was killed. She says that she blames herself and he consoles her as she cries and says that he will stick by her and be strong with her through the tragedy.
We then see Marcus and Angela pulling in front of Keisha’s house to pick up his kids. While in the car, Angela challenges Marcus to be a man and says that he won’t leave because she has the money. He says he is not with her for money, but he is with her because he loves her and he was there when she didn’t have any money. Keisha comes out of the house and Marcus lets her know that he doesn’t want anything to do with her if is not pertaining to the children and that she needs to respect his wife. He then tells her and Angela to stop acting like children. When the kids come out of the house, Marcus helps get them in the car and then he storms off on foot. Angela is shocked and begins to shed tears.
We find out that Sheila stayed in Colorado and that she has a job in the Pemberton General Store. She is working there and finds herself attracted to Troy. She then finds out that Troy also has feelings for her.
We then see Marcus, Mike and Terry in the bar getting drunk. Gavin arrives to help them out. Mike says how Trina doesn’t do anything (no cooking, no cleaning, etc.) and that she only spends a lot. Terry says that he is eventually going to go back to Diane. Marcus says that Angela hasn’t said a word to him recently. They talk more about the 80/20 rule.
Diane and Angela arrive at the college campus to see Patricia. They tell her that they miss their husbands. She tells them to go and talk to them. To which they reply that they don’t want to be vulnerable. She gives each of them a sheet of paper and tells them to write the good things that their husbands have done on one side and the bad things on the other side. If the bad outweighs the good, she advises them not to stay in the relationship. However, if the good outweighs the bad then they should go and talk to their husbands.
We then see them making their lists. Upon completion, Diane goes to Terry’s new apartment. When she arrives the same nurse from his birthday is there, helping him unpack. Diane then tells Terry that she wants him back. After some discussion he agrees to return home.
Marcus arrives home and Angela has cooked dinner for him. Convinced that she is trying to kill him, he goes into the bathroom and calls Gavin for advice. Gavin tells him to have dinner with her and work things out. He is still nervous, but he returns to the table and Angela says that she wants to work things out. He agrees if she tones down her behavior and stops drinking. She agrees after she has 2 more drinks.
Cut to Washington D.C., Patricia is receiving an award for her work. All of the friends are there to support her. We see that Diane and Terry have reconciled as have Angela and Marcus. We then find out that Sheila is there with Troy and they have married. Mike is also there with Trina. When they all sit at the table for Patricia’s acceptance speech, Mike is sitting behind Sheila. He tries to have a conversation with her while Patricia is speaking. Sheila lets him know that she is happy now and doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. She also lets him know that she has forgiven him and moved on and he should go on and enjoy his 20 (referring to the 80/20 rule) with Trina. Patricia finishes her speech and Gavin goes up to hug her. Each of the couples begins to dance and the credits roll.
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