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Movie Info:

“Acrimony” is a story about bitterness and anger, with a dictionary definition of the title filling the screen to set the mood. After a brief and stilted court scene, Melinda (Henson) is smoking and talking to the camera where an unseen psychiatrist should be sitting. She recounts her story in voiceover, of the man (Lyriq Bent) who took her love, money and mother’s home from her for his pet science project. Just when they were at their lowest point, his luck changes, and suddenly Melinda can’t let go of the past. Her rage consumes her little-by-little.

Henson is no stranger to Perry’s fondness for dramatics, previously working with him on movies like “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” and “The Family That Preys.” In “Acrimony,” she revels in her characters’ mood swings, changing from cold and calculating to a fury of screaming and hitting insanity. In one notable scene, she’s fuming mad at the man in her life. Sitting in a chair with her legs crossed, she does nothing but take long puffs from a cigarette and talk. As the plumes of smoke diffuse in front of her, it looks like she’s burning up from the inside out, ready to explode at any moment. Hell hath no fury like Henson scorned. We’re meant to cheer her quest for revenge … to an extent.


Perry likes his morality plays to have a point, where good Christians are rewarded and the bad people in life get what’s coming to them. His message is muddled in “Acrimony.” There’s punishment in store for the woman who goes blind with rage and obsession, but she’s a woman who needs help, not judgement. She’s in court-ordered therapy for a reason. When she leaves, the shrink casually asks, “Have you heard of Borderline Personality Disorder?” Perry brushes it off, preferring the story to hit a melodramatic crescendo. Even the audience in my screening didn’t buy it. When the credits rolled, a few people yelled “that’s it?!” at the screen. A man in my row was shaking his head, telling his date that Melinda deserved what she got.


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