Life Lessons from the Movie Acrimony


Finally, I got to watch the movie Acrimony after much persuasion. And boy it was different from the regular love movies I thought it would end like.

Overall, Acrimony was a great movie by Tyler Perry starring Taraji P. Henson and Lyriq Bent playing Melinda and Robert respectively.

But the story twist at the end of the movie may make you throw the remote at your screen (especially if you are a lady). Life isn’t always fair but it is what it is.

Tyler Perry love movies don’t leave your relationships the same. You either get bitter or better. To write this piece, I watched Acrimony a couple of times and discussed/argued the movie with others too to take away these lessons from the movie. You will have to watch the whole movie before the lessons I’m sharing here will make sense relatively. They make sense on their own. But you have to watch the movie to make better sense from it all.

In all, 27 lessons were deduced and can be applied to relationships and personal life. Here you go:

1. Beware of sleek people especially when you meet by ‘fate.’ Fate can make you meet in the rain. And even if you hate them, beware, you may begin to like them afterwards. Melinda didn’t like Robert from the word go when they bumped into each other in the rain. But she fell in love with the same dude she couldn’t stand. You can disdain someone all you want but you may begin to like them as you begin to see and interact often.

2. Don’t take/make decisions with emotions. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of good judgement. Whether you are happy or sad, do not allow that interfere with the way you think or rationalize. Else, you will make clouded decisions. Melinda’s mum passed, she was also failing in school. And that was the downtime when Robert worked his way into Mel’s life. Your vulnerable times are times you should not take important or sensitive life decisions in a hurry.

In these vulnerable times of hurt and pain, you can meet good and/or bad people. Be careful bringing them in or pushing them away.

3. Be sincere and open in relationships – Robert didn’t come clean about his past to Melinda. He committed a crime that wasn’t expunged from his record and he thought it wouldn’t be held against him in future since he was a minor at the time he committed the crime. His insincerity saw Melinda working more than one job to fend for both of them when she thought he would get a job and relieve her of the stress. Be sincere and open about things you know will affect your partner so they can be conditioned for what’s coming.

4. Don’t be naive. Melinda had a good heart and she was naive for her age. Robert knew she was in love with him and exploited her. This made Melinda spend her inheritance money mama left for her after she was cautioned by her sister Brenda not to tell Robert about it. There are also people who have done others a favour and thought there will be some form of payback as gratitude. Don’t always expect that.

Some men have sponsored ladies they love through school thinking after that they’ll get married. But fate twists the narrative and the lady changes her mind about marrying her sponsor. A good heart doesn’t guarantee that you won’t fall into the wrong hands. Be careful with issues of the heart and go with your head also.

5. Sell your dream to the right people with passion. Robert sold Mel his dream and Melinda bought into the dream and him. She saw the passion and potential in the young man and she fell in love with both him and his dream even when she was dissuaded to stay away from the poor boy who had nothing to his name.

6. Never think yourself to be damaged good no matter what you’ve been through. Robert was quick to promise Melinda marriage after hurting her feelings and causing her to hurt herself. He probably took advantage of the moment and vulnerability. Her ovaries were ruptured in the ramming of his trailer with her car. She probably could have thought, “Who would marry me the way I am if I can’t have kids ever again?”

7. You don’t have to if you don’t feel like. Robert always suggested to Melinda, in ways, when he wanted something without directly asking her. She usually took it up from there and fulfilled his need. Nobody forced her to spend her inheritance on lover boy. She’d feel guilty having all that money and not helping him.

8. Don’t ignore or forget people who do you good; they’re not foolish. Robert was focused on what he was getting and his battery than the person who was giving and loving him. That was selfish of him. And that was why he easily cheated and still had to come back to her because nobody may actually love him as Melinda did. Not telling her he had a criminal record that is hindering him from getting a job is also selfish. When Robert’s battery finally hit, he came back to appreciate Mel for all the years she put up with him before his success. Appreciate those who truly love you.

9. Anger, rage, and acrimony (bitterness) are terrible. Acrimony can hurt you more than the person or thing you intend them for. When Melinda found Robert cheating on her in his trailer, she rammed her car into Robert’s trailer in rage causing her to rupture her ovaries and have internal bleeding. She passed out almost immediately and was rushed to the hospital. Two wrongs don’t make a right. He cheated, she almost killed them in the trailer and herself too. Control your anger.

10. You decide. How many chances you give and take are up to you. Decide to let it go if you decide you do not feel it anymore. And if you decide to forgive then let it go and don’t remember what they did. Melinda decided her life’s course and her decisions came with ‘responsibilities.’ She decided to spend her money on Robert, she decided to marry him, she decided to leave him. She decided. You can always decide what you want. It is your choice.

11. Listen to the opinion of your loved ones – Mel could have listened to the opinions of her sisters since they cared about her. Maybe she wouldn’t have had to go through all she did in her life with Robert. She could have had a stress-free life and lived a normal life or just stuck with her decisions and hung on until she was finally given the life she was promised. If she hadn’t married Robert her life will surely have been a different story. She hung… but not to the end.

12. Be persistent and consistent – I saw these elements practically play out and paying in the movie. Robert continuously sent out videos and letters to Prescott like every week for over 18 years. Your dreams will come true if you decide to stick with it and be consistent give all you can. Don’t give up. You are not too old to manifest your dreams even when nothing seems to be happening. Someone is watching you. Be consistent with persistence!

13. When you get someone in trouble, apologize to them. Settle any differences as soon as you can. Robert wronged Diana (the lady he cheated on Melinda with in college and his wife later) by not telling her about Melinda. He didn’t have the chance to apologize to her until he needed her later in life when she was working with Prescott. He would have been honest with her from the beginning. Make amends with people. You never can tell when you will need them. They can be of help even after 18 years. You may need someone on the inside. And pray you haven’t wronged them.

14. Stand for what and who you believe in – Melinda stood up for Robert for so long even without his help. Robert stood by his dream of building a battery that recharges itself until he got a chance to prove it. Melinda risked mortgaging her inherited house to see Robert through with his dream. That is believing. That is taking risk. In the end, what you believe is what works for you.

15. When you are prepared, do all you can to meet opportunity when it calls. Robert had the choice of going to deliver the food in the truck to waiting clients. Or turn the truck around and turn his fortune around. This was what he had been waiting for all his life. He was at a crossroad. And he took the chance to risk it. But remember, when that moment comes, it may not be as glorious as you thought it to be. Something will try to stop you or come between you and your dream. you may have to choose which one to go for. At that moment, you need faith and focus.

16. Luck shows up when preparedness finally meets opportunity. While Robert turned the truck to go home and get prepared, he was just in time to meet the garbage guys taking the prototype battery away. If he hadn’t come then, that battery would have been gone.

17. When your moment comes, put all your personal baggage and emotions aside and deal with the situation as required. Don’t doubt yourself in those moments or look back at what you have been through. Robert had a fight with Melinda when he came back to prepare for the meeting with Prescott. He was still able to make it for his big presentation but almost doubted himself. Diana had to put him straight before he went in. Keep your cool in times of trouble.

18. Not everybody will understand you or your dreams no matter how you try to make them see it. Not all your moves and decisions will be understood. Also, not everyone will understand how a purse belonging to a lady you cheated with was found in the truck you drive. And your antagonist finds it. You can only try to explain and prove your case.

19. You will always have someone who antagonizes you and another who defends you. Brenda (Melinda’s sister) was his antagonist and Melinda’s friend and co-worker Sarah defended him.

20. Do not negotiate your life’s work for a morsel. All Robert worked and depended on his battery to be a sure hit. Mr Prescott priced him $800,000 which Robert saw as nothing compared to its worth or what Prescott will make from it. Know your worth and give a polite NO if you know what you have got. The $800,000 was a generous amount that could solve most of the immediate problems Robert and Mel had. But he turned it down. He didn’t let circumstances push him to say a YES. Robert was later called for a deal worth over $150,000,000. Shift grounds at your own terms and strike a good deal without greed.

21. Big and positive talk is good after all. Despite being clearly met with rejection every time, Robert still had hope of his battery hitting so he could get Melinda the finer things life offered. A diamond ring, top floor in the high rise building, private jet, yacht etc. He still had big dreams and promised her the good life in all the nothing. And his dream of the good life came true.

22. Life is a bunch of decisions – And so is love. Make your decision without interference and influence. Don’t regret the choice you make when you are tempted to. Don’t regret not listening. Accept your decision or change your mind and fight for what you want without being desperate. What was Melinda expecting going to the Penthouse? To find it without a woman (Diana) by Robert? The same woman who made sure Robert got a good deal with Mr Prescott? It was Mel’s decision to leave Robert even when he begged before signing the divorce papers. Be responsible for your decisions.

23. Don’t try to deliberately hurt people with words. Not even when they hurt you or after you have moved on. Don’t drag their reputation in the mud because you are no longer together. Not even behind them.

“We are never getting back together. Never. So what is this? You borrow a suit and come up here trying to impress me?”

Melinda made it clear that she never wanted Robert back when he was at her office to see her.

24. Appreciate the people who stood by you, fought for you, cared for you, fed you, loved and believed you even if you are no longer together. Always remember their good deeds toward you. Robert cut Melinda a $10,000,000 cheque and bought her mother’s house. If he was an unappreciative dude he would have done that. And even Melinda’s family who didn’t like Robert as much wouldn’t have taken his side when Melinda became inexorable.

25. Results always tune out the noise. “I knew he would man. That dude is smart.” “Always thought he would.” And they started saying the opposite when they saw Robert’s result. Don’t argue when people doubt you. Just give them results and they will hush.

26. If you don’t stay long enough to see a dream come true, someone else may reap the reward of your labour. And nothing will be more painful than seeing someone live your dream life knowing that could be you. Melinda could have had the life Robert promised if she had held on a little longer.  The lowest ebb is usually the turn of the tide. If only she waited… Just hold on a little longer.

27. Desperation can kill, literally. Melinda went to the extreme to get Robert back or rather get back at him. She did all sorts and really crossed the line with it. Melinda blatantly told him they’ll never get back together again so I wonder why she was desperate to have him back to the extent of stalking him and his bride to be. She even shot Robert on his boat. If it is meant to be it will be. Don’t be desperate to protect or get back what you think or know is yours.

+1 Free Life Lesson

Have friends… All through the movie, Robert was never portrayed to have a friend. Not even one. Maybe his life would have been easier with a friend. Who knows? But Melinda had a friend and family who stood her almost always. Have friends that make life and living easier.

What lessons have you picked up from the movie Acrimony that you can apply to life, your relationship and family in general?

What relationship lessons sis you learn especially? You can also leave comments in the section provided below to share your thoughts.

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