Is Acrimony Based on a True Story?

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. ‘Acrimony’ takes the famous William Congreve quote and puts a modern, hair-raising twist to it. Director Tyler Perry, known for creating the tough-as-nails Maude character, brings his comedic genius to a thriller. The movie stars prominent Hollywood faces Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, and Crystle Stewart. ‘Acrimony’ takes on a unique form as the film is divided into five distinct acts of the same story, each based on a different emotional spectrum.

They are – Acrimony, Sunder, Bewail, Deranged and Inexorable. ‘Acrimony’ chronicles the turbulent love story of Melinda and Robert, from their doe-eyed days as college students to their tumultuous present as warring partners. When Melinda discovers that Robert has been cheating on her with another woman, she is driven to exact brutal revenge on the lovers.

Is Acrimony Based on a True Story? 

No, ‘Acrimony’ is not based on a true story. Perry’s inspiration for the film is an amalgamation of neo-noir flicks from this generation’s spate of crime auteurs. David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ first fueled Perry’s imagination. After gaining notoriety as a comedic creator and performer – he was the highest-paid entertainer between 2010 and 2011 – Perry wanted to try his hand at a thriller. Having starred in ‘Gone Girl’ as a supporting character, the director had several fireside chats about the making of the film with Fincher and Ben Affleck (who stars in the movie).

Both ‘Acrimony’ and ‘Gone Girl’ paint a gory picture of love affairs gone horribly wrong. The mother of all erotic thrillers, ‘Fatal Attraction,’ starring acclaimed actress Glenn Close, also served up a good dose of inspiration to Perry. In ‘Fatal Attraction,’ Close essays the role of a mistress who becomes obsessed with the man she has an affair with. When Perry pitched ‘Acrimony’ as Henson’s ‘Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction’ moment, the actress was gung-ho about signing on. Another influence is the lead actress herself.

Perry had divulged that the role of Melinda was tailor-made for Henson. Henson, he believed, could play the part of a woman scorned by a self-serving man to perfection. Henson reached into her past to pull out a magnificent performance in ‘Acrimony.’ While explaining her thought process going into the role, the actress said, “Love makes you do crazy things. I’ve been in situations where I look back and I’m like, ‘Oh, I might have been a little off there. What was I thinking?”

Last but not the least, by any means, Perry scoured for inspiration in his own life and that of friends near and dear to him. Often, Perry would find himself playing the role of agony aunt and counseling friends going through troubled marriages. On his lived experiences, Perry disclosed, “I have counseled a lot of friends of mine who were going through things, who just couldn’t let it go in marriages and I would see both sides and be like, “How are you seeing this from just one side?”

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