Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

The film starts in a rundown office with a marriage counselor (Candice Coke) counseling a young married couple, Bradley (Zach Sale) and Lisa (Andrea Moore). After the husband walks out of the room, not wanting to participate, the marriage counselor notices a change within the wife’s demeanor. The marriage counselor can tell that she has met someone else and decides to tell her a story about her sister, Judith.

We then go back in time, where Judith and her childhood sweetheart Brice are growing up through the years together, as soulmates. The two later get married and move to Washington, D.C. to start their own life together.

Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) becomes a therapist, working at a matchmaking agency owned by Janice (Vanessa Williams) and Brice (Lance Gross) works as a pharmacist. While at work, Brice meets another employee, Melinda (Brandy). Melinda reveals she is on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Judith is dissatisfied with her job and anxious to start her own marriage counseling business, but Brice tells her to wait until they are more financially stable. Brice decides to take Judith out for dinner at a “$5.99 buffet”. Judith becomes upset with Brice when he refuses to confront a group of men who catcall her on their way home from dinner.

Judith meets Harley (Robbie Jones) at work. Harley, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur who wants to invest in Janice’s business, attempts to seduce Judith as they work late on matchmaking surveys. When Harley questions the absence of sex in the surveys, Judith says she does not believe in premarital sex. Harley says Judith’s sex life is boring. Judith, now questioning her sex life with Brice, tries to improve it, but fails.

Judith changes her hair and makeup for her birthday and Brice fails to notice the change or remember her birthday. At work, Judith receives flowers that she believes are from Brice. Harley appears and notes her change in appearance—the flowers are actually from him. Harley claims he is willing to do anything to be near her and wants a sexual relationship. At home, Judith leaves a cupcake with a candle in it on the counter. Realizing his mistake, Brice dances and sings in a cowboy outfit for her. The two make up.

Janice sends Judith to New Orleans with Harley to finalize a deal with shareholders, telling her to flirt with Harley, but also to be careful. Judith’s co-worker, Ava (Kim Kardashian), gives Judith a makeover. In New Orleans, Judith and Harley complete the business deal and go dancing and sightseeing. On the way home, Harley seduces Judith and they have sex in his private jet. He takes her home and meets Judith’s mother, Miss Sarah (Ella Joyce).

Unhappy with Brice’s inattentiveness, Judith sneaks out to meet Harley and they have sex again. He demands that she leave Brice and offers to help with her business. When she feels like she shouldn’t, Harley tells her to leave and she becomes upset and starts throwing drink and food at him. Back at home, Judith and her mother Sarah get into an argument, which leads to Sarah slapping Judith and leaving. Judith refuses to talk to Brice about their argument and goes to take a shower. She later leaves him to be with Harley.

Janice fires Judith after finding out about her and Harley’s plans, and the two have a falling-out. Brice discovers Judith is having an affair and heads to Harley’s party. Brice drags Judith outside and begs her to return to him, but Judith chooses to stay with Harley. Brice goes over to Melinda’s place where she comforts him and encourages him that things will get better. Judith returns to the apartment she shared with Brice to pick up a laptop and becomes surrounded by her mother and church members’ prayer circle. Sarah grabs Judith, trying to prevent her from leaving. Harley knocks Sarah down and forces Judith to leave. At Harley’s, Judith is outraged by his treatment of her mother and after a heated argument, Harley begins to beat her after she attempts to leave.

Brice has dinner with Melinda. She reveals she contracted HIV from her ex, who is revealed to be Harley. Brice breaks into Harley’s place with Melinda and finds Judith in the bathroom bloody and bruised. After taking Judith to his truck, Brice goes back into the house and begins to beat Harley until he is stopped by Melinda. As Harley regains consciousness, he calls out to Melinda, whose real name is Karen. Brice threatens him to stay away from both Karen and Judith and they leave him, lying on the floor beaten and still semi-conscious.

Cut back to present day, the marriage counselor has finished the story and Lisa wonders how the story ends. The marriage counselor tells her that Judith contracted HIV as well, but not Brice. Lisa thanks the marriage counselor and decides to stay with her husband.

The marriage counselor (revealed to be an older Judith) then goes to the pharmacy to get her HIV medicine for her T cell count from Brice. After they speak, a woman and a little boy walk into the pharmacy, revealed to be Brice’s new wife and child, making it clear that they are divorced. Judith then walks with regret out of the pharmacy thinking how Brice was a better man than Harley, who used her for sex, control, and showed disrespect towards her mother. She heads to church to meet with her mother as the credits start rolling.