Melinda Gayle

The psychotic Melinda Gayle (née Moore)

Melinda Gayle (Taraji P. Henson) was the main villainess from the 2018 film, Acrimony.

Backstory Edit

The film opens with Melinda in court and later talking to a therapist, voicing her bitterness and anger towards her husband, Robert Gayle, accusing him of betraying her. Through Melinda's narrative, the film flashed back two decades, back when a young Melinda Moore was in college. It was on a rainy day that Melinda first met Robert Gayle, when they bumped into each other on their way to class. On the day of Melinda's mother's funeral, Robert appeared at Melinda's home and met her sisters, Brenda and June, with the former of the two already disapproving of him. Melinda and Robert later went to the latter's RV, where the pair embraced and began their romantic relationship, while one of his Nina Simone records was playing.

As time progressed, so did their relationship, leading to the point where Melinda bought Robert a new car, using part of her $350,000 inheritance to do so. Melinda became impatient when she stopped hearing from Robert, to the point where she drove to Robert's RV and waited outside to see what he was doing. As it turned out, Robert was engaging in an affair with Diana Wells in his home, and after seeing this, an enraged Melinda rammed her car into the RV...twice. During her rampage, she was rammed into her steering wheel and hospitalized, and it was revealed that her ovaries were so damaged that she could not have children. Despite her anger and Melinda's sisters warnings, Melinda took back Robert after he apologized for what he had done, and the couple ended up marrying.

Events Edit

Early in their marriage, Robert had been working on a rechargeable battery that he planned to distribute to Prescott Industries, while Melinda had to work two jobs after exhausting the remaining funds and mortgaging her mother's home (which they were living in) to support Robert's goal. 18 years pass, and in the film's events see Robert's hopes dashed, as Prescott Industries sent him a warning to cease his persistent attempts to contact them, leading to Robert working with his in-laws at their (mostly reluctant) request. Before this, Robert had met up with Diana for the first time since their tryst, as she is now working at Prescott, and this led to Diana watching Robert's old video pitches for the battery and becoming impressed with his work. Meanwhile, Brenda found Diana's wallet in Robert's delivery truck, leading to her belief that they rekindled their affair; a belief that is firmly instilled in Melinda's mind.

Robert ended up confronted with the accusations as he was on his way to Prescott following a call from Diana during his job, and after he returned from the meeting (which ended with Robert turning down a $800,000 offer for the rights to his battery), he was confronted by his angry in-laws and a furious Melinda, who demanded a divorce, calling Robert a loser (among other things), while Robert stated that he was not cheating on Melinda. The divorce was finalized later on, with Robert stating to Melinda that he loves her, and even turned down what little he would have ended up with in the divorce: his car and some clothes. Melinda moved on with Devon, a former flame from years ago, but was dissatisfied with his lovemaking. Meanwhile, Robert struck it rich with his battery, and he went to Melinda's workplace with a bouquet of roses for her, along with a $10 million check and the key to her mother's house, revealing that he bought back the deed for her.

Heel Turn Edit

Melinda informed her sisters and their husbands about Robert's wealth, and she later lambasted them for talking her into leaving Robert, while also demeaning Devon's masculinity. She later appeared at Robert's sky rise apartment (one of the things Robert originally envisioned for him and Melinda) and attempted to rekindle their past relationship, only to see Diana, who was introduced as Robert's new fiancee. Seeing Diana back with Robert enraged Melinda, leading to Melinda turning heel and harassing Diana via social media, leaving various hateful messages towards her. She also adopted a delusional belief that Robert's lavish lifestyle was owed to her, and she filed a lawsuit against Robert and Diana for the money she spent supporting his goal, as well as a portion of Robert's wealth--under the false claim that the deal was done before the divorce was finalized.

Not only was Melinda's lawsuit thrown out, but the judge issued a restraining order against her. Despite this, the deranged Melinda attempted to go after the couple after the court proceedings ended. Attempts by family and her longtime friend, Sara, to get to Melinda fell on deaf ears, as the psychotic villainess later went to the gown shop and destroyed Diana's wedding gown with acid, which led to Melinda facing the judge once again. This was the scene that started the film, and by this point, Melinda's claims of being betrayed and used by Robert are disproved, as she is revealed as a villainous and psychotic woman.

Death Edit

After Robert and Diana's wedding, the film's climax saw Melinda's anger increase when she saw video of Robert and Diana on his boat, named Gayle, as it was part of Robert's original plan with Melinda. She later crashed their honeymoon on the boat, doing so while carrying a gun, which she pointed at Robert. The evil Melinda continued to display her delusional belief that Robert cheated with Diana a second time, only for Robert to continue to deny the claim, and after Melinda also continued to claim that Robert's lifestyle should be hers, she told Robert to order Diana to go overboard. When he didn't, Melinda shot Robert, with the noise catching the attention of the boat's crew, who all went overboard under Melinda's orders.

Melinda later held Diana at gunpoint, and demanded her diamond ring, which she stated was promised to her. Just as she was set on killing Diana, Robert saved his wife and sent Melinda overboard, only for the villainess to climb back on the boat armed with an axe. She attacked Robert with the axe, but his movement caused the anchor to go down, and Melinda to go down with it. Melinda sank along with the anchor, fatally drowning as a result.

Trivia Edit

  • Taraji P. Henson also played villainess Paige in 2000's Satan's School For Girls remake.