For Colored Girls…My Two Cents…

Hello World! 

Well, I finally saw Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” last night with my girl “I” so I feel I should offer my two cents about the film…First of all, let me get this out of the way. No, I have not seen Ntozake Shange original play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” (boo, hiss, I know, I know, get over it…) So admittedly, I am bit stunted in my ability to grasp the whole concept of the film…

When I first heard the film was coming out, I was not sure if I was even going to see the film…I had imagined it would be a modern day “The Women of Brewster Place.” I love you Oprah, but I wasn’t enthralled by that television movie although I applaud Lady O for getting it made…But when I understood that fellow UGA alum Omari Hardwick was in the film, and I saw all the buzz on Facebook about it, I knew I should go ahead and spend my ten bucks…For the record, UGA alums are doin’ big things in Hollywood. I see you Omari, Keith Robinson (“Dreamgirls”), Candace Afia (“Grey Anatomy” – she also played MLK Jr’s older sister in “The Boy King.” Only those originally from the A would know that though.) and IronE Singleton, ( “The Blind Side). Go Bulldawgs…Okay, I know I have digressed…

Let me start of with what I liked or appreciated about the movie. I appreciated that Tyler Perry was able to give work to so many black women in particular and black actors in general…Whatever people have to say about him, he is offering water in what can be a desert for black actors. I did think each character’s story was interesting and compelling their own way. I was especially taken in by Anika Noni Rose’s character Yasmine in the film maybe because of all of the characters I related to her the most. She is basically a sunny personality who happens to run across the wrong dude who date rapes her…While she is being interviewed by a police officer after the rape, she recites what seems to be some of the lines from the original poem on which the play is based. I was moved when she talked about always preparing for danger from someone that you don’t know, only to be end up being assaulted by someone that you do…

I also enjoyed Kimberly Elise’s performance as Crystal. I don’t care what movie Elise is in from “Beloved” to “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” this actress can do gnawing pain and agony like no other…I won’t tell what you caused the pain and agony since I already revealed a plot tidbit earlier…But I will say this: her pain and agony were well justified, particularly when she realizes that her own frailties and perhaps selfishness played a part in the tragic event…

Loretta Devine’s character Juanita had me laughing although it probably shouldn’t have…Although the character was probably in her 50s, she was just learning a lesson that all women should have properly learned at the latest by 35 years old – When a man shows who he is, you’d be smart to believe to him –  no matter how good he makes you feel…There is something about Ms. Loretta that I really love even she always seems to play a similar character in all of her films and television programs from “A Different World” to “Waiting to Exhale.” In her roles, she always seems to be on the verge of blushing or nervously giggling until she is pushed beyond her boundaries and then she erupts in a sister-girl rant… I like her because she just seems the type of person who would be the same no matter what circle of people that she happened to be surrounded by…

And finally, I loved – let me say this again – I LOVED Ms. Janet’s outfits even if she channeled Michael in this film. Her outfits were so fierce, I probably would not have been surprised if Janet I mean Jo did not break out into a choreographed dance from one of her videos…Her makeup although heavy was pure razor-sharp artistry…Her wardrobe was a true boss chick’s dream – from her matrix-like leather blazer to her red bottom stilettos…

So what didn’t I like…I said this before on my blog…I’m not a fan of musicals…so what, who cares…I guess because it messes with my sensibilities when a character just breaks out in song in the middle of what seemed like a regular play…Probably an idiosyncrasy but whatever…This idiosyncrasy is the same reason why I was jarred when the characters, who for most of the movie spoke in regular modern day English, all of a sudden started reciting poetry. I almost felt like the audience should have been signaled before the characters switched gears…I mean it did feel like you were cruising in a manual car, and the car suddenly revs up when the driver decides to operate the vehicle in a different gear…It just made for a disjointed experience…But again, maybe I’m just not deep like that…

Whoopi Goldberg’s character Alice was a black version of the mother in the 1976 movie “Carrie” with her hyper-religious lunacy…When Alice poured oil on her daughter’s head in a scary attempt to rid her of the devil in her, I half expected the daughter to start summoning her telekinetic powers to destroy everyone in the film as Carrie did…But Alice’s daughter Tessa was not Carrie. Instead she just ran out the apartment screaming which was probably the most normal response to Alice’s crazy character in the movie…Alice was so predictable in one scene that I even called out her next line in the theater before she spoke it…I get why she was tragic character in the film and even one that should be explored, but I imagine that Ms. Shange’s intent for this character was much more nuanced than presented in this film…

I could go on, but I feel like I have said enough…In sum, it’s a film worth seeing and I applaud Tyler Perry’s effort although there were some contrived elements in the film…

Note to the brothers who may have seen this film or heard about it and are now criticizing it (READ Courtland Milloy): Contrary to what Malloy asserted, this is not the year to bash the black man…In fact, if anything, it is the year  to scrutinize the single black woman…do I need to mention the ABC “Nightline” special and the media frenzy that resulted again? Maybe I am a bit sensitive because I am a single black woman…but regardless, sometimes black men hurt black women…and sometimes black women hurt black men …and more often than not, people of all races hurt people of all races..stop trippin’. Everyone has a right to tell their story…Hmm…I wonder if it is true…maybe a hit dog will holler…just kidding…For real dough, this is just one movie – not an indictment of the black man…And for the record, I love me some black men…

Any thoughts?

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~ by jackieholness on November 14, 2010.

4 Responses to “For Colored Girls…My Two Cents…”

  1. I LOVED the film … it made me life, cry, and reflect all at once. I was actually oddly inspired by the move and am making some moves on some things that have been on my mind for a long time. I despise musicals BUT I LOVE poetry …. I appreciated the prose and how the lines were intertwined with the character’s lives.

    • Wow, Bloggess!!! You certainly had a strong reaction, and I have aa friend that had an equally strong reaction to the film…I’m curious as to what moves you will be making in the future as a result of seeing this film, but of you don’t have to share your business…:)…I did like Yasmine’s monologue in the hospital…that was deep…

  2. For me, seeing movies like this can be overwhelming and I immediately think of what I can do. For a long time, I’ve traveled home to speak at various school functions. I think I am finally ready to do something more … the women in this movie reminded me of so many women I know/have known. In my mind, the best that we can do to heal brokenness is to love and teach one person at a time. That’s my goal.

    • Well, what you already do is great, but of course to whom much is given, much is required…let me know if I can be of assistance because one of my life’s goals is to help heal brokenness as well…blessings as you ponder what you will do…

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