For Colored Girls - A Few Thoughts

For Colored Girls Photo

Last night I went to a screening of For Colored Girls at The Charles Theater in Baltimore. I
wasn't quite sure what to expect after hearing so many reviews that slammed it. I decided to go with an open mind and decide for myself. I am NOT a film critic by any stretch of the imagination. Thus, these thoughts on the film should be taken as just that - just some thoughts I had from the movie, not some kind of deep analysis. Roger Ebert - your not gonna get.

The screening was hosted by a two theater professors (I didn't get my pen out fast enough to catch their names) and one of the professors - almost in a spoken word cadence - introduced the original work...

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf is a choreopoem - "it is a not a poem set to music with accompanying dance steps, but rather an integration of speech, movement, gesture, and music...[the poems] discuss the pleasures & dangers of being a black female." The Professor went on to discuss the original authors' (Ntozake Shange) thoughts about the Rainbow. From an interview Shange explained
“The rainbow is a fabulous symbol for me [….] If you see one color, it’s not beautiful. If you see them all, it is. A colored girl, by my definition, is a girl of many colors. But she can only see her overall beauty if she can see all the colors of herself. To do that, she has to look deep inside her. And when she looks inside herself, she will find
love and beauty.”

Our host went on to say that no matter what you think about Tyler Perry and his body of work, no matter which camp you are in regarding, she asked that we simply look at the work - see if these women find Love, God, The Rainbow within themselves...and "loved her fiercely."

That's how I watched the movie and I didn't even think about it being a "Tyler Perry" production.

So...what did I think. In the context outlined above, he did a pretty good job. A bit heavy handed & over the top, a little too long to get to "the rainbow within" and I think he missed a few (or I did) but overall, I give it a B/B-.

Here are some of my other random thoughts throughout the movie:

  • Anquish! Betrayal. Heartbreak. - at a level & intensity I have never known in my own life
  • Is there ANYONE is this movie that has just ONE redeeming quality?
  • Is there ONE man in this movie that isn't the embodiment of every horror in a woman's worst nightmare? ...there was.
  • Janet Jackson's character had THE best monologue on being/saying sorry. EXACTLY!
  • Loretta Devin's character had a great monologue as well when she finally had had ENUF.
  • Phylicia Rashad - you still got skills girl.
  • Whoopie's character...I don't think her character was supposed to come across as funny, but it did to me.
  • Marcy Gray too scary crazy to a whole new level.
  • All the male characters (except for one) - DAAAAAMMMM!

Overall, I believe Tyler Perry did a good job with this piece of work. Oscar worthy - well, if I use the same reasoning/criteria for that Sandra Bullock movie that won last year - then definitely. Ignore the critics, be your own - you'll take something away with you that makes it worth the admission fee.