I’ve never read Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf.” There. I said it.
I saw a performance of it in high school when it was the Spring performance. I saw it twice because it was amazing. However, I’ve yet to read the choreopoem, although I own the book. But I know of its significant because of the way people speak about it. I was looking forward to watching Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” because of all the buzz around it. And the cast he assembled. With that being said…
I loved “For Colored Girls.” Yes. LOVED. For the 2.5 hours I spent in the theater with 10 of my girls, I went through ups and downs. I laughed. I cried (sharrap, there was this one scene where…). I even sat at the edge of my seat at one point. I cared about every single character on the screen and their stories captivated me. It was an utter joy to see such amazing actors together. I haven’t been so excited to see a group of actors together in a minute. The most amazing part of the movie IS the cast that was assembled. I especially loved Loretta Divine, Phylicia Rashad, Kimberly Elise and Thandie Newton’s performances.
Loretta “Is he watching? Yeah he’s watching” Divine plays strong but vulnerable so well. I loved her as Lady in Green. Kimberly “Cicely Tyson Jr.” Elise as the Lady in Brown was a perfect casting. No one plays downtrodden better than Kimberly. Do you hear me??? NOT NOBODY! Thandie Newton was a GREAT Lady in Orange (her subpar hairhat aside). I found out that Mariah Carey was supposed to play Lady in Orange. PRAISE YAHWEH she got knocked up and Thandie replaced her. NO. MA’AM! Mariah might have ruined it for me.
And of course Phylicia Rashad is EVERYTHING! She was Gilda, and served as the grounding force in the movie. Claire Huxtable is a GODDESS! Every time she was on screen, I reveled in her awesomeness. She’s my aunty in my head too so she can do no wrong.
Janet “Lil Penny” Jackson is not one of the great actresses of her time, but she brought it as Red. And I must say… whoever styled her? LAWD! They KEPT Janet looking SO GAHTDAMB FIERCE in EVERY SCENE! She had on these BAD red pumps that made me swoon too. Ms. Jackson better WORK!
Sidenote: Of note, Janet is looking more and more like Michael ever since he died. She looks SO MUCH MORE like him. It’s so odd. A couple of times in the film, I’d find myself going “GOOD LAWD, she looks just like a brother!”
The other characters were good too. Shoutout to Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, and Whoopi Goldberg (who is a great actress for being able to have expressions without eyebrows). As an ensemble, the cast of “For colored Girls” was a delight to watch. They made me care and that’s a huge part of why I really liked this movie.
Them and the eye candy that were the men that starred in the movie. Tyler Perry always has the FAHNEST men in his movie. And before y’all throw shade at his sexuality, let me save you the time. We know. But Khalil Kain has been my boo since he was Raheem in “Juice.” And the man who played Janet’s hubby was finer than 800-thread cotton sheets. LAWDHAMERCY!
But I will say… although I really really liked the film, it wasn’t perfect by any means. There were some things I side-eyed and some things I know could have been better. “For Colored Girls” didn’t show black men in a positive light at all. There was only one semi-decent male character in the movie, and that was the one Hill Harper played. There was also one storyline that could have been done without, and that was the DL brother. It’s one topic that I believe has been talked to death. That horse got shot execution style.
Tyler Perry isn’t known for heralding Black men, and it may be attributed to the issues he has with black men and his struggles with his own existence as a black man (as well as his sexuality). However, this didn’t ruin the movie for me. I admit to not care much about the men in the story. I figured they were just figures to literally illustrate the struggles of the ladies.
I watched “For Colored Girls” from my bias as a Tyler Perry fan and my lack of attachment to Ntozake’s original choreopoem and I loved it (*fights urge to type “fiercely”*). I am a TP fan but not blindly and to the point where I think everything he touches is gold. Actually, quite the contrary. I see why some people don’t like his work. TP isn’t Shakespeare. He shows a narrow view of Black culture and life. Madea’s a stereotype. He is not a great filmmaker and subtlety isn’t often present in his films. All of this, I know. But what he did here was try to step out his lane and create something powerful. For ME, it was. Could someone else have done it better? I’m pretty damb sure of it. However, I don’t think he pissed on Ntozake’s words.
When Kimberly Elise as Lady in Brown went “I found God in myself and I loved her. FIERCELY.” I believed her. For Colored Girls” touched my soulspace and to date, it is admittedly Tyler’s best film. It showed to me that he is getting better.
I don’t expect everyone else to but… THIS colored girl loved “For Colored Girls.” *fights urge to type “Fiercely.”*
So have you seen it? Whatcha think about it? If you haven’t seen it, are you going to? This is a safe space. You don’t have to like it to comment. I love hearing about all reviews on the movie.
P.S. If you wrote a review of your own on your blog, feel free to leave a comment and include the link of yours.
P.P.S. Check out my girl Thembi’s review of the film. She was NOT a fan of the movie but I thought her review was fantastic. Getchu a piece.