Sunday, November 7, 2010

Movies You Should See: "For Colored Girls...

Who Considered Suicide When Is Enuf"

When I first heard about this movie, I was excited! I am not one of those people who dislike Tyler Perry. I think the man is extra as hell and does 10 times too much in many of his movies, but there are a few films by him that I thoroughly enjoyed. Those films just happen to be the non-Medea films (except "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" which I liked a lot despite the wife's need to get back at a cripple man). For Colored Girls is a non-Medea film, I was sure I would enjoy it.

For those who haven't read the book (a collection of 20 poems) or seen the play, For Colored Girls gives poetic insight on the lives of several different women of color. The women, from various places across the US, are represented by the colors of the rainbow, except one (the lady in brown) and throughout the play they are telling their individual story through poetic prose.

I think Tyler Perry did an excellent job sticking to the essence of the book. Of course, he added his own touch and switched up the story line to make it relevant for today (to get writer's credit too of course). The story is set in Harlem, present day with Phylicia Rashad playing the apartment manager who is watching the story unravel. Perry chose the right people and the right poems for this play. One has to thank God that Mariah Carey dropped out and Thandi filled in. She was perfect in the role of the "Lady in Orange". She exuded a sensuality and cool attitude that Mariah could not pull off.

Somewhat of a new comer, Tessa Thompson was excellent as the "Lady in Purple". I found her recitation of "Graduation Night" to be one of the best I have ever seen. The background setting, Tessa talking to her dance classmates, was perfect and her delivery of the poem was so seamless and smooth, I didn't even feel like she was saying a poem. She was spinning a magnificent tell. Journee Smollett originally had this role and while I love Journee, I am so glad Tessa had a chance to make this role hers.

The remainder of the cast did what they always do. Loretta (Green) always plays the woman longing for a man, but I love her rendition of "Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff". Janet Jackson (Red) is not a great actress to me, and her monologue did not move me. She cries out of one eye only. I couldn't get past it. Kerry Washington (Blue) did not get enough shine. I wish there was more she could have done. Her story was incomplete. Anika Rose (Yellow) was beautiful; and I must give props to Perry for writing a completely original monologue for her to perform in the hospital. It was also a highlight. Whoopi's character (White) was written for the movie. I didn't understand why she was necessary. Less Whoopi more Kerry please. And to end with, Kimberly Elise (Brown) who manages to always play the woman with the fucked up life. She owns those types of roles so I can't hate.

One surprise was Macy Gray. I loved her as the abortion "doctor". I felt that she owned those 5 minutes she was on the film and brought a lot of emotion to the scene at hand. Perry also knows how to pick a delicious man to play a role! Michael Ealy...outstanding and scary. Khalil Kain...outstanding and scary too. I must give thanks for Michael Cory Davis! He's the man with the cut body and locs who gets out of the bed at the beginning. I know there is a God because men like him exist.

Overall...I loved the movie. There was some concern that Perry couldn't do this film justice because he is a man. I disagree. I think he made the play relevant for today's times and did the best that could have been done given that this is a book of poetry he had to make into a play. The only thing I really disliked: Thandi and Whoopi's simultaneous monologues.

I have to say 4 out of 5.

1 comment:

  1. Peace,

    I just saw it on Sunday...I've a heavy and long critique of the film coming on my blog. In all, I enjoyed the film and what I didn't enjoy, I could overlook. I will say that as a Feminist ally, I wish a woman who was truly close with the play did the work but I doubt anyone could have made the source material work any better. So kudos to Perry for his effort.