Film Spotlight: For Colored Girls 

film_forcoloredgirls1.jpg

For Colored Girls

For Colored Girls is Tyler Perry's adaptation of Ntozake Shange's 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. The award-winning play, a series of 20 poems, stands as a significant work in the African-American lit canon. But as Perry moves from the Madea comedies that made him famous to more serious work, he lacks the shading and nuance (and perhaps humility) to stave off melodrama.

 The film follows the threads of nine women, many of whom are identified by a different color of the rainbow. These women are saddled with issues from abortion and abuse to infidelity and molestation, and we are not spared a single detail, as one violent rape scene makes clear. Fortunately, the performances by Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, and especially Kimberly Elise are strong enough to withstand the heavy material. It isn't long, however, before Perry's glib style seeps through his attempt to add contour to the framework of Shange's play.

 Perry falters, maintaining a moral high ground that seems wholly out of place in a story about struggle. There is only a muted empathy for Newton's character, whose affinity for sleeping around stems from, predictably enough, sexual abuse she suffered as a child. And her impossibly swift epiphany — which could easily take years of therapy to work through — rings false. Only one male character is sympathetic: A closeted husband is outed and dismissed, as Perry introduces and then sidesteps a discussion of homosexuality in the black community. In the end, Perry strips away any hint of ambiguity, favoring instead the neat lessons of a fable: Don't sleep with random men. Don't take him back. Don't stay with him.

With all its flaws, Perry's adaptation may very well reach more audiences than a live theater performance would, and perhaps afterwards audiences will be drawn to Shange's original.

Opening Friday, November 5th, multiple locations

For Colored Girls
Rated R · 134 min. · 2010
Official Site: www.forcoloredgirlsmovie.com
Director: Tyler Perry
Writer: Tyler Perry and Ntozake Shange
Producer: Tyler Perry, Roger M. Bobb and Paul Hall
Cast: Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad and Macy Gray

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for For Colored Girls

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Unreal Film Festival 2017

      Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Festival Invades Studio On The Square.
    • Ingrid Goes West

      Audrey Plaza’s Instagram envy turns toxic in this sharp, entertaining satire.
    • Outflix Film Festival 2017

      The Homegrown Festival Marks Twenty years of Bringing LBGTQ Films To The Mid-South

Blogs

Intermission Impossible

Dream Home Heartache: "A Doll's House" is as Modern as it Ever Was

News Blog

Former Chef Convicted in Child Abuse Case

News Blog

Bike Share Program Seeks Director

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Namazu

From My Seat

No Fun League (2017)

Tiger Blue

Tigers 44, Southern Illinois 31

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies trade Troy Daniels to Phoenix

Music Blog

Listen Up: Louise Page

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Hannah Sayle

  • Recipe for Success

    Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman on their new cookbook, Collards & Carbonara.
    • Aug 29, 2013
  • Midtown Magnetism

    Babalu fills in another Overton Square spot; Muddy’s to open on Cooper.
    • Aug 22, 2013
  • Open House

    The historic Magevney House will soon reopen to the public.
    • Aug 22, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation