ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

For Colored Girls- A Movie Review

Updated on November 10, 2010

An Honest Adaptation

Tyler Perry did a magnificent job transferring Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuff, to the big screen. Though he shortened the title to For Colored Girls, and added a few characters, he kept the storyline and dialogue honest to the original script.

The Plot

The plot portrays the struggles of eight women as they try to maintain family, career, and love relationships without becoming the bitches and nags that the society in which they live suggests they should be. All but one (Tangie) has a source of joy that she doggedly holds on to despite her circumstances. Though some of the women are acquainted with others in the group, no one is a friend to any other. However, all eight lives converge after a horrific tragedy breaks Crystal’s spirit to such a degree that she tries to commit suicide. It is after this that all the ladies realize that they must embrace the “God within” in order to take control of their lives. They call what they need “a laying on of hands”—and the audience gets the sense that this is exactly what this new sisterhood will provide for each other.

An Artsy Movie

Because this story was originally told in poetic rendering and Perry kept some of that poetry in the movie --and because a few scenes have several characters picking up lines from the same poem, For Colored Girls comes across as artsy. But those same elements bring the poignancy of the storyline to the forefront. To some (including the writer from The Huffington Post who gave the film a 5 out of 10), these elements create discomfort.

The Female Characters

Casting for For Colored Girls is absolutely on point. Not one actor falls short in any scene. Each woman from the original story, Kimberly Elise (Crystal), Janet Jackson (Jo), Loretta Devine (Juanita), Anika Noni Rose (Yasmine), Kerry Washington (Kelly), Thandi Newton(Tangie) and Tessa Thompson (Nyla) embodies her character to such a degree that in several crying scenes, we see snot and tears intermingle. We see the heart-ache on their faces, hear it in their voices and feel it in our hearts. Yes, there are tears shed in theaters across the country during this movie; on the day I saw it, some of those tears were mine. Perry adds three female characters who help pull the story lines together. The most important added character is Whoopi Goldberg’s religious fanatic, Alice. Goldberg plays Alice as crazy but well meaning. Once we know Alice’s story, we understand Tangie. Perry’s casting of Phylicia Rashad (Gilda) as the nosy apartment manager adds continuity between characters. At first we view her as one-dimensional (nosy) but quickly understand that she is that one “tree” of support that Crystal speaks of and that all the other ladies need. Macy Gray, as the alcoholic abortionist, could have been maligned by viewers, but she tells her story with such realism, we actually understand how she has come to be.

The Males

One discussion that accompanied the original play was about the issue of male bashing. I saw none of that. Although there were five males whose stories were tied to the female leads, only three had significant storylines of their own: Michael Ealy, as shell shocked Bo Willie, had our sympathy until he did the unthinkable; Richard Lawson, as the unable-to-commit, Frank, kept going back to a woman who had broken his heart, breaking the heart of Juanita, the woman who loved him. For some reason, we don’t really hate Frank; we just feel sorry for Juanita. Donald, played by Hill Harper is the most redeeming male in the movie. His love for Kelly is apparent in all their interactions. He tenderly supports her through their childless crisis. Yes, Omari Hardwick’s Carl is a date-rapist, but he gets his in the end, and Perry even gives the audience something to laugh at in Carl’s last scene. And since Khalil Kain’s Bill is down-low and married to cold and controlling Jo, even he comes across rather sympathetic. Perry does a wonderful job NOT bashing the males in For Colored Girls.

A Thumb's Up

Unlike most other movies directed by Tyler Perry, there is little humor in For Colored Girls. But also unlike his other movies, there are no places where a viewer feels preached to and there's no predictability. This movie may well push Perry even higher on the directorial charts. In his interview with Oprah, Perry said he was pleased with the end product. I can definitely see why. My humble advice: Go see For Colored Girls. It has a message for all girls—and quite a few boys.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Sounds like a very interesting Movie - One people would like to see again. I will definitely watch it, as I hear about it alot. On a personal note, I just wish it wasn't given that Title.

      I also enjoyed reading your response to pointblank.

      Best Wishes

      Elena

    • JDove-Miller profile imageAUTHOR

      JDove-Miller 

      7 years ago from YOUNGSVILLE

      Hmmm, interesting question,Pointblank009. One never knows. But I don't think that was the point. It was a story told so that women begin to see "the God within" themselves so that they start to treat themselves better. Afterall, the only person I can control is myself. If I make better choices about the men in my life-- that is, if women stop tolerating bad behavior in men, then yes, men will change. But more importantly, women will feel better about themselve. And if one man sees the movie and sees his bad behavior depicted there and decides to change, more power to us all!

    • pointblank009 profile image

      pointblank009 

      7 years ago from Buffalo

      Will this film make black males improve their character, or is that the reals purpose?: https://hubpages.com/politics/BelovedPreciouscantE...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)