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Chaely

I was so excited to hear about this movie. Then I found it Perry was making it and I was cautiously optimistic. He tends to satirize his subjects a bit too much for my liking - as a whitey I feel uncomfortable watching a lot of his movies because I feel vaguely as if I'm perpetuating stereotypes by supporting his vision.

I can appreciate that he wanted to modernize the original text & make it more accessible than prose-only dialog would have, but the power in Shange's play came from the fact that there wasn't a single word in the whole play that didn't belong. Every line was bursting with meaning & the appeal of the characters was that they could PERFECTLY verbalize what they (and by proxy, other women like them) were going through.

I haven't seen this film *yet* but almost every review I've read would commensurate with yours. It makes me sad to hear that Perry had enough hubris to try & present these women's stories more perfectly than Shange could. I feel deeply for him & the pain he's been through in his personal life, but I don't think that gives him enough context to really do justice to the incredibly emotional & real situations the women in the story represent.

Again, he turned this incredibly raw & real story with a raw & real ending into a marketable movie with the same movie-moments & movie ending that everyone expects. That was not the point of the play & I'm sad that he couldn't set his formula aside to overcome that.

Parker

That Musto blurb was terrible..several dumb ideas in one short paragraph and the pompousness of being not only a comfortably out white man but a man who has a successful career based partly on the fact that he is gay, white and out. The black community is not homophobic. A black man who is closeted can just be called a closeted gay man..there's no special ethnic title you need to use, especially when 'downlow' is not just a term for closeted but one that implies predatory and risky behavior.

I don't know if Perry is gay, there's nothing about him to indicate he is to me and it seems only 'gaydar' is used as evidence with those who do think he's gay. He's also got no responsibility to the gay community, the gay community isn't really rushing to help out the black community and people like Musto even use them for their unfair gossip pieces.

That said, I don't like TP movies and I agree with your review. I honestly think he would do better doing stand-up, his improv is phenomenal (I saw one of his plays live, during which he went off script to discuss some real ish in a funny way). The rest of the material is not up my alley but you know who could've done a better job doing 'For Colored Girls? No one. Because no one else is interested in putting stories like that to screen. Tyler Perry is a mixed blessing, in other words I'll take what I can get.

bevskid1

As always, you are my hero by watching what I just can't or won't. Watching Tyler Perry movies could be assigned as community service for lawbreakers...

Daniel

@Parker: Actually Tyler Perry wasn't the one who came up with the idea of a screen adaptation to Ntozake Shange's choreopoem.

It was originally the idea of a young music video director, Nzingha Stewart who acquired the rights from Ntozake Shange herself and subsequently wrote a screenplay for it. She pitched it to Liongate studio and they picked it up. On March 25th 2009, Liongate sent out a press release that Stewart would being writing/directing the project.

The studio looking for potential producers for the film turned to Tyler Perry. He agreed that he would finance the film on the condition that the project would become his own. So Stewart was pushed out of the way completely and Perry set to work writing his own script for the film.

N'awlins Darlin'

My only thought on this all along has been: At least he didn't name this one 'Tyler Perry's for Colored Girls'.

MacArthurBlvd

@Parker The black community is not homophobic??

Laya

@MacArthurBlvd Maybe Parker should have said "Not everyone in the black community is homophobic." Which is the truth. Homophobia within the black community is a quagmire of misplaced religious devotion, hyper-masculine delusions, and a deep-seated fear of appearing weak in front of whites (among many other things). But as the country goes, so goes the "black community" - the younger and more educated and less sheltered you are, the less likely it is that you are homophobic, at least in my experience.

As for this movie...the more I hear about it the less I want to see it. I had the priviledge of seeing a performance of the play a while back (starring the original Aunt Viv post-Fresh Prince firing), and walked out of the theater a lifelong fan. I've seen all of Tyler Perry's movies (my Mom is a fan and doesn't like to go to the movies alone, but hey - she pays), and I just can't bring myself to watch something so powerful subjected to TP's coonery. Even with this cast.

Dee

Great review, Rich!

Nikkinik

@ MacArthurBlvd
The Black community is nomore homophobic than the Latino,White,Jewish,Muslim ect communities. Dont believe the hype. Its the religions that cause the divide

The acting was terrific that is why I went, to see colored girls who get beat out of roles by white girls whos talent isnt nearly enuf

Extamax

Perhaps she is saying hi to somebody from the window.

Minna

YES!

Robert

I still want to see this film, even if every single moment of verse is book-ended by awful hacky Tyler Perry dialog. I mean, Anika Noni Rose! Loretta Devine! Phylicia Rashad! Whoopi!! I'd pay to see them in the next Saw film, let alone an actual piece of brilliant and challenging theater brought (brutalized? waterboarded?) to the screen.

ugg australia

I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks - you cleared up some things for me!

grafittix

If I see this it'll be a rental.

Mystic White

Very fantastic movie.I saw it thrice. Blacks are not homophobic.
Mystic White

Julnyes

All of these negative reviews sadden me. I was so excited when I heard For Colored Girls was being adapted, but that excitement crashed and burned when I saw Tyler Perry's name.

It makes it even worse that he took this project from another person and proceeded to slop his crappy writing skills all over it.

I promised my sister we would go see it together, but I am not thrilled about it.

Binda

I saw the film on opening day (a bad idea and something I wouldn't normally do) as a ladies outing with a group of female friends. I can only say from my own observation that the movie felt a bit hollow. It may not be Tylers fault because I imagine it's hard to build so many characters fully in one movie. The AIDS cough thing was a bit silly. I think I'll have to watch the movie again when it comes out on DVD. Going to a first day showing is really annoying. People were laughing at things that weren't meant to be funny which was distracting.

Account Deleted

"victimhood can be a part time job." what an acute and poetic argument. in the spirit of sisterhood, i feel very akin to you. your blog is beautiful.

Bri

Your words are on and correct, R. Thank lordy there is
intelligence out there about T. Perry and her this, that, and the other. Although those actresses are my air, I feel I might, might catch this on a JetBlue red-eye whilst passing out.

Now off to a step show in Oakland with my black, lesbian, and booted sisters. Where's their movie?!

illumibriter

This is one of my favorite daily soaps. I watch it on a regular basis.

tennischick

I guess I would have preferred it if you had separated the criticism of Shange's material from what Perry managed to do with it. Shange's play is depressing. The characters are all victims of men. I'm not clear why you're faulting Perry for this. Although in general I do accept your criticism of his stereotypic and limited movie-making skills.

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It makes it even worse that he took this project from another person and proceeded to slop his crappy writing skills all over it.

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another person and proceeded to slop his crappy writing skills all over it.

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i watch it on a regular basis.

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Shange's play is depressing. The characters are all victims of men.

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