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For Colored Girls Movie Review

For Colored Girls: A Hot, Clichéd Mess

There have been rumblings that For Colored Girls is director Tyler Perry's best work. If that's true, then I fear for what that says about his career as a filmmaker. The movie is based on the Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, which first hit the stage in 1975. Perry's adaptation is a sloppy effort, as he has foregone any sort of updating or modernization of the 35-year-old production, choosing instead to exploit timeworn clichés to portray the dramatic lives of several African American women living in New York City.

It's a shame, because Perry has many fine actresses in his cast, like Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Devine, Kerry Washington, and Whoopi Goldberg. The movie follows them over the course of a few days, as each character endures a horrific ordeal (think rape, abortion, and physical abuse). Perry is going for a powerful, extravagantly theatrical feeling, but each story plays out like an after-school special.

To read about the problems I had with For Colored Girls, just


The individual skills of each actress are underutilized, except for perhaps Newton, who plays a woman so emotionally abused that she turns to promiscuity to avoid real relationships. The character is so familiar it's a stereotype, and the other personalities are even more overused. Janet Jackson plays a successful magazine editor, whose clothing, manner, and dialogue are ripped straight from The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly. Even the storytelling devices are laughably familiar; for instance, to show that a teen character is pregnant, she suddenly vomits during a dance practice. Subtle.


When Perry isn't using contrived tactics to move the plot forward, he crosses lines with gratuitous violence. There's one scene so extreme (made harder to watch by the tactless way it's filmed) that I wanted to walk out of the theater. Perry seems like he's striving to make a film as weighty as Precious, but he only gets close to the realm of soap opera.

It's clear that the women are supposed to be perceived as warriors, but they're really just victims. Rather than find a way to show their strength, the characters are simply put in peril. What's more, the danger they face is almost exclusively at the hands of men, who are wholly portrayed as monsters. It's another kind of stereotyping, and potentially more offensive than the way the female characters are depicted.

For Colored Girls completely misses the point it's trying to make, and only succeeds in being a caricature of other, better films that have tackled the same subject matter.

Breezers2210 Breezers2210 5 years
I only watched this movie three days ago and I can honestly say that it was beautiful. I didn't even know that it was actually based from a play/poems so I was very surprised when reading about it. Also, if anyone can send me a link that has the entire poem, it would mean alot to me since I haven't read the it. PLEASE! :)
Movie-freak Movie-freak 6 years
Shannon Vestal - I totally disagree with you. Your review lack taste and was very objective.
pinkmystic pinkmystic 6 years
For the person who said this film got bad reviews. Read the reviews by the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, and The LA Times. All gave this film glowing reviews!
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I find Tyler Perry's movies too soap opera-like. He tends to exaggerate with the story lines of each character and they are unrelatable. It's renting material.
pinkmystic pinkmystic 6 years
Where is the dislike button for this review?? I really enjoyed this movie.
suzpuz suzpuz 6 years
ummmm its called a movie review, because she is reviewing the movie, not the play
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I have seen the play--it is moving because of its simplicity. Each woman could be any woman. When it's acted well, you can feel the emotion coming off of each woman. Sets, interwoven stories, and intricate costumes are not needed. To me, even deciding to adapt this play into a movie was a horrible idea. I think this project was doomed to fail before it even started.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
Have you seen the play? I seriously doubt you were even aware of the material before you "reviewed" it.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 6 years
That sucks! I was really looking forward to seeing this, and now I don't want to.
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