TV and Movies

For Colored Girls Who Watched The Movie And Wrote A Review Of It

I’ve never read Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf.” There. I said it.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf

Random aside: Am I the only one who is thinks the woman on this cover looks like India Arie? Oh. Just me? (-__-) Aight then.

I saw a performance of it in high school when it was the Spring performance. I saw it twice because it was amazing. However, I’ve yet to read the choreopoem, although I own the book. But I know of its significant because of the way people speak about it. I was looking forward to watching Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” because of all the buzz around it. And the cast he assembled. With that being said…

I loved “For Colored Girls.” Yes. LOVED. For the 2.5 hours I spent in the theater with 10 of my girls, I went through ups and downs. I laughed. I cried (sharrap, there was this one scene where…). I even sat at the edge of my seat at one point. I cared about every single character on the screen and their stories captivated me. It was an utter joy to see such amazing actors together. I haven’t been so excited to see a group of actors together in a minute. The most amazing part of the movie IS the cast that was assembled. I especially loved Loretta Divine, Phylicia Rashad, Kimberly Elise and Thandie Newton’s performances.

Loretta “Is he watching? Yeah he’s watching” Divine plays strong but vulnerable so well. I loved her as Lady in Green. Kimberly “Cicely Tyson Jr.” Elise as the Lady in Brown was a perfect casting. No one plays downtrodden better than Kimberly. Do you hear me??? NOT NOBODY! Thandie Newton was a GREAT Lady in Orange (her subpar hairhat aside). I found out that Mariah Carey was supposed to play Lady in Orange. PRAISE YAHWEH she got knocked up and Thandie replaced her. NO. MA’AM! Mariah might have ruined it for me.

And of course Phylicia Rashad is EVERYTHING! She was Gilda, and served as the grounding force in the movie. Claire Huxtable is a GODDESS! Every time she was on screen, I reveled in her awesomeness. She’s my aunty in my head too so she can do no wrong.

Janet “Lil Penny” Jackson is not one of the great actresses of her time, but she brought it as Red. And I must say… whoever styled her? LAWD! They KEPT Janet looking SO GAHTDAMB FIERCE in EVERY SCENE! She had on these BAD red pumps that made me swoon too. Ms. Jackson better WORK!

Sidenote: Of note, Janet is looking more and more like Michael ever since he died. She looks SO MUCH MORE like him. It’s so odd. A couple of times in the film, I’d find myself going “GOOD LAWD, she looks just like a brother!”

For Colored Girls Movie

The other characters were good too. Shoutout to Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, and Whoopi Goldberg (who is a great actress for being able to have expressions without eyebrows). As an ensemble, the cast of “For colored Girls” was a delight to watch. They made me care and that’s a huge part of why I really liked this movie.

Them and the eye candy that were the men that starred in the movie. Tyler Perry always has the FAHNEST men in his movie. And before y’all throw shade at his sexuality, let me save you the time. We know. But Khalil Kain has been my boo since he was Raheem in “Juice.” And the man who played Janet’s hubby was finer than 800-thread cotton sheets. LAWDHAMERCY!

But I will say… although I really really liked the film, it wasn’t perfect by any means. There were some things I side-eyed and some things I know could have been better. “For Colored Girls” didn’t show black men in a positive light at all. There was only one semi-decent male character in the movie, and that was the one Hill Harper played. There was also one storyline that could have been done without, and that was the DL brother. It’s one topic that I believe has been talked to death. That horse got shot execution style.

Tyler Perry isn’t known for heralding Black men, and it may be attributed to the issues he has with black men and his struggles with his own existence as a black man (as well as his sexuality). However, this didn’t ruin the movie for me. I admit to not care much about the men in the story. I figured they were just figures to literally illustrate the struggles of the ladies.

I watched “For Colored Girls” from my bias as a Tyler Perry fan and my lack of attachment to Ntozake’s original choreopoem and I loved it (*fights urge to type “fiercely”*). I am a TP fan but not blindly and to the point where I think everything he touches is gold. Actually, quite the contrary. I see why some people don’t like his work. TP isn’t Shakespeare. He shows a narrow view of Black culture and life. Madea’s a stereotype. He is not a great filmmaker and subtlety isn’t often present in his films. All of this, I know. But what he did here was try to step out his lane and create something powerful. For ME, it was. Could someone else have done it better? I’m pretty damb sure of it. However, I don’t think he pissed on Ntozake’s words.

When Kimberly Elise as Lady in Brown went “I found God in myself and I loved her. FIERCELY.” I believed her. For Colored Girls” touched my soulspace and to date, it is admittedly Tyler’s best film. It showed to me that he is getting better.

I don’t expect everyone else to but… THIS colored girl loved “For Colored Girls.” *fights urge to type “Fiercely.”*

So have you seen it? Whatcha think about it? If you haven’t seen it, are you going to? This is a safe space. You don’t have to like it to comment. I love hearing about all reviews on the movie.

P.S. If you wrote a review of your own on your blog, feel free to leave a comment and include the link of yours.

P.P.S. Check out my girl Thembi’s review of the film. She was NOT a fan of the movie but I thought her review was fantastic. Getchu a piece.

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  1. HighQuality08
    November 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I have yet to see it. Some of my friends went on Saturday, but I had bills to pay. I’m considering going sometime this week even though I cant afford it. This colored girl is considering swiping her credit card because her bank account isnt enuf #Fail

    • Lexi
      November 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      “…This colored girl is considering swiping her credit card because her bank account isnt enuf #Fail”

      lol pure hilarity with the play on words

    • November 11, 2010 at 12:40 am

      LOL and aaaaawwwww at “This colored girl is considering swiping her credit card because her bank account isnt enuf.

  2. tiombe25
    November 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I saw it and LOVED it!!!( long time lurker coming out to comment!) LOOOOVE your blog by BTW!

    • November 11, 2010 at 12:40 am

      Thanks for de-lurking! Don’t be a stranger! 😀

  3. MsMelissa!
    November 8, 2010 at 9:02 am

    @ HighQuality08 LOL…. I feel you. I am fighting the urge to “Go see the bootleg man when my dollars aint enough” ….maybe fry some chicken and charge all my friends $2 at the door…..oh sorry did I really say that out loud???

  4. Mrs Smiley Face
    November 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

    It left me going through some thangs. My girls and I went to see it on Friday and left on tears! We were somebody in the movie at different times…it just took us there and back. I ain’t mad at Tyler at all.

  5. November 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I did see it and loved it! Fiercely! I’ve debated writing a review, but you’ve said so much of what I thought and felt. My only side-eye was Macy Gray’s scene. I mean how likely is that to happen in 21st century America? The scene, but her monologue and cuts to her world were VERY powerful.

  6. November 8, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Finally! Someone wrote a favorable review of this movie. For Colored Girls was fantastic! I give TP props for adapting this play to the screen, I think that it would have been a hard job for anybody.

    It seems that some of the critical brutality this film has recieved has a lot to do with people’s prejudice towards Tyler Perry, the movie was written off as soon as it was revealed that TP would be the director.

    I wrote my thoughts about FCG on my blog and your thoughts about the movie mirror mine.

    Great review!

  7. November 8, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Saw it. I would rather listening to Wosie Pewez recite it over and over again in her nasally voice than to see it again. I enjoyed the play, thought it was beautiful and moving but thought the movie lacked some. Kimmy, Kerry, Whoopi, Phylicia, Macy, Thandie and Ms. Devine were freakin awesome. Tyler Perry can’t anymore of my money. I loved that this makes us look into ourselves and think. I just wish the people that were in the theater could have grasped that part instead looking for a “movie”.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  8. emti
    November 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

    This is my absolute favourite book so I have to admit I was worried. I even promised to put a hit out on Tyler Perry if he dared to put Madea in the movie.
    I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Although a little heavy handed in the direction (but that’s Tyler’s style) he handled it very well. My only beef is the whole downlow/AIDS storyline. I thought it was a little irresponsible and played out.

  9. Kay
    November 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I rebuke this movie and I rebuked Precious (haven’t seen that either)…I just can’t anymore with the Tragic Negro theme that has been played out over and over in films…I prefer comdies over depression any day….

  10. November 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

    so, like @Kay above, I didn’t see Precious, and was on the fence about seeing For Colored Girls. Not because it was a TP movie, but because I hadn’t read the book nor seen the play, thus I would have nothing to compare it to. I’m also on the fence about Tyler Perry, I like his movies for entertainment purposes but feel that he appeals to only a segment of African-American culture and sometimes the lower denominator of that culture. I.e. Sarah Palin is to trailer parks and middle america as Tyler Perry is to_______ you finish it.

    You wrote a great review Luvvie, one that has actually inspired me to go see the movie with a few girlfriends and maybe do dinner and a nice bottle of wine. If anything it will make for good conversation. I’ll let you know what I thought….xoxo

  11. November 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Yess, it had some side-eye worthy moments…but I loved it as well. Because of the movie, I will be purchasing the book.

    Let me just say the only person who has the right to be PISSED about TP making this movie is Ntozake Shange. Everyone else, take a queue from Red and go cry in the car. Thank you and good night!

  12. Capricorn
    November 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    This. Movie. DRAINED. ME. Not in a bad way. You see, I havent read the poem nor have I seen the play. But EACH OF THOSE WOMEN GAVE ME LIFE. Loretta (will she ever NOT be Gloria to me?), Mrs. Huxtable, Elise Neal(shut up, b!itch. I’m sorry), even Janet. WHoOOOO,chile.

    In all seriousness, this story spoke to me. I was Nyla. I was Anika, I have been Tangy (dont judge me, lol!), I am Kerry, I strive to be like Janet/Phylicia/Loretta. Each of these stories speaks to me in my now, in my not so distant past, to my future. But all told, I really could have done without the scene with the kids and the window, I literally could not watch that scene. I relived my assault watching Anika’s character go through hers (did it HAVE to be Raheem? REALLY? boo!). I saw the kind of powerful woman I will need to avoid becoming when I saw Janet. I saw the hopeful romantic when I saw Loretta. THIS MOVIE IS US (ok, it’s me, but ya’ll get my point)!! (I wish people would get over their issues with Tyler Perry; he’s making movies about OUR STORIES and ISSUES and we dont support him.) The reading of the poems kind of threw me off at times, but I got what he was trying to do. For me, it worked because the women were all a reflection of me. My only point of contention was the fact that all the men, had some issue. All of the brothers cant be evil. Janet’s man wore the HELL out of his clothes; Hill Harper was great, Khalil Kane was believable and Micheal Ealy. *pause* *takes a deeep breath* My hometown boy played THEE HELL out of Beau, ya’ll hear me? He was outstanding.

    Thus ends my review. *curtsies* PS: if you see it, go to the non hood theatre. The extra commentary will inspire laughs at non funny times.

  13. November 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I enjoyed it, although the film version was The Women of Brewster Place meets The Women of Waiting to Exhale. I went in w/ an open mind and heart, though and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I’ve said this on other sites: For Colored Girls, Waiting to Exhale and The Women of Brewster place conveyed the power of our feminity and fierceness in the face of struggle perfectly IN PRINT. However, in all of the film versions, the male roles and their actions being vividly portrayed overshadowed/dulled the powerful image of our resiliency. It made us appear as though we were constantly grieving instead of rejoicing in our rediscovery of SELF.

    I wish that 4CG had been done w/ an all female cast, similar to The Women (1938 and 2008) versions. The men (and the pain caused by their actions) were the backstory in those films, and not the main story.

  14. Liz
    November 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I saw it yesterday with a couple of close friends and I thought it was his best work to date. It touched on so many different issue, I can’t help but believe that it spoke something to every woman. Also I’ve never, not ever sat in a filled theater when the credits started to roll in total silence. No one said a word as they left.

  15. Ms. Heaven
    November 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I have been on the fence about seeing the movie. I was scared TP wouldn’t be able to truly do justice to FCGWCSWTRIE. Side note – I’m so glad the title was shortened. Sorry Ntozake. I didn’t want to cry through another movie. Folks told me not to watch Precious, but noooo, I just had to go see it, and left my heart and soul on the sticky theater floor next to a bucket of popcorn, where it landed when it was ripped from my chest. I also couldn’t bear to see black men bashed again. They have their faults, Lawd knows they do, but so do black women, white men, yellow women, and green puppies.
    With all that being said, I too will be planning a Girls Night that will include dinner, wine, and a brand new box of Kleenex. If I throw myself off the top of my 2 step porch from extreme depression, I hope ya’ll come to my funegro and act appropriately.

  16. yadi
    November 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    phylicia rashad – i hung on her every word/tick/gesture, just brilliant. shiny gold stars for kimberly, anika, and loretta as well. i don’t know why tyler is so infatuated with janet’s no-acting a*s, she can not do drama. kerry = boring but ok. thandie was committed. tessa, there’s no way i would have let macy gray come anywhere near me with gynecological instruments…no ma’am. i would rather yank out my own uterus.

    i could have done without the children being thrown out the window, please not the babies. i was shocked to find each woman/character relatable. i could empathize with each of them.

  17. yadi
    November 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    also, the movie only conveyed despair, tethering on hopelessness while the play/poems left one with a feeling of perseverance and joy.

  18. November 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I saw it. I liked it. I especially liked the performances of Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose, because more than anyone else in the movie, I believed them. I don’t think it’s difficult to play a role that requires you to cry a lot, mainly because I cry a lot. Hallmark commercials make me cry, so I just watch thinking, how hard could that be.

    To add a bit of ratchet to the review, did you notice how everyone who was crying had perfectly placed snot on their upper lip. Don’t quit me, I’m dead serious. It was like TP took a course in making tears look for real. Or maybe, just maybe all these women really were crying.

    These topics were just… heavy.

  19. November 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Saw it. Loved it. And I am not a Perry fan in the LEAST. I had some of the same thoughts as you about downfalls, i.e. only one positive male, but as you also said, I figured they were figurative. I definitely didn’t come out of the movie thinking, ‘dang, men SUCK’.

    I am SO WITH YOU on Janet looking like Michael. And yes I might have teared up a lil but UH. I maintaint my #thug.

    I love seeing black movies in the theater because my people are so expressive. We laughed and cried and screamed out and clapped together. Loved it.

  20. keisha brown
    November 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    i’d like to give swift kicks to the girls/women behind me who TALKED, got TEXTS and kissed teet during the WHOLE movie and entirely ruined the experience for me, my girl and my sis.

    i have NEVER left a movie so angry in my life. or so unhappy with black folk.

    S/O to the ghetto a$$ chicks at Eglinton/Warden, Sat 10:05pm show for RUINING this movie for people. go kick rocks and get some DAYUM culture in your life.

    *kicks soapbox.

    • emti
      November 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      HAHA what did you expect at Eglinton/Warden…almost went to that showing too
      Instead I went to Scotia theatre and there was definitely some inappropriate laughter

  21. Burk
    November 10, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Text YELE to 501501 to send $5 to help Haiti

  22. Ms. Heaven
    November 10, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Ok, so I saw it last night. Loved it. I had to watch it from the “this ain’t the play” point of view. Could have done without the DL brotha. Janet isn’t much of an actress, but she did much better in this movie. Short lines/scenes work best for her. Does anyone else want Kerry Washington to get teeth that fit her lips? No? Maybe it was just me. I too have been fighting the urge to say “fiercely” after erything, but I did that w/the play too. Loretta Divine will always be Gloria. #theend of my review. For now…

  23. LEXI
    November 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I loved loved the movie. period. I cried and laughed annnnnnnnnnnd sat on the edge of my seat.

  24. November 11, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I’m not a fan of TP’s movies… I went into the theater with an attitude… cause i JUST KNEW it was going to be a waste of my $$$ and a waste of me getting a babysitter… but it was a night out with the girls and away from the kids so I went AND…… I LOVED it!! SO glad that TP proved me SO WRONG! I wrote about it before the movie came out…..

    BUT I was so impressed!

    He lost me a few times in the beginning with the Poetry talk, but when I realized that I had to actively listen, I was really digging it… The cast was the best part of the film. EVERY woman did SO well, including Maci Gray and the young girl who was sent to the alley…

    Although Kim had me boo hoo crying and messing up my eye liner, my fave was THANDI Newton!! OSCAR worthy…. just awesome!

    I NEVER watch movies more than once… but i can’t wait till i get this on bootleg! LOL… I kid… I’m taking my husband to see it again this weekend…

    And LOL @ thank Yahwee that mariah got knocked up… she wouldn’t have done the job right!

    • ctr
      October 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Mariah didn’t get knocked up, she suffered a miscarriage FYI *side-eye*

  25. Tai
    November 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I absolutely loved this movie! I laughed and cried. I am not really a fan of Tyler Perry because I either want to laugh or cry. I want drama or a comedy. Not a dramedy. I was quite skeptical when I walked in. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of non colored people and mentally handicapped people who enjoyed the movie as much as I did. As a colored girl, I saw myself in two of those characters. For me they represented me at different stages of my life. I thought TP did a great job. It is definitely a must see!

  26. November 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Being on the African continent – it may take a coupla weeks for it to get to our big screens but I definitely want to check it out and not a pirated internet copy on a computer screen but AT the movies.

  27. November 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I one hunnit puhcent agrees witchya. I wrote about it a bit on my blog. the title is “My Love Is Too (Insert Adjective) TO Have Thrown Back On MY Face… btw your blog posts are hilarious! i almost got fired today from watching heroine helen in those pics! kudos*snaps*

    • November 15, 2010 at 5:03 am

      Glad you agree! And thanks! I just be spreading foolery around like I know how.

  28. Yeah...So
    November 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Luvvie, I just have to say thank you because I wasn’t going to see this movie… but then I read your review and honestly, that movie changed something in me. It was so poetic and just AMAZING! Personally, (I’m a critic) I would have swithed Ms. Whoopi’s and Ms. Phylicia’s roles… tho I think they both did an impeccable job, I would have really loved to see them bring out each other’s characters more… other than that, all I can say is “damn…”

  29. MissMaryMack
    November 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    …… I went to see 4CG this weekend with my mom. And althought the first words out of her mouth were, “I could have waited for this to come out on DVD…” I had to understand that she hadn’t been through anything that would have connected her to any of the characters in the movie. *Which I thank God for*

    And even though I have not had any experiences similar to any of the ladies in the movie (aside from being a woman of color) I loved the poetry and how it was incorporated into the film… And if Kimmy and Loretta don’t get nominations for their roles, then iQuit life.

    Great blog, lady! Keep it up for us colored girls… (and everyone else, too)

  30. Princess
    November 27, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I saw 4CG twice and loved it!!! I believe that all women can/cld see/identify themself in one of the characters. I was disappointed with Janet’s lack of emotion (she really can’t act in my book). Kim did a great job. The scene with the kids being thrown out the window, almost killed me – I cried so hard and then I got mad because these kids did not asked to me placed into a f**%$ed up life where the Mom know that her life and the kids lives are in danger but chooses to stay into a relationship where she is beat on daily. But kudos to Beau – he played a mean and believable character, I hated him for what he did to Crystal but loved his acting! Janet’s husband (Mr DL) was fine and wore the hell out of his clothes. His lines made me cry and lol because these DL brothers really think they are not gay because it’s just sex and that they are not in a relationship per say with a man but just f&%#ing.. ok then. And us women know within our heart because we can feel it that our men are creeping and yet we continue to believe the hype and crap they be feeding us with until its too late. We get an STD or worse HIV?AIDS uhmmm.

  31. bogart4017
    December 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I don’t usually do TP films but your review has me thinking about reconsidering.

  32. Whitney
    August 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I’ll start off with my ‘positives” for this film….

    It was a great movie. Loved each character and the stars that were cast for each character were absolutely perfect. It was light hearted at times but also gut wrenching. I felt like I was going through everything THEY were going through.. I feel like it had a lot of positive “lessons” for viewers. Overall, it was phenomenal.

    My ONE problem with the film was this… Not one of the women, in my opinion, had any real positive things happening for her. It was like, here we go again, the plight of a black woman.. I know there are black women that have great lives! Everything doesn’t have to be SO tragic! And okay, I have a 2nd problem… In the end, They all depended on each other, the fellow woman, which is great. But, Why couldn’t one, just ONE, have depended on a good man. And when I say “depend”, I mean emotionally.

    I just feel like black men are shuffled to the side while the women bond with one another. I would’ve liked to see an emotional/spiritual bond between one of the characters and a male star that was deeper than with her “sister”.