For Colored Girls | Indy Week

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Rated R · 134 min. · 2010

Drama


Far better suited to its East Village coffee house origins, playwright/poet Ntozake Shange's 1975 play gets a histrionic, pedestrian movie treatment from director-screenwriter-producer Tyler Perry. Nine Harlem women bound by color and their wicked men take turns overemoting and monologuing—"Being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven't conquered yet" is one of the more cogent lines. The aim of grappling with the everyday travails of African-American women is undercut by Perry's hyper-reality in which every man is a philanderer, rapist, murderer, pedophile and/or HIV-positive closeted homosexual. Meanwhile, the women left in their wake—portrayed here by Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad—are conventional cutouts designed to further Perry's moralizing, female-centric viewpoint, but ill-equipped to bridge Shange's poetry and Perry's prosaic prose. Anyone waiting to exhale shouldn't hold their breath.
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

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