• For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide...and Did.

    I don't think I've ever walked out after a movie WANTING a cigarette. I don't think I've ever left wanting a drink. I don't think I've ever left wanting the craddling caress of another, holding me close. I don't think I've ever left a movie or play as empty and ...literally...wanting SOMETHING as I did tonight.

    Tonight I finally saw Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" and I left empty...depleted of energy or care. There was no room for me to feel anything...it was all done for me. In Ntosake Shange's choreopoem, the Lady in Red begins her iconic "Beau Willie" monologue, "There was no air." That best depicts how I left the theater tonight...I just felt like the life was suck out of me...and out of Shange's master tome.

    Before I race down the roll call of problems I had with the film, allow me to mention a few things I did love...yes, I said LOVED...about the film.
    I first want to give dap...BIG DAP...to Macy Gray! Well damn! I loved her handling of the "Harlem" monologue. While Perry has an all star cast of amazing black actresses to send MAJOR Thank You Christmas presents to, I think Macy Gray needs to be among those getting the larger, most delicious gifts. I sat straight up in my seat during her brief but electric scene in this film. Drunk, high, or crazy, Gray seemed the most at home and comfortable with Shange's words. So often an intact monologue would be force fit into amateur Perry dialogue, making the shift for many actresses resemble a skip in vinyl, noticeable and regrettable. Gray took Shange by the hand and ran! I cringed and smiled with every reprisal of "I was a woman of the world" as she sterilized her abortion tools with whisky. I seriously doubt "FCG" will be up for many awards outside the NAACP Image Awards, but somebody, ANYBODY, turn your attention to Ms. Gray!

    Phylicia Rashad is brilliant in her elegant treatments of a number of the original monologues...ok...except the "Toussaint" monologue. That was ill placed, awkward...and just BAD! The "Toussaint" monologue is one of the most joyous moments in a devastatingly heavy play and dude put it in the film as a distraction for the children listening to their mother take a beating from her crazy boyfriend...making this moment of joy, heavy and ugly. ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS OF THE NIGHT: CLAIRE HUXTABLE CALLED SOMEONE A HEIFER! I die happier. LMAO!! Elegant...sophisticated...wise...needed...because everyone else...EVERYONE ELSE...complete train wrecks!! When I say train wrecks, I am not referring to any of the actresses themselves. Each of their lives embodied little to no joy. I've directed the play...have seen other productions of it a number of times...and not once did I feel like the play should be called "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide...and DID!" I was waiting for them ALL to jump off the roof at the end! Just jump girls...just do it.
    Ok...because I'm tired and I want to write and then go to bed for a couple of hours, I'm going to run down my likes and dislikes and then come back to this tomorrow.

    Likes:
    - Macy Gray!! Again, needs pointing out!

    - Phylicia Rashad (Again...Claire Huxtable use to be a floozy, as she told Tangie, in different words of course, made me SOOOOO happy! Though, I was waiting for Rudy to show up at any moment.)

    - Seeing the various combination of actresses working together. I wanted a Whoopi/Phylicia moment of some sort...but nope. Loved Phylicia/Thandie, Phylicia/Kimberly, Janet/Kimberly.

    - Despite the horrible rewrites, I think ALL of the men did a fine job.

    - Anika Noni Rose with the "When Your Rapist is Someone You Know" monologue in the hospital. Beautiful work, indeed.

    -The first 3 minutes.

    Dislikes:
    - Kerry Washington as the Lady in Blue. The TP story of the STD/not being able to have a child story was clumsy. The big fumble comes when her husband asked her what happened and Washington explains by going into the "Three Of Us, Like Sisters" monologue. WHAT THE HELL!! That monologue didn't answer the question!! Yeah, it explained that she met this guy that she and her two best friends each liked him as well...but it said nothing of how she got the S.T.DAMN D! It was almost as if the Lady in Blue last her mojo as a lead character and essentially facilitated everyone else's story. I took special offense to this as I once played the Lady in Blue.

    - Repeated phrases...I wanted to begin counting how many times I heard the men say "Crazy Bitch"; how many time Loretta Divine said, "I'm tired of this shit!" or just the word "shit" like it was a brand new cuss word she was giving the freedom to say; Janet's The Devil Wear's Prada's "Jo" said...(oh damn, now I can't remember...there was a phrase she said in the first scene we see her with her staff and then again with Kimberly Elise and once again with her husband...can't remember).

    - Ok...I get that Kimberly Elise can do all the emotional stuff...and that's all fine and lovely...BUT WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL THAT WOMAN TO LIFT UP HER HEAD AND STOP HOLDING HER HEAD DOWN AND LOOKING UP??!!! It just looks like she's always mad and ready to jump on your head!

    - The "Graduation Night" monologue...top to bottom TRAIN WRECK EXPRESS WITH EXTRA STOPS!!! That...Tessa?...does not know how to INTERNALIZE a damn monologue! She rolled through that thing and all I could wonder was who was she talking to?! There was no real connection to WHY she was telling that story.

    -The Lady in Blue "Cuban Dance" monologue performed by Anika Noni Rose. It looked like he was on a bad date because she was just talking...and talking...and talking. She was talking too damn much and not looking at him to see what was landing on him...a reaction...anything!

    - The fact that the "Beau Willie" story came so early.

    -Tyler Perry's writing.

    - AND WHO THE FREAK WAS WHOOPI PRAYING TO?! SOME DUDE NAMED EDDIE OR SOMETHING?!

    I was waitin' for Ole Miss Sophie herself to show up!

    All in all, it wasn't the worst thing I had seen, but I don't EVER want to see it again. My love is too joyous to have thrown back on my face.

    TDV



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