This is not my For Colored Girls review; that can be found here on my review blog. But this movie was about so much more than a review of how well it worked to me. There were other things that I felt needed to be said, things I couldn’t just let fall by the wayside in favor of staying true to reviewing it as just a movie.
It’s taken me a while to decide how I really feel about the movie as art, but not how I feel about it on a visceral level, how I feel about the intent and messages, and how people will take this film. The first thing that stood out to me was the shortening of the name. There is a reason the play has that long drawn out name: this piece is speaking to a specific demographic of women. This is a piece about “colored girls” (Black women) who have considered suicide; in other words, this really isn’t my story just because I’m a Black woman. By shortening the title to For Colored Girls, it makes it seem as if this movie is for all of us, is about all of us. So I could reasonably expect to see something of myself in it, from a literal standpoint.
Mr. P. joked around a lot about “all y’all” in the aftermath of the movie, and even though he was joking, I’m sure someone else watching this movie thought the same things seriously. This is how all of us are. This is all that ever happens to us. This is why we’re bitter and angry. There’s a good reason for it, the film suggests, but we are still bitter, angry, oversexualized, naive, taken advantage of, and don’t know when to leave.
I realize that Mr. Perry was dealing with a source material, one that dated back quite a few years and was close to a lot of women’s hearts. I realize issues of date rape, contracting HIV, domestic abuse, abortion, and no good men still exist. But I kept longing for something more. I kept longing to see my struggles on the screen. I wanted a movie that claimed to be for me about me to be…for me and about me.
It irked me that all of these women’s struggles came back to men. Abuse men, rapist men, cheating men, scheming men, men who were good but didn’t have the power to make the hurt of the previous man’s misdeeds go away (and only one of those). My issues are much more pedestrian than all of that. I’m dealing with the economy, the glass ceilings, racism, familial relationships, relationships with other women in my friendship circle. I’m dealing with debt and deferred dreams. I’m dealing with hormones and weight struggles, self-esteem and my hair. Yes, I deal with the struggles of relationships with the male species, but if that were all I had to deal with, it would be a good day.
So that’s what I want to speak on today. What are you still waiting to see acknowledged and portrayed about you and your journey in film and in print? What would you like to get off of your chest that you are struggling with? Where is your movie?
- Why Must ‘For Colored Girls’ Be More Than Just a Movie? (politicsdaily.com)
- “Why are Black Men Mad About For Colored Girls? *Spoilers*” and related posts (blackandmarriedwithkids.com)
- Why Good Black Men Lack in Tyler Perry’s Movies (urbanbellemag.com)
- Tyler Perry Finger Paints Over “For Colored Girls” (Spoilers and Video) (blogher.com)
- For Colored Girls and Real Colored Girls: Last Night in Seattle (slog.thestranger.com)