From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Monday, November 1, 2010

For Colored Girls - C

Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language, 120 minutes

Great cast best part of melodramatic "For Colored Girls"

"For Colored Girls" is the new urban drama from Tyler Perry featuring an all-star cast of some of the best actresses of our generation. The cast performs well in the soapy, overdone "For Colored Girls," based on the 1975 Ntozake Shange stage play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf." In spite of a few poignant moments, Perry's stale script is the chief flaw for the ambitious film, which lacks the power and grit a story likes this needs.

The stage play had several nameless women reading a collection of poems that dealt with intense issues that black women face. In the movie version, Perry gives the women names and each of the women have considerable challenges. Jo (Janet Jackson) deals with infeldity; Tangie (Thandie Newton) is a sex addict; Tangie's sister Nyla (Tessa Thompson) is young and pregnant; Juanita (Loretta Devine) has trouble keeping a faithful man; Crystal (Kimberly Elise) is stuck in an abusive relationship; Yasmine (Anika Noni Rose) has shattered dreams and expectations; Kelly (Kerry Washington) desperately wants to have a child but can't let go of her past.

Perry's choppy, histrionic and downbeat "For Colored Girls" doesn't work in spite of the earnest efforts of the cast, which is unfortunate given the talented cast. Devine, Newton and particularly Elise are the most memorable of the large cast, which also includes Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg and Felicia Rashad, both of whom aren't given much to do. Jackson is woefully miscast and her wooden performance drags the film down.

The challenging source material, Shange's play, which was a series of non-linear poems and stories, is turned into a more linear soap opera with some of Perry's typically preachy messages. In spite of the great cast, inspiring play and a handful of good moments (most provided by the always-hilarious and shrill Devine) is a stale, unmemorable effort.