Things I learned watching For Colored Girls
I know, I know. But I have an excuse!
I showed up a little bit too late to see Due Date, and I guess they’ve got the kiosks programmed to stop selling tickets at a certain point after the movie has started, to keep ignorant black people such as myself from ruining it for everyone else. They probably didn’t used to, but then people complained.
Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, based on the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by N2Deep Shq-Fu, or whatever her name is, happened to be starting around that time, and I figured what the fuck. It’s been the talk of Black People Twitter since it opened this past Friday. Might as well see what the fuss is about.
With all due respect, past and present, and without further to do.
1) You can’t get a regular abortion in New York, or at least not for $300, like in “Retrospect for Life.”
The girl who gets the abortion is about to start college, which means she had to have been 18. There shouldn’t have been an issue with her not being old enough to get a real abortion, or the hospital having to write a letter to her mother, a member of one of those weird black religious cults they have in New York, possibly the same one Bobby and Whitney joined at the height of their crack (but not cocaine) problem.
Prices must have gone up since the mid ’90s.
Still, anyone with the sense god gave geese would have turned around when the back alley abortion doctor turned out to be Macy Gray. I don’t know if her character was meant to have been high on the aforementioned cocaine since the year 2000, or if she’s just like that, but suffice it to say I wouldn’t let her go anywhere near my junk with any shiny metal objects. I wouldn’t let her go anywhere near my junk, period. This pregnant girl didn’t strike me as college material. She could have ended up like Kate Winslet in the godawful Revolutionary Road. (Spoiler alert!) But I guess a black woman’s junk is just resilient like that. (Some would say it has to be.) The next day, she was walking around just fine, like nothing happened. Not so much as a limp. It just goes to show you some of the plot issues with this film.
But I don’t want to blame Tyler Perry (for anything other than being on the DL) – it could have been an issue with the source material. The original For Colored Girls is considered a landmark piece of African American literature and black feminism, but I’m not sure what that really means. Where are they setting the bar? And it’s true what the’ve been saying on Black People Twitter: For Colored Girls the film is shockingly professional-looking, for someone who started out making black-man-in-a-dress movies. No Boutros.
2) Black men ain’t shit.
You know a movie is slanted, when even the Washington Post is running an editorial on its portrayal of black men. Every black man in this movie is either a rapist, a DL brownie hound, a violent drunk, so on and so forth.
The closest thing to a positive portrayal of a black man in this movie is Frank, Loretta Devine’s constantly cheating boyfriend. You can catch a glimpse of her finally telling him to kick rocks in the TV commercial. As if. In fact, a case could be made that he’s not such a bad guy, on the grounds that Loretta Devine is gigantic and has a weird voice. What was she expecting out of life?
Then I guess there’s the character played by black relationships expert Hill Harper, who plays Kerry Washington’s boyfriend and also a cop. He doesn’t do anything wrong that I can recall, and he seems to conveniently pop up whenever a cop might be necessary. But he doesn’t seem like a real guy. There’s a scene where it’s explained to Hill Harper and Kerry Washington that the reason she can’t get pregnant (just like in the superior Mother and Child) is because she had an STD that went untreated, and now her nether regions are all fucked the fuck up, and he didn’t seem at all concerned that his girlfriend is both a filthy hoo-er (for having an STD) and trifling (for not having it dealt with). I’m not saying he should have dropped her like a bad habit right then and there. (The text message is the way to go these days.) I’m just saying. He could have at least grimaced. I did, and I haven’t even hit that.
3) Janet Jackson must have pictures of Tyler Perry taking it up the coat.
For Colored Girls currently has a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it two thumbs down, even though he learned his lesson about panning Tyler Perry films a few years ago, and even though he’s well known to have a thing for black chicks. Though that could be because the scene with Hill Harper and Kerry Washington in the fertility clinic reminded him of the fact that he supposedly got jaw cancer from eating the box. I could see how that may have hit a little bit too close to home for him and hence colored his viewing of the film. No pun intended. You gotta be careful, when you meet a woman later on in life like that. She might be wearing a chaste outfit, but you don’t know where she might have been.
But I digress.
The few positive notices of the film I’ve seen anywhere other than Black People Twitter have made it a point to mention some of the fine performances from the likes of Loretta Devine and Thandie Newton. I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of them ended up with Academy Award nominations, like Gabba Ray Sebadoh and Halle Berry, whom they more or less resemble, respectively. (You laugh, but this could work out in their favor.) A Best Picture nod would be a stretch, even if they nominate 10 movies like they did last year, but who knows. 10 nominees and not one of them black would be a bad look, and I’m not sure what else black people have done this year. Is Spike Lee still a director, or did Tyler Perry have his career put on hold, via back channels?
For Colored Girls should be disqualified from being nominated for Best Picture, on the grounds that it features Janet Jackson, who might be the worst actor I’ve ever seen in a film evar, even including pr0n. She’s at least twice as bad as the second worst actor in the film, Michael Ealy, the light skinted ninja from those Barbershop movies, who’s at least funny when he’s ordering his wife to fix him a drink, i.e. bring him a bottle of bottom shelf vodka. Janet Jackson ruins every scene she’s in, in For Colored Girls. I can’t not notice it, even by trying to focus on how fucked the fuck up her face is these days. I don’t know if it’s a botox job gone bad, or what, but her shit is starting to rival her dead brother’s. In his corpse state, I mean. I thought black don’t crack? Then there’s that scene at the beginning of the film, with her positively gigantic elderly woman cans, for no apparent reason. I wonder if Tyler Perry thought that was integral to the film (nah, right?), or if she insisted on it, like at the Super Bowl.