For Colored Girls
Directed by Tyler Perry
Cornerhouse, 2 January 2011
If you are going to make a film that focuses on gender politics, you may as well cover a wide range of issues.
The ten-minus-one women whose lives are assembled herein must cope with rape, murder, domestic abuse, infidelity and infertility, unwanted pregnancy, husbands who are gay and men who practise unsafe sex, evangelistic cult-following mothers and spiteful sisters. And probably a few other things as well.
Although it feels sometimes a little (or a lot) contrived and stagey still (the film is based on a play by Ntozake Shange), there is no doubting the quality of the writing or the bevy of excellent performances. To my mind, four performances especially stood out, those by Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose and Michael Ealy. The latter played a military vet who becomes an abusive husband.
Some may go along to this one expecting a sisterly, feel-good chick flick, and there is some of that vibe to the film, admittedly. However, it is raw and real and edgy to a surprising extent, despite the slick packaging. A fine movie.