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KarenS Film Review: For Colored Girls

Directed by Tyler Perry
Produced by Tyler Perry
Screenplay by Tyler Perry
Janet Jackson
Loretta Devine
Anika Noni Rose
Thandie Newton
Whoopi Goldberg
Phylicia Rashad
Kimberly Elise
Tessa Thompson
Kerry Washington
Release date(s) November 5, 2010
Running time 133 minutes
Country United States
Language English

I watched this film last night, and I have to say, I’m still reliving it, even now.

The movie was adapted from Ntozake Shange’s 1975 stage play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf.

It had a great ensemble cast that included, Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Devine, and Thandie Newton. Written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry, For Colored Girls is a series of poetic vignettes that explore the lives of modern African American women.

In the original adaptation, each character deals with a different personal conflict, such as infidelity, abortion, rape, domestic violence etc.

Also as per the stage play, each of the major characters are represented by a colour, e.g. Jo, played by Janet Jackson was red, Alice, played by Whoopi Goldberg was white, Yasmine, played by Anika Noni Rose was yellow, Crystal, played by Kimberly Elise was brown, and so on and so forth. This was visually represented in the film, by the color of the clothes each character wore.

I have to warn you, this isn’t a film with much light in it. It wasn’t even a film with shade. Shade suggests that there’s some relief from the grit at some point. Shade suggests that there may have been moments when the sun came out. This was not that film.

It was gritty, and painful, and hard to watch, but the saddest thing about this movie was that it is reality for so many women. Not just for colored girls, but for all girls of different colors.

The most devastating tale was Crystal’s story, but then hers involved children. Yasmine’s story also made me weep for her.

There were a lot of memorable scenes, but the one that I remember with the most clarity was when Phylicia Rashad’s character, Gilda, confronts Yasmine after her personal tragedy, and urges her to take some responsibility for the events that led up to the moment Yasmine’s world was obliterated. I thought that was a powerful scene, and was handled beautifully, and sensitively. And to be honest, it reflected my own feelings on the matter.

The most memorable quote for me was from Janet Jackson’s seemingly emotionally vacant character, Jo, to her husband. After she finds out about his infidelity Jo says to him “I loved you on purpose“. There’s something about that statement that really struck a cord with me.

Beautifully shot, wonderfully directed, and brilliantly adapted, For Colored Girls was a deeply stirring film about the complexities of being a wife, a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter, and/or a mother.

You can buy the DVD from Amazon.com here, or buy the book here.


  • I enjoyed that movie. It’s one of the few Tyler Perry films that didn’t have me rolling my eyes in annoyance. Yeah that seen with Crystal’s husbands and kids was very hard to watch. I balled like a baby. Whoopi was great, reminds me that she should have won the Oscar for The Color Purple. And Thandie Newton’s character was so damaged it was sad. Great review! Btw, guess who’ll be in the UK in a few weeks? *BEG*


  • Hey Eve, when are you coming to England?


  • First week of June. I’ll be outside of London in Luton. Are you close to there?


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