The theatre was packed with Black women - young, old, classy, ghetto – and smack in the middle of them all was my boo and I. Two black gay men there to see Tyler Perry’s latest which had garnered mixed reviews, some scathing. I yearned to see this film anyway because I couldn’t believe that with the cast of Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Whoopie Goldberg, Kimberly Elise, Hill Harper and more that it could be the “train wreck” described in the Hollywood Reporter, or “too melodramatic” as touted by Variety.
Though if by calling it melodramatic Variety meant the film was an emotional tsunami, then I’d have to agree. Shocking scenes of physical and emotional violence did in fact assault the senses, but in a way which should make us reflect on all the pain and tragedy that we all experience, endure, and must ultimately overcome. Many critics also thought The Color Purple was too melodramatic. Maybe some minds cannot process a sudden flood of complicated emotions where the answers are sometimes just other questions.
But ‘For Colored Girls’ isn’t just a film for girls or even ones of color; literally packed with Oscar-worthy performances not one single event in the film is emotionally exclusive to gender or race. The sobering messages of self-love, sexual abuse and religious extremism are truly universal.