When the Rainbow is Enuf’s origination is a 1970’s play whose Broadway production was nominated for a Tony Award. This play’s vicissitude over the last 20 years is now on the big screen thanks to Hollywood giant, Tyler Perry. For Colored Girls release over the weekend came in third, grossing $19.7 million. This is the third weakest opening of any of his films which is surprising to me since this is his BEST film.
A whole day after seeing For Colored Girls, I’m still in awe. The many interrelated facets of these 9 women lives was beautifully woven together. 9 women, who for the most part are not connected, are actually deeply connected through their pain, their struggles and even their joy. The casting was nothing less than phenomenal. Kimberly Elise, who I believe is our modern-day Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge and Angela Bassett, rolled up in one, took my breath away. But as a whole, all of their performances shined. These are the actresses we need Hollywood to recognize. Each lady representing a different color and a different poem, I wanted to give birth to the child actress Kerry Washington couldn’t have; I wanted to take the punches actress Kimberly Elise took just so that she could have gotten away before the unthinkable happened; I wanted to be Whoopi Goldberg so that I could hold my daughter Thandie Newton and let her know things will be ok; I wish I was the women’s intuition inside Janet Jackson because I would have been strong enough to make her leave before accepting the sentence she was given in the guise of a husband.
There were lines in this movie that I hope others paid close attention to because it gives a glimpse of some of the internal struggle black women are mourning over. Yes, MOURNING. Loretta Devine said she felt there was no room to be “sorry and colored at the same time.” Thandie opening up to her baby sister revealed “being alive, being a woman and being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.” Phylicia Rashad telling Kimberly “when are you going to take some responsibility? You had a chance to protect them way before he got to the window.” These are common tears that stream a lot of our faces.
Disregard the baseless claims of “another male bashing” movie. Hill Harper’s role was anything but that. Yes, we do need to see more black movies where the storyline isn’t so heavy, depressing and sad but even with all that in For Colored Girls, I still saw inspiration, love, change, hope, power and forgiveness. Tyler Perry nailed it. Finally.