A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22
I suppose when it comes down to it, sometimes you either like a director and his/her films or not, and with Tyler Perry, for me it's a not. I've not been a fan of his Medea films because the humor just doesn't appeal to me personally. Often the direction is too broad and the characters are mere cliches. Well, here Perry has shown that he can create a rather compelling drama, unfortunately he also has shown the same predilection for very broad direction and cliche characters.
In For Colored Girls, I couldn't help but cringe at the stereotypes of African American women (who all seem to be portrayed here as either sex addicts, drug addicts, abused, cheated on, unfaithful, or just perpetually victims of their circumstances). It would have been nice to have diversified the cast of characters a bit to show more of each character's strengths and their positive attributes rather than focusing entirely on the adversities they face and frailties that they possess. It would have been refreshing to see a film in which the characters are truly empowered or change over the course of the story, but here that doesn't really occur. Instead, what we get are a bunch of disparate characters who come together to commiserate or blame each other after their personal dramas, but never really support one another much during those troubled times. Despite all that they go through, you never really see them accept their responsibility for having played a part in all of this except for in one scene where Phylicia Rashad (one of the most underrated actresses in the country from where I stand) chastises a woman, whose children were murdered, for having willingly stayed with her abusive, alcoholic, and emotionally unstable partner.
Luckily, one thing that Perry does excel at is getting great performances out of his cast and here has assembled a superb cast. Rashad gives a stunning performance as one of the few women who seems to possess true strength and wisdom in the film and the rest of the cast, including Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Loretta Devine, Kerry Washington, and extraordinarily Janet Jackson (yes, she can actually act).