My daughter saw Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls Sunday afternoon. When she walked back in the house that evening, I said, “Hi. How was the movie?” “BLACK MEN SUCK!” she shot back.
She was kidding. I think.
The Tyler Perry Express slowed down a bit this weekend with For Colored Girls. The three-hanky melodrama grossed $20 million, but that was only good enough for third place behind Megamind and Due Date. Box Office Mojo says polling showed that 82 percent of the audience was female, 87 percent was over 25 years old and 81 percent was black.
But fear not! Perry will slip back into Madea’s padded bra again in Madea’s Big Happy Family in 2011. Hoo-rah.
When I read Perry was associated with this project, I thought it was just another case of a work by a woman being given over to a man to turn into a movie. Selecting one that had made his mark directing lazy comedies/morality tales seemed a strange choice. It still does.
I had it mind someone like a Kasi Lemmons or Julie Dash or some Black woman. What do Waiting To Exhale, Beloved, The Color Purple and Precious all have in common?
Stories of sisters catching hell written by Terry McMillian, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Sapphire and directed by Forrest Whitaker, Jonathan Demme, Steven Spielberg and Lee Daniels. What’s wrong with this picture, huh? Sisters aren’t doing it for themselves.
I wanted to write an article about why Black female directors don’t get a chance to direct films based on books by Black female writers, but no one seemed interested.
Ever notice that for all his supposed clout in Hollywood, Tyler Perry has never raised his game beyond corny melodramas? Perry seems to have problems writing characters for top Black actors. By now shouldn’t he have come up with at least ONE part a Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, or Forest Whittaker would want?
Even Samuel L. Jackson won’t do a Tyler Perry flick and Sam will act in anything.
Here’s my totally amateur theory: Tyler Perry does not like Black men. He’s admitted being molested by one. He hates his father though he takes care of him. I don’t get the feeling he’s had a lot of healthy relationships with men. He has a low opinion of brothers and that’s why he clowns them so much in his wretched movies.
Perry has to be given some credit for making films for Black women. It’s too bad in the process he has to depict Black men as bums, baby-killers, rapists and down-low creepers infecting their women with HIV.
I like this take from Boston Globe movie critic Wesley Morris from his review: ” Perry has been playing a black woman for so long — he’s starred as the armed-and-dangerous Madea in at least five movies — that he practically is one. But black men in Perry’s movie are a source of visceral, physical ache. It’s as if a brother has broken his heart, too. For peace and redemption, he’s turned, as many a woman has, to Shange. How cathartic this has been for him is unclear.”
Thanks Tyler. You’re a credit to your gender. Soon as you make up your mind which one it is.