Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can Tyler Perry Redeem Himself?

I've had this long held opinion that Tyler Perry sucks. The negative sentiments sunk in instantly. I come home, my parents' convince me to watch this "great" movie, and the seeds of severe disapproval were instantly planted. The more Tyler Perry movies I saw (don't ask me why I kept watching), the more I wanted to sucka-punch the man. His movies either play on ridiculous stereotypes to make people laugh, or his movies are about a woman who can't be happy and enjoy life without dick. Well, apparently Perry has gotten his hands on a new project that have anti-TP critics in a stur. It's called For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, based on Ntozake Shange's famed 1979 play of the same title. The play is a series of fervent poems telling stories of issues facing black women, including love, abuse and abandonment. The trailer looks promising, I'll give you that. But I can't put skepticism behind me until after I've seen it. The Nation's Courtney Young puts it well:

"Though Perry repeatedly references his admiration for and allegiance to African-American women as a foundation of his work, his portrayal of women of color undermines the complexity of their experience through his reductionist approach to his characters and his dependence on disquieting gender politics. Perry may see himself as creating modern-day fairy tales for black women, but what he may not realize is that fairy tales, in general, have never been kind to women."

So the question. Does Perry have the skills (or competence) to portray the complex characters in For Colored Girls? Well... here's hoping.

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