Wednesday, September 16, 2009

But we can do worse with Tyler Perry…

Let’s jump right on in!

Tyler Perry of the Madea creating and performing Tyler Perrys has a new movie out…featuring Madea. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is his latest offering (wince).

Full disclosure – a bitch can’t stand Madea.

The only thing I dislike more than Madea’s shuffle and jive antics is the fact that lots and lots and lots of people keep paying to see that predictable as hell and ig’nant with it bullshit.

I secretly hope that Perry’s box office is actually the result of the same 500 people going to watch his movies over and over again…but something tells me that there is an audience for Madea and it is loyal as hell (wince again).

But hey, there was an audience for Amos and Andy too…

…that don’t make it right.


Tyler Perry has a franchise with Madea…he has a formula...a recipe, if you will.

Some ingredients for a Tyler Perry Madea film include...

1 cup one dimensional cheating and evil with it devilishly bad black man
2 cups black woman gone wrong
3 gallons Live and Let God
1 cup unappreciated hard working blue collar black man looking for a “good woman”
2 cups chil’ren acting out because they aren’t being raised in the church
2 or 3 famous black people/singers

Mix any three ingredients or all that shit up first and then toss Madea’s ass up in the bowl, stir and bake and serve up to the masses.

Ta da – you’ve got yourself a guaranteed to get shit reviews but make lots and lots of money film!


Now, a bitch isn’t trying to piss in Tyler Perry’s flavorless Corn Flakes.

He has a hustle and that ain’t my damn problem.

What is my problem is that Mr. Perry has been tapped to adapt and direct the film version of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play “For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf".

Pause…wait for the screaming to quiet down to intermittent sobs…continue.

Although he's no masterful director, my specific issue is with Perry adapting For Colored Girls.

I’ve done nothing in this life to deserve having the man behind Madea fucking up For Colored Girls and I have little doubt that he will fuck it up.

Hell, I’m hoping for a miracle here, because For Colored Girls deserves the very best or nothing at all.

That’s right, I said it – there is no need to bring just any version or a man’s version or the version y’all could get bankrolled of For Colored Girls to the screen!

Have we learned nothing from Beloved?!?

Merciful heavens.

There are so many people who have no idea what For Colored Girls is…who have never seen it performed, never witnessed it’s power or experienced it’s beauty.

Those folks deserve better or nothing.

And a bitch can’t help but wonder who the hell decided that Mr. Perry was the right person to do the job.

I’m pretty sure that money is behind the reason why a woman wasn’t given the nod to direct it (and behind Perry’s selection of black celebrities with more name recognition that talent to star in it)…but that don’t make that shit right.

And I’m betting that Mr. Perry’s ego is behind his getting to adapt For Colored Girls.


Well, this bitch can do without Tyler Perry’s take on a womanist classic.

I can do bad all by my damn self.



IseultTheIdle said...

That review you linked was spankin'.

As for the reviewer's "to see or not to see" question... fully realizing that I don't bear a burden of having to support cultural enterprises in order to support artists of my race or community, I'd say give it a miss unless you hear unexpectedly great things about it. You won't get a better product until you demand a better product.

Besides, I've seen too many classics trashed by heavy handed direction on the big screen, and it's a tragedy but the movie is what people remember, not the book.

I'd love to see this made into a movie by someone who could handle the material with respect.

Travis Trott said...

Shark-fu, your song of truth is a balm on my soul.

All this queen has to say is that Mr. Perry has a big Oprah's Book Club sticker on his damn forehead, and that usually means two things: lack of substance and potential to make mad cash.

I'm not hating on our first black billionairess, I'm just saying her recommendations have led some folks astray.

Rileysdtr said...

I am Rinso-white but had the exact same reaction... little conflicted on this one. I have hope, though, for the following reasons:

1. "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" was a surprisingly powerful movie, perhaps because it was Perry's first mainstream release and we had not yet seen the same schtick over and over. It far exceeded my expectations, and surprised and/or moved me several times.

My beloved "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was made by a guy whose previous credits had been Shrek and Shrek 2. I mean, really, from a slapstick 2nd-rate Disney knockoff to one of the most beloved children's books EVER? I was very, very afraid. It turned out to be magical.

Tyler may do it. No one ever accused him of being stupid, and he may be smart enough to realize the fire with which he is playing.

Besides, didn't a man direct "Waiting to Exhale"? Not holding that up to the same reverence, but it turned out pretty good. Have faith, Little Sister. Heck, my main concern is if it's a blockbuster. What the hell do we do if it creates a franchise? Think of the merchandise.... you know Mattel would tie "Bratz" in somehow.

mizclark said...

First I have to admit to being a fan of SOME of the plays,but I did cringe when I heard the news.

I thought of Beloved too and was soooo pissed I spent my money on that. I still hold on to some desperate hope that if they were to give me the reels I could cut it better, but something tells me there is nothing there.

Anonymous said...

OH thank the heavens, I'm not the only black woman who thinks this. I can't stand him, I can't stand Madea, I can't stand his portrayals, and who told him me could direct? Lawd...thank you for sayin' it. I was given the "what-you-talkin'-'bout-Willis" look when I told a brotha I hadn't seen any of TP's stuff. Ah well. What can I say. I like a good comedy that makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

This psycho white bitch loves AngryBlackBitch.

And here's where I'm gonna prove how psycho I am, by disagreeing with you.

I LIKE Madea! Of course, I'm one of those loser women who right now would be camped out with my 3 chil'rens in her upstairs bedroom, listening to fart jokes, hiding out from my abusive killer boyfriends.

I can't help it. All I've ever wanted -- and not had -- is a Gramma who can back me up with a chainsaw.

I'm putting you on my blogroll, bitch.

Guido said...

While I wasn't thrilled with Beloved (the movie), I guess it was nice that they tried to get the story out there. I have to admit I'm a reader and almost always prefer the books to the movies. Even though the movie lost some of that dreamy, ethereal quality I thought the book had, it was nice to see Thandie Newton on screen.

I can't speak one way or the other to the Madea character being offensive. First I'm not black and am not going to wade into that discussion but have never watched any of the movies or even the tv show he produces just because it never seemed to be something I'd like. And that isn't because of the color of the characters but that kind of broad humor has never appealed to me.

Wildflower said...

Tyler Perry had me throwing popcorn at the screen during Diary of a Mad Black Woman or whatever the title is. I haven't went there since.

And he's doing Ntozake Shange? Lord have mercy on us black women.

That's all I got to say.

QQ said...

*picks the mic I dropped on your facebook status last week up*

My major concern is how will his need to pump in all those ingredients you mentioned translate to a play that is broadly about female empowerment. How will all of his "Jesus is the answer" messaging fit in with the topics that the play touches on? How will he be able to function without writing in men to come save the women from every situation?

I just have this vision of him making a movie about a bunch of women with a whole bunch of problems who tell their stories at some CHURCH group, and they all end up falling in love with deacons and pastors. stomach hurts just thinking about it.

I think the best thing he could do is to keep the film under his studio but hire a writer/director that could do this some justice. Anyone have Cheryl Dunye, Gina Prince-Bythewood, or Lee Daniels' (can't wait for "Precious") phone numbers for him?

Rileysdtr said...

By the way, am I the only one who wonders about the casting of Gladys Knight into a gospelfest movie?

Bette said...

May I add another ingredient -- the strident, harping light-skinned girlfriend who gets dumped? Or perhaps I'm just too sensitive.

Unfortunately, being too sensitive is not Mr. Perry's problem. Thinking of his Jesusy less-than-feminist fingerprints all over For Colored Girls... makes me shudder. Why would he even consider this?

Assrot said...

You are correct my dear. I have no idea what "For Colored Girls" is. Please enlighten an ignorant old honky.



pluky said...

Full disclosure: I've never seen any of Tyler Perry's movies.

From what I've read on blogs and reviews, and the outtakes in promotional material -- Are the producers' out of their freakin' minds? Was Kasi Lemmons not available? If not try:
Troy Beyer

Alison Swan

Millicent Shelton

Cheryl Dunye

Coquie Hughes

Shari Carpenter

Neema Barnette

Christine Swanson

Vanessa Middleton

Darnell Martin

Khari Streeter

Theresa Brown

Joy S'hani Ache

Zeinabu Irene Davis

C.A. Griffith

Peggy Hayes

Anonymous said...

and I thought it was just little old me who despises any & every Tyler Perry play and most of his movies! Heaven forbid he is tackling the mastery that is "For Colored Girls..." Sweet Jesus Noooooooooo! But a brotha is entitled to make some bank, not so?

Anonymous said...

I'm not hating on Tyler's hustle either, but I know that he's got major bank, so I almost fell out of my seat when I heard him plead with the public not to purchase bootleg copies of his "productions". For the record, I always wait for the bootleg. I would nevah evah subject myself to the popcorn and ice throwing crowd that loves muddea (did it once, not going there again). Mmmmm, thought it was just me who had that old grey question mark pop up when I heard about Tyler doing "For Colored Girls". Don't be suprised if Mudea pops her ugly ass up doing a cameo with guns at the ready to be pulled out of her purse. Like momma said, everybody can't do everything. *Logging off to fluff angry black dog's afro*

Clearly Claire said...

Um... Ok, here's the deal. The first time I saw Madea, I was LIVID! How dare the flower of Nubian womanhood be reduced to some shuck n' jivin' Black Man who may as well paint his lips white, grab a banjo and pluck out Dixie!

Oooo I hated Madea... then I watched another Madea movie, and laughed my arse off when she beat the crap out of a rude young black man. Then I found myself snickering when she gave what for to a rude teen girl... then next thing you know, I was painting my lips white, grabbin' a banjo and strumming Dixie.

Forgive me. I know what why I laugh.

Hill Rat said...


As I'm reading this post/rant all I can think about is this whole thing being done by Moms Mabley 's. She was a trip and so are you.

As for the content of the post, I couldn't agree more. WifeRat reacted by screaming, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" when I told her about the impending horror show of TP's adaptation of this Black Feminist classic. You know if they just wanted TP (kinda funny that his intial's are something you wipe your ass with) to produce 'cause he has the financial muscle and production resources to get it done that actually would have been OK. But having that formulaic hack writing the adaptation is nothing short of criminal.

Anonymous said...

Lemme just also add that For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf was transformative to me and every woman who ever heard it, just once, and if Tyler Perry fucks this up I will come after him with a chainsaw.

Chrıs Anton said...

From what I've read on blogs and reviews, and the outtakes in promotional material -- Are the producers' out of their freakin' minds? Was Kasi Lemmons not available? If not try....

Anonymous said...

How on earth did this happen? who's responsible this? i'm scared, man...

NancyP said...


Now that I have that out of my system, I have to say that I object to Perry making the film, and I rather object to ANYONE making a realistic film. I saw the play (choreopoem) in New York circa 1976-77, and it struck me as being the essence of theater's reliance on audience reaction to live actors. The absence of staging beyond use of lighting, and the simplicity of costume (monocolor non-fussy dancers' costume), focused all attention on the actor-dancers' motion and delivery. The simplicity of presentation boosted my peripheral awareness of audience response (very lively in the performance I attended). Fussy stagings of the Franco Zefferelli type(eg. Romeo and Juliet film, circa 1968; many opera stagings for the Met in NYC) tend to divert peripheral awareness to the stage decor, costuming, etc. and away from the audience.

The only way this work should appear on film is as a stage production with live audience, and the camera work should be unobtrusive and documentary in style. Think "Great Performances" on PBS.

ThatTeowonna! said...

Bitch, I am skured of you! I'm not as angry as you, but we have a LOT in common. We say how we feel without apology! I love it. You are me on crack!

Anonymous said...

Being from the South where T.Payne's shows came through on the regla, I just cant. Minstrels + F*ckery = Minstrelry.

Nappy Mind said...

FYI, offers a video adaptation of For Colored Girls starring Alfre Woodard and Lynn Whitfield

E-Travel said...

Ugh! Predictable again Mr. Perry. Black Woman scourned, has an epiphany, changes life around, finds a man she otherwise wouldnt have given the time of day, finds God again, gets married. Give me another story line.

Although, I must say, I L-O-V-E Diary of a Mad Black Woman & Why did I Get Married <-- even though I keep watching this one just to make new jokes at Janet Jackson. She is a terrible actress. Yep. I said it.

Delux said...

I think Moms Mabley would do a better job with this movie, channeled thru Iyanla Vanzant.

tinfoil hattie said...

I HATE the Madea character. And I was disgusted when I heard Perry would be doing For Colored Girls. And I HATE the stupid "Meet the Browns" show.

Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

I'm still cringing from hearing this news LAST WEEK. I'm not a big fan, but I admire Tyler for accumulating the clout needed in Hollywood to be able to make whatever the hell you please. Now, I need him to step back and use his money as a means to HELP bring great black works to film. I love that someone wants to adapt For Colored Girls. I HATE the idea of Tyler doing it because, unfortunately, his previous work lacks the depth which I think is required for this great work. I'll try to be hopeful though. Maybe, just maybe, he'll get it right this time.

Jacquie said...

Tyler Perry would make an excellent Execu Prod ($$$$$$$$$$$) but please on the directing front.However, the larger issue is less his adaption than the fact that For Colored Girls does not carry well into the new millennium. I have seen at least five productions of this show over the last 20 years, including Broadway, college campuses, etc. it is a rather tedious show. This from a girl who celebrates "Show Tune Sat. & Sun" every week.

On second thought TP makes the perfect choice given your recipe for his success. It is so within his wheel house. Lots of Black women done wrong by black men. Black Madonnas and the neighborhood 'slut.' Lot's of drama, sighing, proselytizing and such. As long as Madea does not make an appearance here then...

ANyway. Great column.

Assrot said...

Thanks Nappy Mind. I'll have to check that out. I figured I must have asked a taboo question since everyone ignored it.

I didn't mean to be insensitive to what ever this movie is about.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to the 1 cup unappreciated hard working blue collar black man looking for a “good woman”
that the black man in this profile usually is extremely attractive.


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