Tyler Perry is occasionally undone by his penchant for melodrama, but it serves him well in this searing adaptation of Ntozake Shange's landmark 1974 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Perry benefits from the fire, heft, velocity, and lyricism of the language, but he also updates the material and makes it work onscreen, eliciting powerhouse performances from an ensemble of actresses. Especially fine are Kimberly Elise as an abused mother, Thandie Newton as a promiscuous bartender, Phylicia Rashad as a building manager who's seen it all, and, in a vivid cameo, Macy Gray as a back-alley abortionist. Male characters don't come off well in this volcanically feminist tale, but the subtext is that men crippled by racism and neglect turn their rage on women.
Director: Tyler Perry
Producer: Ozzie Areu, Roger Bobb, Paul Hall, Ozzie Areu, Joseph P. Genier, Nzingha Stewart and Michael Paseornek
Cast: Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Anika Rose, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Macy Gray, Michael Ealy, Omari Hardwick, Richard Lawson, Hill Harper and Khalil Kain