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Some films are difficult to watch, and For Colored Girls is no exception. But the latest Tyler Perry film isn’t difficult to watch in the way, say… Gigli is. Watching For Colored Girls was like watching The Boy In the Striped Pajamas or Elephant. It’s hard to watch, but it’s important.

For Colored Girls, adapted from a play by Ntozake Shange, catalogues the lives and hardships of a group of seemingly unconnected African-American women living in the same city. It was written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry. To be honest, I was curious to see how Perry would handle a film that is so far off his beaten path. There was very little comedy to lighten the mood–and Perry wasn’t cross-dressing as an old black woman to force a laugh.

I could tell that the film had been adapted from a play, but the poetic monologues were incorporated beautifully into the action of the film. The opening sequence was, however, a little cheesy. Text flew around the screen while the voices of the actresses overlapped. The flying words gave the film a school-project look, and frankly? Tyler Perry could have done better.

There were also scenes that were too theatrical. There were scenes where I wanted to find Tyler Perry and shout “cinema is about nuance! Chill out, not everything has to be over the top.” The film was also very long–too long to keep my attention for the entire time–and many characters were nameless for the better part of the movie, which didn’t help me differentiate one from the other. That being said, the performances were phenomenal. If this movie doesn’t get at least four Oscar nods for Best and Supporting Actresses, I will be thoroughly shocked.

For Colored Girls wasn’t necessarily created to speak to my demographic, but it tackles issues that are important to everyone–regardless of gender or ethnicity.Rape, abuse, abortion, living with disease, murder… these are some of the problems and conflicts that the women in For Colored Girls. In the interest of full-disclosure, there are some scenes that are seriously difficult to take. If you’re upset by seeing violent rape or extreme physical abuse, be warned that there are moments when you should turn your head away.

If you’re looking for a date movie or a family movie or a feel-good movie then For Colored Girls is not a good choice. But if you’re looking for a solid film that you can sink your teeth into and discuss, at length, with your friends, then save the date, because For Colored Girls hits theaters on November 5th.