Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tyler Perry’s New Movie Murdered by Critics–Two Weeks Early


Tyler Perry — multi tasking movie maker– has never been a critics’ darling. But still…

For some reason, two weeks ahead of schedule, the Hollywood trade papers decided to murder Perry’s new movie this morning.

Perry adapted Ntozake Shange‘s “For Colored Girls,” with an all star cast featuring Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, and Thandie Newton. The original play was a string of poems that depicted the lives of black women in the 1970s.

The movie doesn’t open until November 5th–in two weeks– but still both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter published their reviews today. And they killed it. Kirk Honeycutt, the famed Reporter reviewer, called “For Colored Girls” — “a train wreck.”

The Variety reviewer didn’t like it, but no one can read that review since it’s behind a pay wall. He said it was a step back for Perry, but that it was also ambitious. But then he also said it very bad.

So much for awards attention, etc. But the question is, why go out so early just to kill this film? And, really, it’s the only film this Oscar season with black actors. Unlike last year, with “Precious,” this Oscar season is pretty much a white wedding. Even “The Social Network” casts a Latin American character with a British actor.

But the studio must have wanted early publicity. This week Perry appeared on “Oprah” in a quasi-psychiatric session that instead of promoting the movie, turned into an exploration of how he’d been abused as a child. It was terrible for Perry, and maybe helpful to those in the audience. But the oversharing didn’t do much to promote the movie per se.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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