By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 23, 2010 at 3:43AM
If you're serious about an Oscar campaign, you don't hesitate to show your movie. I have yet to see For Colored Girls, which is why Lionsgate's "award season push" for Tyler Perry's reach toward mainstream credibility reeks of a distributor making nice to a favorite house director. Nothing new, and totally understandable--Perry has made Lionsgate a ton of money.
The trades have weighed in now, and the results are not strong enough to indicate an awards trajectory for this film:
For once, Tyler Perry doesn't put his name above the title, but perhaps he should with "For Colored Girls" to distinguish this train wreck of a movie from the stunning theater piece of 36 years ago by Ntozake Shange.
It's not "Precious," but "For Colored Girls" marks an advance for Tyler Perry, as well as a big step back. In adapting Ntozake Shange's Tony-nominated play -- a cycle of poetic monologues about abuse, abortion and other issues facing modern black women, rather than a traditional narrative -- the do-it-all auteur demonstrates an ambition beyond any of his previous work. And yet the result falls squarely in familiar territory, better acted and better lit, perhaps, but more inauthentically melodramatic than ever. Perry's faithful should ensure a healthy berth for his 10th feature, while cast and pedigree will give "Girls" longer legs.
What's left? Lionsgate will work hard to get one of the movie's ensemble of stars, Janet Jackson, a nomination for best song, “Nothing” which she co-wrote for Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?