I was in college when the play For Colored Girls came to my campus. Due to students rights issues I lead a protest on the stage before the play started and was not able to see it. However, I saw the movie last night and I enjoyed it as a movie. The only problem I had was looking at Janet Jackson’s little nose during the close ups. For real no joke.

As a Black man on a message film I didn’t get the message. I thought the young girl getting pregnant had a lesson for young girls but everybody else was sort of confusing.

Here’s my breakdown
The Loretta Devine character with the here again gone again man may have had the best poem “Somebody walked off with all of my stuff” but she can’t blame her man for all of her problems. Basically because she dated him. She fell for some of the weakest player lines. Maybe they were from the 80’s. If so they show us just how far we’ve come with understanding slick males who have commitment problems.

The Janet Jackson character was infected with HIV from her bisexual husband. With this situation the male was in an abusive relation with Janet. If he would have been allowed to talk more he may have related his infidelity to the problems he had in his marriage. So with this character I don’t think it’s bashing men. Hell it wasn’t clear the man knew he even had HIV. So to me they were both messed up people and were to blame in the problems in their relationship.

With the young girl (-played by Tessa Thompson) who got pregnant I felt it showed us how much impact child support has had. Now a days the little boy’s life is also messed up. Unless the boy’s parents have money the father of the baby now has to for go his dreams and get a job. Even if he has a college scholarship to play basketball the child welfare department does not care. The mothers sometimes make out better. If the mother’s parents can take care of the baby the girl can still follow her dreams while the baby’s fathers parents will have to pay his child support. So to me child support has really addressed this issue. Young kids have the MTV show 16 and Pregnant to show girls what their lives will be like after getting pregnant. MSN has the show Lockup which shows boys what jail is like if they get behind in their child support payments.

The character played by Thandie Newton suffered from sexual addiction. This is a real American issue and it is not caused by bad male experiences only. Now her character’s history was traced back to her grandfather but it stopped there. As made clear in Tyler Perry’s real life, men have histories which shape and mold their characters too. So if the story showed the history of Thandie’s mother’s (played by Whoopie Goldberg) life to explain her parental abuse then they should have shown the history of the grandfather too. As far as the issue of sexual addiction we have become quit familiar with it from the number of Hollywood celebrities who blame sexual addiction as the source of their problems. In fact VH1 has a reality show called Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew that takes place inside of a sex rehab. So now sex addicts can get free rehab on TV. Well at least they can get a better understanding of what the problem is.

The character played by Kimberly Elise was a clearly domestic abuse victim. It was so clear that the old lady character played by Phylicia Rashad gave her advice. The problem for me here is that the abusive man played by Michael Ealy had psychological problems from his experience from his military service. So this area of the film creates more anger at the treatment of our troops and veterans than it creates anger at Black men or men in general. I think all abusive people men and women have mental issues and should seek professional counseling.

The character played by Anika Noni Rose who was raped was maybe the only area that scared me. However, we have come a long way with our understanding of rape. We now classify her form of rape as Date Rape. We have statistics separating the forms of rape. We know that close to 70% of rape victims knew their assailments. We have self defense classes for women and even date education workshops like mine which address this issue. The sad thing about this area of the movie was the scene seemed the most barbaric and unrealistic. While I have never been date raped I don’t think it goes down that way. I imagine it involving drugs like alcohol or even the date rape drug. It could also be a situation where the woman says NO and the man doesn’t accept it. I just thought a man dropping his pants was laughable.

The Kerrie Washington character was facing infertility. Now she traced her infertility back to a cheating man who gave her an STD which made her sterile. In her story she said she started having sex with a man who all of her friends liked. While being involved with him she caught feelings and when she gave him a flower she later found the same flower on one of her friend’s desk. Now the story wasn’t real clear because it was told in a poem. My question is was she dating this guy? And did her friend know she was dating him? This is important because the guy may just have been a freak and felt having sex with somebody doesn’t mean you are in a relationship with them which requires sexual exclusivity. We were left to assume she was moral and he was to blame and not even her friend. STDs are crazy many people don’t know they have them. It would have been interesting to find out if her friend got the same STD or if she gave it to the man who gave it to Kerrie. This is why I teach sexual exclusivity and condom use. With regards to her infertility problem I can relate to that first hand. Infertility is no fun but with her character she found out the reason for her problem. For many women the never learn why that can’t conceive. Many them have multiple miscarriages which compound the stress of the problem. So, even in this area Kerrie’s character is better than a lot of other women because at least she found out why she can’t conceive and she even learn that she may have been responsible.

Overall I felt that the problems in the movie were problems that we have developed ways to address. STD transfer, lack of commitment, teenage pregnancy, nymphomania, domestic abuse, over parenting and even infertility are problems we have learned how to address. The movie to me makes the case for universal therapy because the neighborhood old lady’s free therapy is overwhelmed and inadequate. It should be called For Colored Girls who have problems and should get therapy because they’re crazy.

Oh props to Tyler Perry glad we have a Black director who is able to direct our stories.

Need relationship your own advice? Email me Yo Jeff, the Hip Hop Dating Coach at CoachYoJeff@gmail.com.