I’m a little worried we may have ruined Armond White. Ever since we started having fun with him, the venerable thesaurificent troll from the New York Press has become increasingly reasonable. I always enjoyed reading him far more than your average fanboy or Pete Hammond-esque studio shill, but lately I find myself actually agreeing with him. For most of his 1300-word review of Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, White is downright conversational. But Armond being Armond, he had to slip into Armond-ese at some point, and when he did… it was awesome. It almost makes the waiting seem worthwhile, like waiting for a brief show of affection from your cold and distant father.
Trouble began with Perry’s title, which is truncated from the original For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Although it’s a dedication, it also segregates. This seems retrograde in the “post-racial” Obama era, conveniently harkening to the 1970s when the cultural mainstream embraced a radical chic fondness for black exclusivity that was also accusatory: It asserted a curious, exotic defiance. Today’s perverse radical chic too-readily embraces black pathology.
BOOM! DON’T MAKE ME GET MULTI-SYLLABICAL IN HERE, MOTHERF*CKERS! So that was dense and professorial, but broken into plain English, not altogether unreasonable. Borderline insightful, even. That won’t do, Armond. TELL US WHY WE’RE SHEEP! WE NEED AN UNSUPPORTABLE OPINION ABOUT A FORGOTTEN CLASSIC THAT CHAFES AGAINST THE VAUDVILLIAN, COMPUTO-FASCIST MILIEU!
Perry provides less sensual and historical context for these sob stories than the soap-opera-style The Joy Luck Club and the mediocre Waiting to Exhale. And nothing here compares to the astonishing feminist bravery of Jennifer Lopez’s pussy speech in Gigli—a scene that was the true heir to Shange’s boldness. [NYPress]
THIS MOVIE CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO THE BURNISHED PATINA OF J. LO’S FRABJOUS LABIA, SKEET SKEET SKEET! A-DUBZ OUT!
UPDATE:Here’s the J.Lo scene he’s talking about (thanks, filmcave):