By Kim McLarin
Still I found myself wishing, wishing, wishing someone else had made it, someone who didn't seem to see black womanhood as one, long, joyless, relentless slog of bad choices and victimhood (self-inflicted, to be sure) and abuse. Someone who would not have missed the ultimate joy and affirmation in the original, nor completely denied the frank celebration of a black woman's sexual power in the original (in the movie, sex=death. Period). Someone who didn't think drama=melodrama. I mean, good Lord -- I really did feel beat up by the end. I kept thinking "She didn't mean for the audience to consider suicide, yo!" That was not the feeling I think the play left people with. At least not me.
I think the movie probably stands up better for those who don't know the original, which is legitimate. And, as the bookseller I saw the movie with said, this will drive people to the text (though probably not the folks in the audience howling at every word out of Whoopi's mouth). So, all in all, go on Tyler, with your bold self. Next time, though, please, let someone else write it while you direct?
Comment on This Article
About the AuthorKim McLarin
Kim McLarin is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Taming it Down, Meeting of the Waters and Jump at the Sun, all published by William Morrow. She is a former staff writer for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Greensboro News & Record and the Associated Press. McLarin has also written for TheRoot.com and Salon.com.
Support for WGBH is provided by:Become a WGBH sponsor