Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale
Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon

Rated: R due to its sexual content.
Reviewed by: Linda  
Release date: December 22, 1995 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox

Waiting to Exhale is the screen adaptation of Terry McMillan's best-selling novel which presents the plight of 30-something professional black women in their search for a fulfilling relationship with a man. Starring Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon, the film follows the lives of the four women during one year as they go through a variety of experiences, some positive, some negative. While each of the women conducts her quest in a different way, each is buoyed during the many beginnings and endings by the support they received from one another.

Bassett was a big fan of the novel and later learned, at the premier of Malcolm X that McMillan was a big fan of her work. The author invited Bassett to star in the upcoming movie, with the role of Savannah in mind for her. But, Bassett lobbied for the role of Bernadine and got it. Her portrayal of a wronged woman is very powerful.

My personal favorite was Gloria, played by Loretta Devine. Audiences will relate to and warm up to her immediately. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her (see the interview in today's paper) and convey my praise in person.

Actually, all four of the women gave excellent performances, making director Forest Whitaker very pleased. An excellent actor himself, Whitaker was surprised to be selected to direct this female ensemble piece.

Lending fabric to the story is the music which serves as a backdrop. Multiple Grammy Award-winner Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds composed is debut motion picture scores as well as wrote and produced original songs for the movie. In tribute to the film's subjects, a diverse group of today's hottest divas recorded the all-female soundtrack.

  Frank Chris Linda  Avg. 
Waiting to Exhale        B+   B+ 

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