Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale

DVD | Widescreen edition
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Four women find strength through their rare and special friendship.
Edition: Widescreen edition
Branch Call Number: DVD WAITI
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 124 min.) : sound, color ; 12 cm


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Sep 12, 2019

I take exception to britprincess1ajax's (What does that even mean?) criticism of 1995's "Waiting to Exhale" as escapist and directed only towards a black audience. I mean, most movies are escapist, but this does deal with the lead quartet's struggle to find good men. And I'm not a black woman, but I still could enjoy this. It's a pretty dumb comment to say that you have to look like the people on the screen to like a film. If that were the case, then nobody would watch animated films. Anyway, this was part of a wave of black films in the 90s which stands out for its female leads: Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine, all of whom are good. I'd say you will definitely "exhale" by the end of the movie. Soundtrack put together by Babyface (not an actual baby) and directed, in his debut, by Forest Whitaker. Based on the novel by Terry McMillan, who also co-wrote. Footnote: Years later Angela Bassett would play Whitney in a biopic. Would make a good double feature with "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."

britprincess1ajax Mar 02, 2017

It is noted as a phenomenon and a pioneer in film for its all-African American all-star ensemble cast. It's about four women in Phoenix, Arizona, dealing with love in vastly different ways. Whitney Houston plays Savannah, a TV producer and the patient mistress of a man who claims he plans to leave his wife. Angela Bassett is Bernie, a former careerwoman-turned-housewife who raises her children and supports her husband, only to find him leaving her for a Caucasian co-worker. Loretta Devine is Gloria, a single mother and beautician who holds onto the hope of getting back together with her ex-husband until a kind and charismatic neighbour moves in and sparks her interest. Lela Rochon is Robin, a powerful exec who continues to sleep with a married man on and off, hoping to find someone solely for her while finding it hard to let go of the sexual simplicity of her mistressdom. The film started to run long and it feels like it's meant for someone dealing with relationship trouble. Instead of being uplifting, I felt quite depressed. It's unevenly written escapism meant for women who don't have their act together, missing that perfect car or home or job or relationship, but it didn't ignite the right emotional cues for me. (I hate to say it, but perhaps I'm the wrong ethnicity to enjoy this film; perhaps it is something that would speak to those who are more influenced by Afro-centric culture. However, I suspect this isn't the case and the film probably feels similarly uneven for all audiences, but I figured I'd suggest the possibility, considering the target audience to whom this film was marketed.) Even if you have a tablespoon in your tub of ice cream, don't hold your breath for WAITING TO EXHALE.


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