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Waiting to Exhale (1995)

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Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Onika Harris
Brandon Hammond ...


This story based on the best selling novel by Terry McMillan follows the lives of four African-American women as they try to deal with their very lives. Friendship becomes the strongest bond between these women as men, careers, and families take them in different directions. Often light-hearted this movie speaks about some of the problems and struggles the modern women face in today's world. Written by David Adrine <hdadrine@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Friends are the people who let you be yourself... and never let you forget it.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

4 Mulheres Apaixonadas  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$66,217,473 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although Whitaker had earlier directed an HBO drama called Strapped (1993) - for which he received Best New Director honors at the Toronto Film Festival - this film was his first job directing a full-length feature film. See more »


Vannah's necklace is outside then inside then outside of her top at Glo's birthday party. See more »


Bernadine Harris: [Arguing about money at John's office] Who do you think started this damn company, huh? And now, you think you can just take the money and run...
John Harris, Sr.: Business hasn't been good for years, but don't you worry, you'll get what's coming to you.
Bernadine Harris: Hell, I'm not worried... you, on the other hand, should be.
John Harris, Sr.: I am prepared to offer you $300,000 cash, *today*.
Bernadine Harris: Your children aren't for sale.
[walks away]
John Harris, Sr.: Oh by the way, I'm coming to pick up my kids on Saturday.
Bernadine Harris: Yeah?
[Walks back toward John]
Bernadine Harris: And if I hear you had...
See more »


Featured in Juwanna Mann (2002) See more »


Happy Birthday To You
Written by Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred) and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
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User Reviews

12 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

That's the word I'd use to describe the film, an adaptation of Terry McMillan's 1992 best-seller. It's not great, it's not bad, but it's frustrating to watch, and the fact that I'm of the male persuasion undoubtedly had something to do with it.

Now, let me be the first to say that I did enjoy seeing a group of strong black women portrayed onscreen. To say that Hollywood has been exceedingly lax in this regard is an understatement. But it would've been nice if their collective talents hadn't been squandered on this disgustingly anti-male tirade. Especially Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine, who otherwise shine in everything their names are attached to. Good, solid movies about sisterhood are probably needed now more than ever, but not at the cost of shortchanging the good, upright, decent brothers out there, whom this movie largely forgets about (with some notable exceptions -- Gregory Hines, for example.)

And the frustration doesn't end there. Both Savannah and Robin manage to find themselves involved with the most shady characters (a married man and a dope fiend, respectively), yet they complain about the lack of good men out there. I suppose it would be silly to question just where they've been looking, even though it might hold the answer. The sad thing is that there are fellas out there who have little to no regard for women ("the scum of the f__king earth", to quote Savannah), and women who fall for fellas like that for the most silly, shallow reasons.

If it wasn't for Bassett, Devine, and Babyface's score, this movie would barely be watchable. As it is, it's a moderately entertaining diversion, albeit a frustrating one.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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