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Waiting to Exhale
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Reviews & Ratings for
Waiting to Exhale More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Good movie

9/10
Author: sam_nas
5 March 2002

This was a good movie, even though I'm not the target audience. It's nice to see that black women had a movie about them, and thanks to the star power of Whitney Houston it became no.1 and was a big hit. I am actually tired of reading little comments saying that Whitney isn't that good of an actress because all of those comments are based on the fact that she's a singer. If she wasn't a famous singer, nobody would say anything bad about her acting. IMO, she acted very well just like in all her movies, she's not an oscar caliber actress (very few are) but she definitely has screen presence, charisma and gets the job done. Stop hating her because she's a singer, unlike Madonna or Mariah, Whitney at least did some quality work with some quality people, and she hasn't had flops & horrible movies.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

in response to your response

Author: from texas
26 August 2004

I read some of the other comments comcerning this movie. And personally i thought that this movie was greatly misinterpreted. This movie (while have some "man-bashing" elements) is more about the friendship of four strong real black women who represent a little part of most women in society. I love this movie. I think that it has humor, depth, and presents a very real perspective on love and dating in today's world. And while men might take offense to the representation of the male gender in this movie, I think that it's important to realize that unfaithful, self-absorbed men do exist. However, as we must acknowledge the less moral men of our society, this movie also portrays that good decent men are not a figment of our imagination. With Wesley Snipes and Gregory Hines characters, we see that men are not all callous unfeeling creatures. So basically, I feel that this movie is one to be appreciated and enjoyed. (And in response to one respone that i read. . . One does not CHOOSE who they fall in love with, love just happens. We cannot choose who we love.) Anyways. . .i loved the part where she burned all the clothes too :)

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Don't Exhale Just Yet

7/10
Author: gwitherspoon from United States
27 July 2005

I have the video of this movie and it grew on me as time passed. It's not a great movie but it is enjoyable and as has been pointed out by others, it feels good to see a movie about women of color for a change. However, the movie would not have been watchable without the formidable talents of Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine. I felt that they really were Bernadine and Gloria -- even their smallest gestures were in tune with their characters. I don't have the words to describe what fine actors these ladies are and their skills are right up there with Debra Winger, Holly Hunter, Alfre Woodard and others.

Gloria seemed to be the only moral woman in the lot. She was adorable as an overweight, insecure no-nonsense business woman and mother. She didn't think she was worthy of love because of her weight, but she was the only one who found it (and deserved it). She was the only one who didn't sleep around, wasn't a man basher, set a good example for her son, and gave good advice to her girlfriends. The other three could learn a lot from her. Loretta Devine has a really beautiful face -- look past the weight and for those of you who judge people by such things, her skin color. She has wonderfully expressive eyes and attractive features. I think it was noteworthy that Gregory Hines' character saw her real beauty and responded to it. His character was a decent, good man and I'm glad this was addressed in the movie.

Angela Bassett has always been one of my favorite actors. She is the total package --- beauty and talent. Her character wasn't perfect but Bernadine did take responsibility for the mistakes she made in her life. She was so much better off without that reprehensible excuse for a husband in her life - she could now start her catering business, she had a possible new love in her future and she had good friends that would always be there for her. I was as happy for her as if I were really one of her girlfriends when things turned out well for her in the end.

Lela Rochon didn't display any acting talent here and wasn't quite up to the job of conveying Robin's vulnerability and immaturity. She was little more than a tearaway that slept around and made dumb choices. In the book, you realized that Robin had a lot of love to give a man and didn't seem to know how to choose a good one to bestow it on. She was obviously beautiful and decently educated but she lacked common sense and had never really gotten over her betrayal by a man she had really loved. Her mother was a cancer survivor and her father suffered from advance Alzheimer's disease. I don't feel they rounded out this character at all and she didn't seem like an actual person. Just a cute slut who wondered why she got used by men.

Poor Whitney has no acting skills whatsoever! Every character she attempts to portray is exactly the same -- Whitney Houston being well groomed, pretending to be well spoken and classy, and looking cow eyed at whatever male actor she is paired with. Its a shame because Savannah should have been played by someone like Angela Bassett or Kimberly Elise (although she might have been too young). The character had to tell us she was smart -- in a phone conversation with her mother she said "I'm smart, I'm a good person and I work hard." Thank goodness she told us because we sure wouldn't have known otherwise. She has sex with a man she doesn't like at all and doesn't even know well and then has an affair with a married man and calls him scum! She has poor conversational skills, doesn't really seem interested in her friends'problems and preferred to roll her big eyes and act as if she were so above whatever little difficulties they were going through. Savannah would be such a waste of time for any man unless she took a long hard look at herself. She deserved to be by herself at the end.

This movie might have been better with a female director, as Forest Whitaker didn't "tell this story" properly at all. We ended up not liking or caring about the characters because we really didn't get a strong sense of who they were.

Also, was it me, or was everything in this movie either orange or blue?

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

great touching story

9/10
Author: jazp from United States
2 July 2007

While this movie truly is bound to be more appealing to women than men, it is a touching story of four best friends. How they stick together and grow together through life's mistakes, joys, and bad taste in men. I love Angela Bassett and she is outstanding in this movie. The other 3 ladies, Whitney,Lela, and Loretta do great jobs too. This movie is filled with sweet moments, great laughter, and maybe some tears. Just a wonderful movie that shows what friendship is about. I have not read the book, but I have heard many times that the book is better... but hey thats true for almost every book turned movie. So all I know is I love this movie, and every time I watch it, it gives me great pleasure. Not too mention the soundtrack is fabulous! Whitney, Brandy, Babyface,Faith Evans,and Mary J Blige make the music in the film absolutely great.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Book was Better

Author: skillz from Indiana
26 September 2000

The Feature Film version of the MacMillan Novel was a welcome change from all the "Hood" movies that were being released. Unlike the Hood movies "Exhale" did not have a plot that revolved around: violence,drugs, and guns. Instead it was a more Upscale drama. If you read the book the roles were cast perfectly with the exception of the woman that played Savannah. Angela Bassett as Bernadine, Lela Rochon as Robin; Loretta Devine as Gloria; could not have been better casted, if the movie were done over a thousand times!

Unfortunately Terry MacMillan allowed the project to get too commercial, thus compromising her craft! One verification of this is the exporting of Whitney Houston from the Music Industry to fill the lead as Savannah. The part of Savannah demanded a lot of acting ability. They could've gotten Theresa Randall, Robin Givens or Tyra Ferrell to do the lead, but they didn't. Instead they hired a pop diva in an effort to get millions of her fans into the cineplexes; and of course sing on the Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds produced soundtrack! Needless to say the grammy Award winner gave a highly unimpressive performance!

As for the directing; now Forest Whittaker's my boy, but the direction needed a womans touch! The story was supposed to be about feminine friendship, and all the complications that go with it.

Despite the box-office success of "Waiting to Exhale" it failed to produce a demand for more Upscale Black Dramas! Macmillan had to do it herself in her follow up book turned movie "How Stella Got Her Groove Back!"

Read my review of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A decent movie that could have been better

Author: cwdfwtx from texas
10 February 2002

Basically a movie about black women who whine about their unsatisfying relationships . Angela Basset is the shining star here, she is wonderful to watch and a very talented woman but she alone cannot hold this movie together . i have never read the book but from what ive heard about it , its much better than this movie ..

I dont get whitney houstons character , she sleeps around and calls men pigs yet shes screwing around with a married man and lela rochon is also with a man who has a wife. why would you stay with men like that. only person who acts real is angela basset's character who gets unceremoniously dumped for a white woman by her husband and reacts believably ,, its a decent movie that could have been better .

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Soap Opera

3/10
Author: cathie454 from Albuquerque, NM USA
26 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Predictable, full of every soppy sad tragic story you've seen on the soaps. You know who is going to sleep with whom, you know they shouldn't, you know what the outcome will be. You could write the dialogue yourself, if you've ever seen even a week's worth of soap operas. You either want to leave the room, or turn the channel, it's so soppy and predictable. Of course they all turn out to be strong women in the end; it was written during that era. Of course 99% of the men are jerks; it was written during that era. Of course all the women are fantastically beautiful; you wouldn't put up with this movie if they looked like real, every-day women. The saddest thing about the movie is how beautiful Whitney Houston used to be before drugs and her husband ruined her.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Double Standard

3/10
Author: tasinda from United States
14 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So I finally got around to watching "Waiting to Exhale" on Encore the other night and I don't understand why this became a hit.

(Note: spoilers ahead) As far as I can tell, the basic premise of this film is that all men are insensitive, callous and unfeeling; especially towards women.

Okay, well and good. That is the storyline? Fine. Men suck, got it.

But there is a huge double standard here; two of the women are dating married men and clearly, we are meant to be sympathetic about their plight as they whine and cry about not having "their" man with them at night in bed.

How about this? STOP DATING MARRIED MEN! Maybe that's your problem in the first place.

Now, on the flip side, Angela Basset's character is abandoned by her husband for another woman. Yet, if you pay attention, even this character is not completely innocent. When her husband informs her he is leaving, the things she says makes it clear she's known about his lover(s) for years but ignored his infidelities. Why? Obviously, because he's so wealthy.

She liked all the "stuff" a little too much to have confronted him about it. Again, she's made her bed here, not as completely as the two who are actively cheating, but still. She spends the rest of the movie being so angry that he left her you never really grow to like her. Strangest of all is the man whose wife is dying of cancer; he sleeps with the Angela Basset character after they run into each other at a bar. With their clothes on, which apparently means it's oh-so-platonic and sweet. Then he writes her a letter months later, thanking her for that night and leading the viewer to believe that when his wife kicks off, he'll contact her again.

Did anyone else think this was more than a little sleazy? I would hope if I were dying of breast cancer that my husband wasn't out sleeping around (and I do mean just sleeping) with other women. Sweet, platonic, whatever; I think it's pretty horrible.

Bottom line; the characters you're supposed to connect to are unlikable and the ones you're supposed to hate are just pathetic. Not very enjoyable. However, I did give it three stars for the music, which didn't suck too badly and the clothes and style. It's a nice little snapshot of how things looked in '95. And the print wasn't very faded.

That's about it, though.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Whitney ruined the great potential

4/10
Author: chicks-1 from Bronx
26 August 2001

Angela Basset was good as expected, but Whitney has no Range as an actress. The screenplay also neglected to portray, on film, the greatness of this novel. Instead of promoting sisterhood, they emphasized the canine-qualities of men. Read the book; rent Soul Food instead!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Meh.

5/10
Author: Spuzzlightyear from Vancouver
21 September 2004

I got an opportunity to see Waiting To Exhale for the second time recently, the first time shortly after it came out, and now now. I can't say time has improved my thoughts of the film, which is odd, as I seemed to recall really enjoying this the first time it came out. (Maybe I should watch 'Homeward Bound' again, as I LOVED that movie the first time I saw it) The only actress really to impress in this movie is of course the amazing Angela Bassett who growls and hisses every chance she gets! I really liked this character, and I felt for the trials she was going through. The other character I liked was the one played by Loretta Devine, who was cute as the overweight mother who unexpectedly falls in love. I kind of thought the Lela Rachon character was underwritten, and seemed to almost revel in her wantonness. lol. As for Miss Houston, when I was watching her "act", well, Chesty Morgan's performance in "Deadly Weapons" came to mind for some odd reason, as it appears the acting thing was becoming a struggle, and wasn't going to last for too long.. All in all, I wasn't really disappointed in the film, it just slid off...

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