How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  14 August 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 5,231 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 51 user | 29 critic | 23 from

Stella is a highly successful, forty-something San Francisco stock broker who is persuaded by her colorful New York girlfriend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to ... See full summary »


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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Quincy Payne
Chantel (as Sicily)
Dr. Shakespeare
Mrs. Shakespeare
Denise Hunt ...
Ms. Thang
Lisa Hanna ...
Walter Payne


Stella is a highly successful, forty-something San Francisco stock broker who is persuaded by her colorful New York girlfriend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to Jamaica. As she soaks in the beauty of the island, she encounters a strapping, young islander, Winston Shakespeare. His pursuits for her turn into a hot and steamy romance that forces Stella to take personal inventory of her life and try to find a balance between her desire for love and companionship, and the responsibilities of mother and corporate executive. Written by John Deming <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes you have to break the rules to free your heart.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

14 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How Stella Got Her Groove Back On  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,318,919 (USA) (14 August 1998)


$37,672,350 (USA) (8 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally cast as the old man who hits on Stella during her initial stay in Jamaica, all of Danny Glover's scenes were deleted from the final cut of the film. He's seen briefly in the film during the scene where Stella, submerged in a pool, is talking to Winston (who's standing poolside), and points out an older man who's been hitting on her during her stay. In a quick long shot, Glover can be seen in old age make-up holding a flower he intends to give to Stella. See more »


While Stella and Winston argue in the restaurant, the level of wine in her glass keeps changing. See more »


Stella Payne: This from the guy who makes a midnight run to the video store and comes back with Booty Call and the Lion King!
See more »


Referenced in Ugly Betty: How Betty Got Her Grieve Back (2007) See more »


Escape To Jamaica
Performed by Lady Saw featuring Nadine Sutherland
Written by Rupert Holmes and Marion Hall
Co-Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for Flyte Tyme Productions,
Inc. and Salaam Remi & Eddison Electrik for Dashiki Productions/Spanky Love Music
Lady Saw appears courtesy of VP Music Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Watch the commercial for Jamaica Tourism and skip the movie
12 August 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Have you ever noticed how the excuses for seeing a really bad movie have an eerie similarity to the excuses for adultery? I didn't really intend to see it, it just sort of happened, I never really wanted to, but I was parked in front of the TV and there it was. I thought it might be okay. I was wrong.

It is unclear to me why anyone thinks that Stella (Angela Basset) lost her groove in the first place. Stella is rich, successful, unbelievably beautiful, smart, independent, and a fashion plate. We open with her dancing and grooving to the radio, yet we are expected to believe she needs her groove back.

It only gets worse from there. I don't want to talk about it. 2/10

23 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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