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How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

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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 »
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 <jfdeming@sprynet.com>

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?


Taye Diggs and Angela Bassett are the same age difference as Taye Diggs and Michael J. Pagan playing "Quincy", Stella's son. See more »


When Winston is going to show Stella the room he made her for building furniture it is dark, but when Winston opens the door you can easily see that there is sunlight coming through the doorway. See more »


Stella Payne: So how old are you anyway, young man?
Winston Shakespeare: Well, I'll be 21 on my next birthday so I guess that makes me 20. And how old are you, young lady?
Stella Payne: 40.
Winston Shakespeare: No, truthfully.
See more »


Put It On
Performed by Bob Marley & The Wailers (as Bob Marley and the Wailers)
Written by Bob Marley
Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

**1/2 Film has no groove even if Stella does
17 February 2000 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Stella gets her groove back, alright, but the film is still in need by the time you get to the end credits. Angela Bassett gives a kick-ass performance in the title role as a fortysomething woman who can't decide what to do when she falls in love with twenty-one year-old Taye Diggs while on vacation at a resort in Jamaica. Do 'im is what I say: if a woman like Bassett looks that good at the age of forty she deserves the best of everything. Besides, Diggs doesn't look nearly young enough for the part, and that keeps reality at bay for the two and some odd hours that the film runs at. The scene where teenage girls get in line behind the couple at a movie theatre and give Stella dirty looks for robbing the cradle always puzzles me; if I were that young an age and found myself standing behind Angela Bassett I'd be asking her what kind of skin creams does she use and does she work out and maybe there might be a portrait hidden in her attic that has all her sins hanging off it? Whoopi Goldberg gives the best and funniest performance in the film, but even she can't prevent the script by Ronald Bass and Terry McMillan (upon whose novel this is based) from seeming like it's two or three drafts short of being finished. Watch it if only for a great soundtrack and some beautiful photography of Jamaica's beaches.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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