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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.

Director:

Forest Whitaker

Writers:

Terry McMillan (novel), Terry McMillan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Whitney Houston ... Savannah Jackson
Angela Bassett ... Bernadine Harris
Loretta Devine ... Gloria Matthews
Lela Rochon ... Robin Stokes
Gregory Hines ... Marvin King
Dennis Haysbert ... Kenneth Dawkins
Mykelti Williamson ... Troy
Michael Beach ... John Harris, Sr.
Leon ... Russell
Wendell Pierce ... Michael Davenport
Donald Faison ... Tarik Matthews
Jeffrey D. Sams ... Lionel
Jazz Raycole ... Onika Harris
Brandon Hammond ... John Harris, Jr.
Kenya Moore ... Denise
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Où sont les hommes? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$67,052,156

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$81,452,156
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Forest Whitaker stated in an interview with Ebony Magazine that Robin Givens and Halle Berry were among the women who auditioned for the role of Robin. After casting Angela Bassett and Whitney Houston, he decided to go with relative unknowns for the other two roles, and the role of Robin was subsequently given to Lela Rochon. See more »

Goofs

When Bernie meets James Wheeler in the hotel bar, his hands keep changing their position on the bar between shots. See more »

Quotes

Savannah Jackson: So what do you think, Robin? I've love this man forever. And now that we've got another chance, I don't want to blow it by making him think I don't have any faith in him. You know what I mean?
Robin Stokes: Don't we hear this on "Sally" and "Oprah" every day?
[they chuckle]
Robin Stokes: That's what you sound like, you know.
Savannah Jackson: Is that where you get your advice from? TV?
Robin Stokes: Well, you know, there was this one woman in your same situation. This man kept saying he was going to leave, too. She got her hopes all up and everything. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: Where There's Smoke, There's Fired (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

The Book was Better
26 September 2000 | by skillzSee all my reviews

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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