In 1950s Massachusetts, a wealthy black woman engaged to a poor white beatnik learns about her family history. The stories revolve around the racial and class complexities of interracial and class-based marriages.

Director:

Charles Burnett

Writers:

Dorothy West (novel), Lisa Jones (teleplay)
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Halle Berry ... Shelby Coles
Eric Thal ... Meade Howell
Lynn Whitfield ... Corinne Coles
Carl Lumbly ... Lute McNeil
Michael Warren ... Clark Coles
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Ellen Coles
Cynda Williams ... Liz Odis
Charlayne Woodard
Richard Brooks ... Lincoln Odis
Gabriel Casseus ... Hannibal
Shirley Knight ... Gram (Miss Caroline)
Ethel Ayler Ethel Ayler ... Eunice
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Preacher
Peter Francis James ... Isaac Coles
Carl Gordon ... Mr. Hawkins
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Storyline

Shelby Coles is engaged to marry talented white jazz musician Meade Howell, but the pair face opposition from both Meade's family, who object to an inter-racial marriage, and Shelby's parents, who want her to marry a professional. As Shelby is afflicted by premarital doubts, handsome Lute McNeil arrives on the scene, determined to make Shelby his at any cost.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One walk will determine her destiny. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding See more »

Filming Locations:

Southport, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Tina McNeil: I think Daddy wants you to be our new mommy. Will you, Shelby?
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User Reviews

 
Annoyingly self-indulgent...
22 December 2007 | by TelltruthanywaySee all my reviews

Overall, I thought this was a self-indulgent, long-winded film. I didn't read the book and was fascinated to read how different it was. Still predictable is the glorification of "poor" and rich or accomplished as somehow suspect. All of these are the same kind of stereotypes as the film attempts to criticize.

There are certainly some good moments but most of the time, I forced myself to watch so I could finally see how it ended. I'm sorry to say, it wasn't worth the wait. The best part of the film is of course the gorgeous Halle Berry, who doesn't have to do much to be spectacular, and the portrayal of upper class black society. That was as much a revelation as Spielberg's film in which we learned the little known fact that slavery was begun in Africa and there were Black free men in the North during slavery--something of which many people are completely unaware.

Additionally, I don't see bias towards interracial marriage here. I see bias against building enough character development to have us care about the people.


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