Four African American women commiserate about the men in their lives after one of them is abandoned by her philandering husband. A well-received adaptation of Terry McMillan's best-selling 1992 novel.
Wesley Snipes - Actor, BLADE
Dennis Haysbert - American Actor/Love Field
Michael Beach - Supporting Actor
Loretta Devine - Actress
Gregory Hines - American Actor/Dancer
Lela Rochon - Actress/"Boomerang"
Forest Whitaker - American actor/director, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Angela Bassett - American actress, WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT
Mykelti Williamson - Star, ATL (2006)
Whitney Houston - American Singer
The adaptation of Terry McMillan's best-selling novel, about four middle-class, African-American friends, and their continuing efforts to find Mr. Right. The story begins with Bernadine, whose husband John calmly announces that he's leaving her -- for a white woman. Furthermore, the wealthy John has been manipulating his finances, and leaves Bernadine virtually broke. But Bernie gets her revenge, in a rather "fiery" fashion. Then there's Savannah, who re-ignites a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, who's married with children. Meanwhile, dim-bulb Robin dates hordes of Mr. Wrongs before going back to Russell, who's also married. Will either come to her senses? Finally, portly, single mom Gloria gave up on finding a man years ago, concentrating instead on raising her son. Ironically, it is she who finds love, with her new neighbor. For these women, finding a man is secondary to one thing: their close love and affection for one another. And it is this bond that helps them get through the pain and heartache of their lives.
Released theatrically in the USA December 22, 1995. The film was very profitable for 20th Century Fox, as the budget was $15 million -- and grossed $65 million domestically. Color by DeLuxe. The film was named best picture of the year at the 27th annual NAACP Image Awards ceremony. In addition, Angela Bassett was named best lead actress and Loretta Divine best supporting actress. Upon its release, "Waiting to Exhale" created a firestorm of controversy within the African-American community. While scores of Black women went to see it in droves (often more than once), many Black men claimed it was an unrealistic, male-bashing film that promoted negative stereotypes about them. As a result, debates over the film were held over the Internet, "Waiting to Exhale" discussion groups met across the country, and talk show host Oprah Winfrey devoted TWO shows to the movie, all to discuss the issues raised by the film. Additional cast: Jazz Raycole (Onika); Brandon Hammond (John Jr.); Kenya Moore (Denise); Wren T. Brown (Minister); Theo (On Air Deejay); Ken Love (Deejay at the Hermosa); Graham Galloway (Fireman); Starletta DuPois (Savannah's Mother); Shari L. Carpenter (Savannah's Assistant); and Thomas R. Leander (Interviewer). Additional credits: Joseph Ray (2nd assistant director); Thomas C. Ford (special effects coordinator); Carlton Kaller (music editor); Roni Wheeler Poole, Walter W. Parry Jr. (assistant directors); Chris Carpenter (sound re-recordist); Rawn Hutchinson, Brandon Sebek (stunt co-ordinators). Original soundtrack album available on Arista Records, executive produced by Babyface. "Wey U" performed by Chanté Moore. "All Night Long" performed by SWV. "Love Will Be Waiting at Home" performed by For Real. "Sittin' Up in My Room" performed by Brandy. "And I Gave My Love to You" performed by Sonja Marie. "How Could You Call Her Baby" performed by Shanna. "Kissing You" performed by Faith Evans. "Somewhere There Is a Love" performed by De De O'Neal. "I'm Gonna Make You My Wife" performed by The Whispers, composed by Wayne Bell. "Love Theme from `Romeo and Juliet'" composed by Nino Rota. "Lovin' You" performed and composed by Minnie Riperton. "It Might Be You" performed by Roberta Flack, composed by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Dave Grusin. "Happy Birthday to You" composed by Mildred and Patty Hill. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. Copyright 1995 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.
"...The cast is a pleasure....A seamless whole that goes down like the sweetest, slickest video you ever saw..." - 12/28/1995 Rolling Stone, p.138-9
"....[Angela Bassett] turns in quite a powerful performance..." - 02/01/1996 Sight and Sound, p.56
"...An exhilarating blast...[with a] strong cast..." -- Rating: B+ - 01/19/1996 Entertainment Weekly, p.41
"...An appealing cast and skilled and imaginative direction by Forest Whitaker....Bassett again proves her gifts with a performance at once fiery and delicate..." - 12/18/1995 Variety
"...Pleasant....Grounded in a smooth, wall-to-wall soundtrack written by Kenneth 'Babyface" Edmonds....WAITING TO EXHALE is easy listening for the eyes..." - 12/22/1995 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"...This is a debut directing job by Forest Whitaker, and somehow the tone of the film resembles his own acting: measured, serene, confident..." - 12/22/1995 Chicago Sun-Times, p.39