Waiting to Exhale

Watch Waiting to Exhale

"Friends are the people who let you be yourself... and never let you forget it."
  • R
  • 1995
  • 2 hr 7 min
  • 6.0  (12,011)

Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 romantic drama directed by Forest Whitaker and based on Terry McMillan's best-selling novel of the same name. The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast including Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon. The film's plot revolves around the relationships and experiences of four Black women living in Phoenix, Arizona. The narrative is centered around the women's search for love, stability, and purpose. Waiting to Exhale tackles various themes such as gender dynamics, race, class, and self-identity.

The protagonist is Savannah Jackson, played by Whitney Houston, who is an independent and successful TV producer. Despite being professionally accomplished, Savannah struggles to find a man who values and respects her. She keeps getting involved with men who are either married, uninterested, or too focused on their careers. Savannah's character is portrayed as someone who is waiting to "exhale" or let go of her insecurities and find happiness.

Angela Bassett stars as Bernadine Harris, a hard-working and devoted wife to her husband, John. Bernadine is blissfully content until she discovers that her husband has been having an affair and plans to leave her. Her world turns upside down, and she finds herself grappling with the fear of losing everything she has ever known. Bernadine's journey highlights the emotional toll inflicted on women when their partners betray their trust.

Loretta Devine plays Gloria, a shy and kind-hearted woman, who desires a traditional nuclear family but finds herself unable to conceive. Gloria's character is complex as she grapples with the pain and shame of infertility, and fear of being alone.

Lastly, Robin, played by Lela Rochon, is a fashion designer who is struggling to balance her career ambitions with her need for love and companionship. Robin's character is portrayed as someone who is looking for a significant other but remains cautious of those who might take advantage of her.

Throughout the film, the women navigate various challenges and obstacles that are reflective of real-world struggles. From dealing with infidelity to finding self-love, the women support each other and provide solidarity in their shared experiences. Waiting to Exhale tackles issues such as breakups, careers, family, and friendship, making it a quintessential representation of women's experiences in the '90s.

The film's success can be attributed to the interweaving of these themes, with the standout performances of the main cast members. Houston's magnetic presence and powerhouse vocals make her character an icon in the context of Black women in the media. The chemistry between the four women comes through strongly as they expertly convey the joys and sorrows that come with their intertwining stories.

Waiting to Exhale is a beloved classic that remains relevant even today. It tackles issues that continue to affect Black women, such as colorism, gender bias, and relationships. For anyone looking for a poignant drama about the complexities of being a Black woman in a white-dominated society, Waiting to Exhale is a must-watch.

Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 7 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.

Waiting to Exhale
Where to Watch Waiting to Exhale
Waiting to Exhale is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Waiting to Exhale for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 7 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (12,011)