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   HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK (1998) 

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CAST
Angela Bassett
Whoopi Goldberg
Taye Diggs
Regina King
Suzzanne Douglas
Michael J. Pagan
Richard Lawson
Lee Weaver
Glynn Turman
James Pickens Jr.

DIRECTED BY
Kevin Rodney Sullivan

PURCHASE


DVD



Soundtrack




Time: 124mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Romance/Drama


I have to say I went to this film for pure escapist reasons. How Stella lost her "groove" in the first place was not really all that important to me, but the way she got it back...if only we could all be so lucky. Of course, since we all live in the real world we never, ever will be. This is the story of a 40-year-old executive who's also a single mom, who on a whim takes a vacation to Jamaica with her best friend, played by Goldberg. Work has become her life and she's apparently lost her "groove", which from what I understood means her passion for living. On this trip to Jamaica she meets the man of her dreams, Winston Shakespeare (he'll be your dream at the end of this movie). The only problem (?) is he's half her age – she's 40, he's 20. Now I can understand her reluctance to get involved with a man that young because most of them are just overdeveloped boys at that age. However, it's just an island fling. You're unattached, he's built like a god. No one has to know and you get the experience of a lifetime.

Once you see this man, played by Taye Diggs, you'll understand that she really had no choice but to give in. What's surprising about his character is that even though he's wonderful to look at, he has great charm and humanity as well. This is a guy who has things to say and would be fun to hang out with. He also has a smile that could melt butter. Of course, Stella is a control freak and when things don't go her way she feels like he took advantage of her. Personally, I would thank god every night for the rest of my life if Mr. Diggs took advantage of me, but that's just my opinion. I don't need much to be happy. When she returns to San Francisco her sisters played by the always enjoyable Regina King and Suzzanna Douglas are quick to judge and tease her about her fling. Stella is quite sensitive about the topic, not because she had sex with a man young enough to be her son, but because she knows she fell in love with him. Needless to say, the rest of the film has them trying to build a relationship on something deeper than the physical and cross the age gap.


"This from the guy who makes a midnight run to the video store and comes back with Booty Call and the Lion King!"

Stella's emotions go into overdrive when she is laid-off from her job and her best friend faces a serious illness. She doesn't know what she wants anymore and blames Winston's youth and inexperience for her troubles. The interesting thing is, at times he's the more mature partner in their relationship. He understands why she's acting the way she is and gives her the space to be as uptight as she needs to be. But he also doesn't let her belittle him, which gives their relationship more depth than it has the right to have. Since most of Stella's turmoil is internal this isn't the most fascinating story to watch. Bassett and Diggs are wonderful together. You couldn't find two more beautiful people to watch if you tried. She is a wonderful actress and really tries to get you inside the mind and soul of Stella. Unfortunately, for me at least, there really isn't much to fuss about. Men marry and date women old enough to be their grand-daughters and no one seems to have a problem with that. Age can be a problem, but it doesn't always have to be. My opinion: get over it girl. Goldberg and King are wonderfully funny, which really helps to break up Stella's constant angst. In the end, this is a sweet love story about acceptance of yourself and others. If you're looking for a nice way to pass the time, this film is worth it. Hell, the shower scene alone was worth every penny I spent. Ladies, I'm sure you'll agree.



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