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Waiting to Exhale/The Five Heartbeats/Soulfood/How Stella Got Her Groove Back [4 Discs] [DVD]

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$13.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • The Five Heartbeats:
  • Robert Townsend profile
  • Theatrical trailer & TV spots
  • Soul Food:
  • Director's commentary
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Excerpts from the Soul Food Cookbook
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Waiting to Exhale
A surprise Hollywood hit, this film is based on the novel of the same name by Terry McMillan and centers on four well-to-do African-American women and their relationships with men and one another. All of them are "holding their breath" until the day they can feel comfortable in a committed relationship with a man. Robin (Lela Rochon) is the long-time mistress of Russell (Leon), who keeps reneging on his promise to leave his wife for her. She dumps him to find a man she can have to herself, but her dates with a reliable but unattractive business partner (Wendell Pierce) and a drug addict (Mykelti Williamson) send her back to Russell. Savannah (Whitney Houston) is a successful television producer who also believes that her married lover Kenneth (Dennis Haysbert) will leave his wife. Bernadine (Angela Bassett) is a wealthy woman who abandoned her own career to raise a family. Her husband is now leaving her to marry a white woman. Gloria (Loretta Devine) is a beauty salon owner and single mother raising a teenage son. After years alone, she falls in love with a new neighbor, Marvin (Gregory Hines). The women share their stories over lunches and conversations at Gloria's salon. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Terry McMillan and Ron Bass wrote this screenplay based on McMillan's semi-autobiographical best-selling novel (over 2,000,000 copies in print before the release of this film). San Francisco stockbroker Stella (Angela Bassett), a 40-year-old divorcee, has a nice Marin County home and an 11-year-old son, Quincy (Michael J. Pagan). With Quincy off to see his dad, Stella and her best friend Delilah (Whoopi Goldberg) vacation in Jamaica, where she meets sexy, good-looking Winston Shakespeare (Taye Diggs). He's the man of her dreams in every way except one -- he's half her age. Even so, a romance develops. Grammy Award-winning songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis supervised the film's music and produced the R&B-slanted soundtrack album. Shown at the 1998 Urbanworld Film Festival (NY). ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

The Five Heartbeats
Loosely based on the life and times of several R&B artists (The Dells, The Temptations, Frankie Lymon, Sam Cooke and others) The Five Heartbeats traces the rise and fall of a popular African-American 1950s singing aggregation. The story is told from the point of view of one of the "Heartbeats," played by Robert Townsend (who also co-produced, directed and co-wrote the script with Keenan Ivory Waynans). The film is an amalgam of anecdotes drawn from real-life experiences: the long struggle upward, the first rush of success, the dishonest record-company executives, the hard-nosed but nurturing managers, the sex, the drugs, the isolation and the precipitous downward slide. The film begins and ends in the 1990s, as the middle-aged "Duck" (Townsend) ruminates on the past and makes the best of the present. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Soul Food
This hit domestic comedy-drama concerned the fortunes of an extended African-American family recalled through the eyes of young narrator Ahmad (Brandon Hammond). Ahmad's world revolves around his grandmother, Big Mama Joseph (Irma P. Hall) and her three daughters: workaholic attorney Teri (Vanessa Williams), newlywed salon owner Bird (Nia Long), and Ahmad's housewife mom, Maxine (Vivica A. Fox). Each sister is in turmoil. Teri has lost patience for her husband Miles (Michael Beach), who wants to quit the law and take up music. Bird doesn't realize that her husband Lem (Mekhi Phifer) is about to be humiliated by her ex-boyfriend (Mel Jackson). And while Maxine's relationship with her husband Kenny (Jeffrey D. Sams) is going well, her relationship with her jealous sister Teri needs fixing. These conflicts boil over at Big Mama's traditional Sunday dinners, where the matriarch plays peacemaker. The ritual faces extinction, however, when Big Mama suffers a stroke -- but Ahmad is waiting in the wings to take her place. Soul Food launched the directing career of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native George Tillman, Jr., who based the script on his own family experiences. In the summer of 2000, Soul Food was spun off into a cable TV series. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Whitney Houston
    Whitney Houston - Savannah Jackson
  • Angela Bassett
    Angela Bassett - Bernadine Harris
  • Loretta Devine
    Loretta Devine - Gloria Johnson
  • Lela Rochon
    Lela Rochon - Robin Stokes
  • Gregory Hines
    Gregory Hines - Marvin
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