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How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 23
Rotten: 25

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 6
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 31,216



Movie Info

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 … More

R (For language and some sexuality.)
Drama , Romance , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Terry McMillan , Ron Bass
In Theaters:
Mar 6, 2001
20th Century Fox


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Critic Reviews for How Stella Got Her Groove Back

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (25) | DVD (2)

The movie meanders on and on, like a bad sexual dream, until you finally wake up mumbling: Stella, please: leave that groove thang alone.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Delivers guilt-free escapism about pretty people having wicked-hot fun in pretty places.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Stella may be frothy and paper-thin, but it's also another great success for star Angela Bassett, who transforms the film into an infomercial for her considerable abilities.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

I never felt Stella and Winston were on the same wavelength, that they could share their lives, that it would be a good idea for them to try.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Ms. Bassett portrays this high-strung superwoman with such intensity that she makes her almost believable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

All formula gloss, a romance that tackles some difficult issues by missing them altogether.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

The "Groove" is on the move in Sullivan's ethnically snappy and exotic May-December romancer. Bassett and Diggs make for a sizzling couple

June 7, 2003

There's only one thing missing from this story, and it's the main ingredient: conflict.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Gives Angela Bassett the full star treatment, and she gives it right back.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

There is insufficient chemistry, more tension and fighting than romance, and no epiphanal moment to demonstrate that Stella has indeed gotten her groove back.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Stella's groove, like the film itself, doesn't run deep.

Full Review… | March 5, 2002
Sight and Sound

This fine and funny film proves that a love that nurtures fills an emptiness that nothing else can fill.

Full Review… | March 2, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Frankly, this is just like a very average TV movie except the cast is more expensive and the stunning Bassett glides through with inviolable class.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Empire Magazine

Stella comes straight from the 'designer problems' school of screenwriting, a genre in which stories are built around wealthy, gorgeous people who have to create their own miseries in order for anything remotely dramatic to occur.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

A strong cast and solid tech credits fail to make the relationship believable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

It features so much in the way of awkward and contrived situations that even an extremely talented cast nearly flounders.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A snickering, boring, and utterly predictable movie that runs over two hours.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

With a dollop more originality and slightly less patronizing Kleenex moments, this picture might have left its mark on the chick flick genre, but as it stands, it's an also-ran.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

There's no tension, sexual or otherwise (even during the love scenes: it was remarkable).

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Philadelphia City Paper

In the end, you ask: How Stella Got Her Groove Back? You're not entirely sure that she did.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Apollo Guide

It takes a long, long time for our Stella to finally get her groove back, and by then you might not much care.

January 1, 2000
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Great cast about a 40 plus stock broker on vacation in Jamaica.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer


a movie about angry women

danny d

Super Reviewer


This film is so fake. A shame because actresses like Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg is one of my fav's but too bad they were in this. Such a waste.

Critique Threatt
Brian R

Super Reviewer


Likeable chick-flick that mainly deals with whether a relationship can work around a 20 year age difference. It even chucks in "best friend dying of cancer" half way through but still manages to stay upbeat about it. And it's surprisingly well shot. But I had to remove half a star because there's a desperate rush to the airport at the end.

Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

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