Waiting to Exhale Reviews
Men who are afraid to commit shouldn't be degraded for their lack thereof. Women who find men that are different than what they expect shouldn't trample over them because their values are different than theirs. In this film Waiting to Exhale, which is directed by Forest Whitaker, written by Terry McMillan and its' cast members, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Whitney Houston, and Robin Givens, its' concept is unrealistic, male-bashing, and shallow. The overall film is entertaining but not pleasant in view of the fact that men are belittled and women are perceived as superficial.
This film delivers the illusion that the life of successful women with relationship problems is blissful. The wrong message is portrayed to the writers' audience. It provides an unrealistic view that being a certain way or having certain things despite the lack of true love, is sufficient. The idea of wanting to be in a relationship with a married man or any man should not be a woman's main focus. This film, in a way encourages some women to believe that having this way of life or mind frame is fun or exciting. Roger Ebert stated, "An escapist fantasy that women in the audience can enjoy by musing, 'I wish I had her problems'- and her car, house, wardrobe, figure and men, even wrong men." Some viewers may disagree and feel as though this movie is pleasant and has a realistic view of how some women respond in relationships. Although, some people view this film as a Hollywood hit, they fail to realize that the way in which these four women are portrayed states otherwise as suggested by Barry Walters, "Four main female characters trudging through a movie's worth of similar repeated blunders adds up to one scary truckload of drama." The overall concept of this film shows a large amount of internal issues that give the perception that unrealistic drama is the definition of enjoyment. These women provide insight to the way that some women respond to relationships and life. It is evident in the form of which the women react to the problems they face in their daily lives and present relationships. Women don't see the big picture or main point all they see is entertainment, in addition, this may lead to envy for some women.
Male-bashing seems to be an extremely profound notion within this film. The four women depicted in this movie tromp through life blaming men for their unhappiness and judging them based on their lack of commitment toward them. It's almost as if they feel they're owed something just because they are in a relationship with that individual. Therefore, belittling a man's character because their needs have not been met to their standards. Joan Walsh stated, "The male-bashing taken to an extreme in Waiting to Exhale is starting to seem a little like crack for the female psyche, exhilarating in the short term but ultimately crippling and dangerous." It is clear that Whitaker's message is to both women and men, however the message that he portrays to women is obviously ruining how women view and respect men; in turn degrading the character of men. On the other hand, Desson Thomson claims that, "This sister-celebratory adaptation of Terry McMillan's best-selling book is frequently delightful." As delightful as this film may have been for some critics or viewers, they failed to realize that the statistics this movie portrays is degrading, in view of the fact that men are characterized as low lives. Madeleine Williams agrees when she writes, "Overall, the film never quite hints at answers or even much comprehension of the problems, but it should fit the bill for those looking for empathetic communion, or those simply wanting to bash men." It is apparent in this film that men are described as one who cannot commit or truly love someone without cause. The portrayal of men is not characterized in a light that would motivate women to see men as faithful. There are unfaithful men, however there are ones who want to commit which should have been included in this film at some point.
The overall impression of this movie is trivial. The form in which the women are characterized in addition to the men is extremely narrow minded. Emanuel Levy concurs that, "Stylish but shallow melodrama based on McMillan's best-seller." It is prominent in this movie that women are perceived to be frivolous in their views of relationships. Some positive recognition for both men and women would have benefited this film. In other words, there would have been a more diverse audience as opposed to women who are lonely, heart broken, and unhappy. Christine James agrees in which she states, "There are some humorous observations, irrefutable truths and good performances that make this movie worthwhile to those in a man-bashing mind frame." Clearly Whitaker only one main point or idea which lacks any feedback beneficial to men or women. This is obvious in view of the fact that many critics agree that this film was apparently created for an audience of little integrity and facile.
In conclusion, this film is entertaining to one who life mirrors that of the characters in this film. Though the concept of the movie itself isn't inviting toward the opposite sex it is however bittersweet for the women who find it to be pleasant.
Every "bad", negative, or unimportant character in this movie is white.
The accountant from Bernadine's husband's firm is white (and gets a huge slap across her face, because yeah, get it white women, you whores and home-wreckers!), the girl fooling around with Gloria's son is white (what a slut!), the judge that pronounces an unfavorable verdict is white (ahhh don't get me started! The rage against old white powerful men can be felt through the screen), the bride and groom who dare to be having their pictures taken as Bernie leaves the court house (how dare you, white people, to be happy at such a time as this!).
The best part of the entire movie is probably the naivete of it. You can definitely tell the movie was made in the 1990s - and it's not a bad thing. In fact it's quite nostalgic to look at the hairstyles, outfits, and makeup of those days, and to remember how people were slightly nicer to each other than now. It's very relaxing to watch a movie that doesn't involve guns or violence and this movie is definitely like that.
The scene between Savannah and her lover from the past (Kenneth) had me turn away and not look at the screen for a few moments. I then ran to my kitchen and had a jalapeno pepper sprinkled with Sriracha sauce, hot sauce, and a good helping of salt, all to cut down the sugary-sweet mushy stuff happening on the screen. "I love you Savannah, I know I am married"....bleeeergh.
The verdict: I enjoyed watching Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett do some excellent work. Would not watch another movie or read a novel by Terry McMillan, though.