Let’s keep the 80s theme going shall we?
I have fairly lucid memories of this being one of the first songs every girl in my family singing. Seriously, every one.
Young Whitney was a cutie, wasn’t she?
I’ve spent the weekend trying to think of the right way to express my feelings toward Whitney Houston. As I remarked to a buddy of mine (and social media backed it up big time), the sisters loved Whitney Houston like family, so any attempts at sarcasm would get you cut.
Then a few of you reminded me we owe, with little debate, one of the most repeated jokes, black cinema or otherwise, to Miss Houston. Enjoy.
R.I.P. Whitney Houston.
Based on the hugely popular novel by Terry McMillan, Waiting to Exhale follows four professional black women as they navigate the trials and tribulations of the love game. Like the book and the film itself, this choice (this high) might rile some of you up, but I’m just the messenger folks.
On to the tale of the tape…
Relevance: Can’t possibly get more relevant than a movie starring four black women with a brother behind the camera (Forrest Whitaker). You add in the fact this novel was written by a sister, and the better question is how much more relevant could it be?
Legacy: Let me throw this out there. One of the ‘shockers’ from a Hollywood point of view was seeing black women turn out in force at the movie theater to see a film that reflected their lives. We can debate if Hollywood figured that out, but has anyone else noticed that there’s a brother based out of Atlanta who also recognized this formula, (with a little more overt use of religion thrown in), and he’s done quite well for himself. What was his name again?
Craft: We can debate the overall effect of the movie, but as a film, you know what? It’s not bad, it really isn’t. Essentially an ensemble film, each of the four major characters has their ‘moment’ in the film, each has a clear story arc. Is it as good as the book? No, but how often is any movie adaptation as good as the book?
Crossover: Eh, debatable. The movie that is. The soundtrack to the film, with songs by Whitney and Mary J. Blige, was a smash hit though. And this film certainly didn’t hurt the career arc of Angela Bassett now did it?
Apollo: I’ll have to tie personal experience into this category. I did see this movie in the theater. I was with three of my fellow KC natives, the summer after our freshmen year of college. We all had dates lined up, and not even kidding, we all got stood up. So we were four blue-balled teenage brothers up in Ward Parkway theatre with a sold out theatre of black women screaming at the screen every 20 minutes. That story just gets funnier over the years but it’s completely true. Pretty much every Apollo moment from the movie (Bassett burning homeboy’s clothes, Whitney’s bad sex experience) just made the film harder for me to sit through. I don’t hold that against the film, just one of those memories. Hearing somebody talking about ‘exhaling’ still makes me cringe a little…
The top 10 black films kick off later this month…