Blerd Film Club: Waiting to Exhale


In 1992 Terry McMillan wrote a novel called Waiting to Exhale. In 1995 it was adapted to film directed by Forest Whitaker. The film would star legendary actress Angela Bassett supported by a cast of Loretta Devine, Donal Faison Gregory Hinds, Eddie Murphy and of course, Whitney Houston.

Te film covers a group of four women who are best friends. They come together to discuss how the men in their lives are uncomfortable. There's no overall narrative about how they work together to change things. Instead we get four individual narratives shared by friends.

The first woman we're introduced to in Bernadine. Bernadine gave up her lucrative career to help push her husband's forward. She's got several degrees in different business fields and believed that once his business was off the ground, she'd be free to follow her dream of running a catering company. When he finally had everything they dreamed of she stayed at home. This time she gave him children and raised him. However, on the night of a party he leaves her for a white woman. This gives birth to one of the most iconic scenes in black cinema. Bernadette burns all of her husbands belongings in his vehicle. The reason this bothers her so much is because he spent so much time talking down about other black people. He forced their children to go to schools with no other black people, because he felt they were improper influences. She pursues a divorce and is awarded almost everything. She also alls in love with a civil rights attorney who encourages her to start her catering company.

Savannah is a television producer. She's successful and believes she's found her soul mate. The problem is her soul mate is a married man with children. She is upset that he won't leave his family to be with her. He thought it was a short fling and didn't feel like they connected at all. Her story follows her trying to figure out who she is as an individual. Part of that is finally telling her mother that she isn't going to be like her. She also realizes she only liked this married man because everyone told her she should. She leaves her lover forever and decides she's happy being alone for right now when she was previously afraid of dying old and alone.

Robin is an executive and also dates married men. In her case she was dating a married man name Russell who was also dating other women. He impregnated one of these women, but told the woman he wouldn't leave his wife because the kids would be hurt. Then broke up with her. This causes Robin to brake up with Russell after seeing him for who he really is. She falls in love with Troy who she meets in a grocery store. Troy is another married man, and alcoholic with controlling tendencies. Troy is no good from the start, but Robin can't see that. He tells her, not invites her, to meet his mother and son. She still stays with him. This time Troy impregnates Robin. However Robin leaves him and decides she'd rather raise the child on her own.

Last is Gloria, a beauty salon owner. Gloria is currently a single mother of a 17 year old son who isn't the greatest. Previously she had been happily married for almost twenty years. Her husband told her he was bisexual but has decided he's just gay now. Since they've split she hasn't allowed her son to see his father because gay men can't be fathers, or some other kind of homophobia. She is overprotective of her son and keeps him under her eye constantly. In one moment after catching him reviving fellatio she lets slip why she hasn't let him see his father. He calls his father a faggot and she gets upset because she won't let a bisexual man raise his own son, but she won't stand for slurs. Eventually she lets her son grow up, and spends more time taking care of herself.


Admittedly, I don't know how to take any of the relationships except Bernadine's. She should have burned down the office building too. Gloria had a lot of grief being a single mother, but was purposely keeping her son from his father because he was gay as if that means he couldn't be a good father. Despite being a father for the past 17 years. Troy was no good and reminds me of an ashy guy on Twitter who talks about what his woman needs to do to keep him, despite being unemployed. However, she was dating a married man before that, which also brought her a lot of grief. He was married, and he was wrong, but you knew he was married too. Savannah was all in for her married man, and wanted to marry him. Again, he's wrong, but you knew he was married too.

Despite that, it's still a good film. It's a good way to escape from day to day life. The perfect ways to break out of relationships that are bad. It's a great way to fantasize about getting back at that ex that did you wrong, even if it was fine when y'all were doing wrong together. It's recomeneded just to see Bernadine get her revenge.

Download a free copy of Darrell's book Phantasmagoricalread some of his other work at 12AMFiction.com and hear him on the Powerbomb Jutsu Podcast
Blerd Film Club: Waiting to Exhale Blerd Film Club: Waiting to Exhale Reviewed by Blerds Online on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Rating: 5

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