Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1998. Screenplay by Terry McMillan, Ronald Bass, based on the novel by Terry McMillan. Cinematography by Jeff Jur. Produced by Deborah Schindler. Music by Michel Colombier. Production Design by Chester Kaczenski. Costume Design by Karen M. Davis. Film Editing by George Bowers.
Stella gets her groove back alright, but the film is still in need by the time you get to the end credits. Angela Bassett is terrific in the title role as a fortysomething woman who can’t decide what to do when she falls in love with twenty-one year-old Taye Diggs while on vacation at a resort in Jamaica. Do ‘im is what I say: if a woman like Bassett looks that good at the age of forty she deserves the best of everything. Besides, Diggs doesn’t look nearly young enough for the part, and that keeps reality at bay for the two and some odd hours that the film runs; the scene where teenage girls get in line behind the couple at a movie theatre and give Stella dirty looks for robbing the cradle makes no sense, those girls should be asking her about what kind of skin creams she uses. Whoopi Goldberg and Regina King give the best and funniest performances in the film, but even they can’t prevent the script by Ronald Bass and Terry McMillan (upon whose novel this is based) from seeming like it’s two or three drafts short of being finished. Watch it if only for a great soundtrack and some beautiful photography of Jamaica’s beaches.