How Stella Got Her Groove Back Review

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When unhappy businesswoman Stella (Bassett) decides in a moment of spontenaity to go on holiday in the Caribbean with her chum Delilah (Goldberg), she meets the love of her life, Winston (Diggs), who is considerably younger than Stella. When she brings him home, she faces animosity, and to top things off, Delilah is terminally ill.


Fortysomething Stella gets her groove back, turns her life around, and gets back in touch with her inner child when she falls in lust with a much younger man. While most women are offended by the suggestion that all they need to make everything right with their world is a good rogering, much of the team that brought you Waiting To Exhale (this boasts the same writer, some producers and its star Bassett) ploughs on with this proposition in this Woman's Picture that displays somewhat dubious taste.

Stella (Bassett) is a sophisticated San Francisco investment broker and ultra sensible, responsible single mother. But she's not happy. All she needs is, er, love. In a rare moment of spontaneity, Stella takes off with her bawdy bosom pal Delilah (Goldberg) for a vacation in Jamaica, where hunky youth Winston Shakespeare (Diggs), an alleged 20-year-old blessed with remarkable poise and assurance, not to mention primo abs, sweeps her off her feet.

After a lengthy sojourn in the sun and multiple swimsuit changes, she totes the trophy boy home where the movie becomes all about having it all - and overcoming social opprobrium and generation gap jests. To add to the general woe, it transpires that Delilah has a terminal illness and is licensed to gasp out encouraging life wisdom of the "carpe diem/Go for it, girl!" variety to the grieving Stella.

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. Director Sullivan lingers too long in every photogenic location and drags out every incident as if he's making six episodes of a not very sparkling serial. The end result means that, while Stella's getting her groove back, you're making your own indelibly in your seat.

The plot (like, we suspect, the production team) has spent too long in the sun, leaving the story wholly over-cooked. It's rescued somewhat by solid performances, but there's no hiding the TV quality of the script.