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From what I’ve heard, in the wake of Whitney Houston’s unfortunate passing, it seems like comments regarding the singer’s film career largely lead to discussion of The Bodyguard. When I think of Whitney and The Bodyguard, my mind goes straight to the outstanding soundtrack. When I think of Whitney and film, Waiting to Exhale is what comes to mind. The Forest Whitaker directed movie is on the list of film I have to watch if I find it on television, not matter what part it's at when I come across it.
Houston starred alongside Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon in this film adaptation of Terry McMillan’s novel about four African American women struggling with romantic issues while finding friendship in each other. Despite having seen it many times, I always have to watch to see Bernadine’s amazing meltdown and comeback, Gloria’s attempts to connect with her son, Robin’s efforts to find a decent man who treats her right, and Savannah’s relationship with a married man. I’d say Houston held her own in her performance as Savannah, especially when factoring in the amount of talent among the cast of the movie.
Following Waiting to Exhale, Houston went on to appear in two other films in the later part of the ’90’s. And coming soon, those who were hoping to see her return to the big screen will get their wish when Sparkle releases in theaters this August. What might have been her big comeback to acting will unfortunately be her final role.
MTV posted some comments shared by Waiting to Exhale writer Terry McMillan and some of the cast of the film, which includes a couple of references to a sequel that may have been in the works, based on McMillan’s follow-up novel Getting to Happy.
Part of Angela Bassett's statement says, "I am so thankful to have been enveloped by the warmth of Whitney's great talents. They were undeniable and vast." And among numerous tweets on the subject of Houston’s passing, McMillan said:
I am not thinking about the damn movie. So please, don't ask.
Meanwhile, from what Loretta Devine said, Houston was excited to get going on the Waiting to Exhale sequel...
"I am overwhelmed. I cannot wrap my mind around this. I missed the chance to see her at a party this past Thursday and when we spoke last she had just finished 'Sparkle' and she told me how excited she was to start production on 'Waiting to Exhale 2' with Angela, Lela and myself.”
At this point, it’s probably too soon after Houston’s death for any major discussions on the future of the project to be had. But it’s hard to imagine the story without Savannah in it or to have the role recast. So we’ll have to wait and see what transpires. In the meantime, our thoughts go out to Houston's friends and family.
For those Houston fans who have already exhausted themselves on listening to the star’s greatest hits, Waiting to Exhale is available on Netflix Watch Instantly.