How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Bomb Rating: 

Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan may not be very good at getting me to care about his characters, but I was definitely wondering how he got them so shiny.

I'll bet half a testicle that if you look closely at the credits for "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," there's one buried deep in there for "Vaseline Coordinator" or something along those lines. Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan may not be very good at getting me to care about his characters, but I was definitely wondering how he got them so shiny.

Overworked and stressed out, broker Stella (Angela Bassett) goes to Jamaica with her best friend, Delilah (Whoopi Goldberg), and falls for a young guy named Winston Shakespeare (Taye Diggs) who's half her age. They screw and dance and through it all, everybody looks as though representatives from I Can't Believe It's Not Butter are spraying them down after every take.

If you want to get right down to it, the word "groove" in the title is a thinly-veiled euphemism for female genitalia. Thus, the film could also have been called "How Winston Got in a Groove" were it filmed from the male perspective. Pretty offensive when you think about it.

However, what's most offensive about the film is the two hours and twenty minutes it spends reminding us how fast-paced funerals and dental appointments seem by comparison. "Slow" doesn't even begin to describe its pacing, which probably proves that Terry McMillan, who co-wrote the screenplay, is just another one of those hack novelists like Robert James Waller or Nicolas Sparks -- novelists whose books' sole contribution to culture is to provide a means for stupid people to prove that they're not totally illiterate.

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