Forrest Whitaker's film version of Terry McMillan's best-seller about the romantic woes of four African-American women is an entertaining soap opera. Each of these middle- to upper-middle-class women (Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine) have reason to bewail the quality of men they've been involved with, and here they give vent to their anger. Whitaker's film gives these women plenty of room to stretch out, some might say too much. The film has some wonderful moments, such as Bassett burning her rich husband's clothes when he dumps her, and some hilarious riffs on their various boyfriends' sexual peccadillos, but there are also swatches of banality that could easily have been cut. None of the relationships of the women are probed in depth, and, appropriately, most of the male characters exist only to illustrate a point. Among the few exceptions is Gregory Hines, who has a nice turn as a laid-back handyman who hooks up with Devine. Despite their problems with men, the film is really a backhanded tribute to both the independence and sustaining friendship of these four women.
by Michael Costello review