Waiting to Exhale

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Joshua H. Pinkham
Cassandra Boze
English Composition I
26 October 2012
Paper #3
Waiting to Exhale, produced by Forest Whitaker, based on Terry McMillan’s novel, is a movie with many strong themes, most of them associated with people rather than ideas. The film details the trials and tribulations of four women searching for “Mister Right”. Several themes such as racism, feminism, the search for true love, and the connection between friends all are brought to light with this movie. However, the theme of commonality stuck out most to me as I watched this film. Every woman, Robin, Gloria, Savannah, and Bernadine, all have different lives; however, they all have something in common: they are searching for love in all the wrong places.

The movie, in a sense, is a thrilling adventure about the ups and downs of relationships in the black community. In another sense, it was a heartwarming story about women who can live to the fullest no matter what circumstances they encounter. I believe it to be more of the latter. Robin was willing to lower her standards and even date a man who has been addicted to drugs only to find the man who will show her love. Gloria would rather stay at home and talk to the man across the street, rather than work so she can have a shot at his love. Savannah, a successful business woman, is willing to allow a married man to interfere with the way she lives her life. Bernadine lost all of her money and was close to losing everything she had. However, each woman, at the end of the movie, realized they could have life to the fullest.

Many times throughout the book, the women begin to do something right with their lives. However, they end up being greedy with what they have and try to live as if they had no problems. For instance, in McMillan’s novel, after Bernie wins the case against her ex-husband and wins a large sum of money, she writes checks to the United Negro College Fund and other charities. In the movie, however, there is no...
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