“I read Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan last year, before I even knew the movie was coming out. I didn’t really like the book that much. It was like a beach book; you read it, and it’s cool. If I could ever make a movie out of any novel, it would be Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. I really would love to get the rights to that screenplay because that is just the bomb. That book is my favorite novel of all time. Anyway, I just felt like the story in Exhale is kind of shallow; at the same time that it addresses the issues of how black women need to be self-sufficient and not have to depend on men, it almost perpetuates the idea that our lives revolve around black men. I had a real problem with the fundamental motive of the film. The message was really unclear, because it was saying, ‘Don’t do this,’ but it was also affirming the idea that you should be looking for a man—like, that’s the goal in life. You don’t have anything until you have a man. Whitney Houston’s character was a career woman, and she had a beautiful house, a beautiful car, and she owned things. That’s the goal in this capitalist society, right? If that was a man, he would have been a success. He would have had everything in the world. He’s a bachelor; he doesn’t have any ball and chain on his ass. But for a woman, that’s the worst thing in the world, not having a man to share that with. Also, I felt like a lot of the moments between the women were cut off and premature or music was played underneath their dialogue. It made it trivial. It’s like, ‘We are talking here. Hello? Can you cut the music off?’”
Lifted from Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy by Tricia Rose.