How Stella Got Her Groove Back

How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's best-selling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs (in his film debut), Whoopi Goldberg, and Regina King. The original music score was composed by Michel Colombier.[3]

How Stella Got Her Groove Back
How stella got her groove back
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKevin Rodney Sullivan
Produced byDeborah Schindler
Screenplay by
Based onHow Stella Got Her Groove Back
by Terry McMillan
Music byMichel Colombier
CinematographyJeffrey Jur
Edited byGeorge Bowers
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • August 14, 1998
Running time
125 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$39.2 million[2]


Stella Payne is a very successful 40-year-old stockbroker raising her son, Quincy, and living in Marin County, California, who is persuaded by her best friend from college, Delilah Abraham, to take a well-deserved, first-class vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica. As she soaks in the beauty of the island, she encounters a handsome young islander, Winston Shakespeare, who is twenty years younger. His pursuit of her turns into a blossoming romance that forces Stella to take personal inventory of her life and try to find a balance between her desire for love and companionship, and her responsibilities as a mother and corporate executive.



The reception from critics was mixed.[4][5][6]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 49% based on 49 reviews.[7] On Metacritic the film has a score of 56 out of 100 based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews.[8] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A-.[9]

Box office

In its opening weekend, Stella grossed $11,318,919, ranking #2 in the domestic box office behind Saving Private Ryan's fourth weekend.[10] The film would go on to gross $36,672,941 domestically and an additional $1,605,781 overseas for a worldwide total of $39,278,722. From an estimated $20 million budget, this can be considered a moderate success.[2]


A soundtrack containing mostly R&B and reggae was released on August 11, 1998, by MCA Records. It peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified gold on September 22, 1998.


1999 Acapulco Black Film Festival
  • Best Actress — Angela Bassett (won)
  • Best Actor — Taye Diggs (nominated)
  • Best Actress — Whoopi Goldberg (won)
  • Best Director — Kevin Rodney Sullivan (nominated)
  • Best Film (won)
  • Best Screenplay — Terry McMillan (nominated)
  • Best Soundtrack (won)
1999 NAACP Image Awards
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture — Angela Bassett (won)
  • Outstanding Motion Picture (won)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture — Whoopi Goldberg (won)
  • Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress — Michael J. Pagan (won)

See also


  1. ^ "HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1998-11-17. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  2. ^ a b c How Stella Got Her Groove Back at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Gene Seymour (August 21, 1998). "Angela Bassett Reaches a Stellar Groove at Last". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  4. ^ Stephen Holden (August 14, 1998). "FILM REVIEW; He Likes Video Games? Nobody's Perfect". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  5. ^ Margaret A. McGurk (August 14, 1998). "Bassett gets her groove". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  6. ^ Roger Ebert (August 14, 1998). "How Stella Got Her Groove Back". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK (1998) CinemaScore
  10. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for August 14-16, 1998". Box Office Mojo. 1998-08-17. Retrieved 2013-02-03.

External links

Angela Bassett

Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an American actress and activist known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Bassett has additionally portrayed Betty Shabazz in both Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995), Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992), Voletta Wallace in Notorious (2009) and Coretta Scott King in Betty & Coretta (2013). Her other roles include Rachel Constantine in Contact (1997), Amanda Waller in Green Lantern (2011), Lynne Jacobs in Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016) and Queen Ramonda in Black Panther (2018).

Bassett began her film career in the mid-1980s, after earning a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. In the 1990s, she appeared in films nearly every year. The 2000s saw a succession of films starring Bassett, with her appearing in at least one film every year. Bassett's success has continued into the 2010s. Bassett earned nominations for her roles in films such as The Score (2001), Akeelah and the Bee (2006), Meet the Browns (2008) and Jumping the Broom (2011) and won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999), among others. Bassett's performance as Rosa Parks in the 2002 film The Rosa Parks Story was honored with her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

In 2013, Bassett had a recurring role on the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story: Coven, earning her second Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. She returned for Freak Show, the series' fourth season, portraying a three-breasted woman named Desiree Dupree, for which she received another Emmy Award nomination. For the fifth season, Hotel, she portrayed Ramona Royale, a famous movie star. Bassett returned to the series's sixth cycle, Roanoke, portraying an alcoholic actress named Monet Tumusiime, who plays struggling mother and former police officer Lee Harris in the My Roanoke Nightmare documentary, and she reprised her role as Marie Laveau in a guest role in the eighth season Apocalypse. In 2018, Bassett began producing and starring in the Fox first responder drama series 9-1-1, playing LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant.

Getting to Happy

Getting to Happy is the sequel to Waiting to Exhale by author Terry McMillan. The novel follows the lives of four African-American friends in Phoenix, Arizona in 2005. McMillan decided to write the sequel after her divorce from Jonathan Plummer, the inspiration for How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The book was released in 2010.

How Betty Got Her Grieve Back

"How Betty Got Her Grieve Back" is the season two premiere of dramedy series Ugly Betty. It aired on September 27, 2007. It is the 24th episode in the series, which was written by Silvio Horta & Marco Pennette and directed by James Hayman. The episode's title is a play on the book and film How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back

"How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back" is the eleventh episode in the second season of the American animated television series Futurama. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 2, 2000. The title references the 1998 film and popular novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (soundtrack)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back is the soundtrack to the 1998 film, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. It was released on August 11, 1998, through Flyte Tyme Records and consisted mainly of R&B music. The album was entirely produced by the production duo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with additional help from Wyclef Jean & Jerry Duplessis as well as Salaam Remi. The soundtrack peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 albums chart and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified gold on September 22, 1998, by the RIAA. Two singles were released from the album, "Luv Me, Luv Me" and "Beautiful".

Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Kevin Rodney Sullivan (born August 3, 1958) is an American film and television actor and film director.

Luv Me, Luv Me

"Luv Me, Luv Me" is a song by Jamaican-American reggae singer Shaggy. It was first released on July 25, 1998 as a collaboration with Janet Jackson; it was re-recorded in 2000 and the re-recorded version was released on May 31, 2001 as the third official single from his multi-platinum album Hot Shot. The song features vocals from American singer Samantha Cole.

For the first time, Jackson included the song as an interlude on her 2015-2016 Unbreakable World Tour.

Michael J. Pagan

Michael Jamon Pagan (born January 12, 1985) is an American actor and screenwriter.

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture

This page lists the winners and nominees for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. This award has been given since 1972 and as of 2017, only two of the winning films have also won the Academy Award for Best Picture: Crash and 12 Years a Slave.

Prostitution in Jamaica

Prostitution in Jamaica is illegal but widely tolerated, especially in tourist areas. UNAIDS estimate there to be 18,696 prostitutes in the country.The island is a destination for sex tourism. The Terry McMillan novel, and later film, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was based on female sex tourism in Jamaica. Transactional sex also occurs.Sex trafficking is a problem in the country.

Regina King

Regina Rene King (born January 15, 1971) is an American actress and television director. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three Primetime Emmy Awards. Time magazine named King one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.King first gained attention in 1985 as Brenda Jenkins in the NBC television series 227. She would go on to star in both television and film, rising to greater prominence with roles like Dana Jones in Friday (1995), Marcee Tidwell in Jerry Maguire (1996), Riley and Huey Freeman on the hit animated series The Boondocks, and Detective Lydia Adams on Southland. For Southland, she earned two Critics' Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013. In 2018, her performance as Sharon Rivers in the film If Beale Street Could Talk earned her the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

From 2015 to 2017, King starred in the ABC anthology series American Crime, for which she received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning twice, and was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Also from 2015 to 2017, she played Erika Murphy in the HBO drama The Leftovers, for which she received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination. In 2018, she starred in the Netflix miniseries Seven Seconds, for which she won her third Emmy Award. King has a recurring role as Janine Davis in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and has starred in various films, including Ray, Poetic Justice, Friday, and Legally Blonde 2.

Rolf Ellmer

Rolf Ellmer (born 3 December 1960), also known by the names Jam El Mar, Trancy Spacer and Jam, is a classically trained musician and composer (concert-guitarist) and has become one of Germany's most well known Techno and Trance producers.

Together with Markus Löffel (alias Mark Spoon), also from the German music scene, he has recorded under several monikers such as Jam & Spoon, Tokyo Ghetto Pussy and Storm. He was a member of the group Dance 2 Trance, along with Dag Lerner (alias DJ Dag), which had success all over the world and he is considered to be one of the pioneers of trance music.A string of hits under Jam & Spoon include "Right in The Night", "Stella", "Kaleidoscope Skies", "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", and "Set me Free (Empty Rooms)".

Rolf Ellmer has also worked as a producer and remixer for other artists such as Deep Forest, Enigma, Moby, Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Furthermore recognized for being a gifted and successful DJ.

Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine is a one-character play by Willy Russell. Taking the form of a monologue by a middle-aged, working class Liverpool housewife, it focuses on her life before and after a transforming holiday abroad.

Sicily (actress)

Sicily Sewell (born October 1, 1985) is an American actress. She is sometimes credited in film or television as simply with a mononym Sicily.

She made her television appearance on an Emmy Award-winning episode of Sesame Street when she was eight years old.

She played "Young Aisha" in a two-part episode of Season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers called ""Rangers Back In Time"", as well as in the 10 part mini series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers.

She starred as young Diana in the hit miniseries, Mama Flora's Family in 1998, and as Angela Bassett's niece in the film How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

For 4 seasons, Sewell portrayed Spirit Jones, the best friend of Breanna Barnes (played by Kyla Pratt) in the sitcom One on One. Citing a decision by UPN to move in a different direction for the fifth season, Sicily was let go from One on One on June 20, 2005. This change came at a time when she was only nine episodes away from syndication.

Sewell also appeared in the Lifetime original movie Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story alongside Ernie Hudson, Edwin Hodge and Jami Gertz in August 2005.

Suzzanne Douglas

Suzzanne Douglas (born April 12, 1957) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as matriarch Jerri Peterson on the WB sitcom The Parent 'Hood, starring Robert Townsend which ran from 1995–1999. Douglas portrayed Amy Simms in the 1989 dance/drama film Tap alongside Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr; for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. In addition to Tap, Douglas has starred in several other motion pictures, among them How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Jason's Lyric (1994), The Inkwell (1994) as well as the 2003 Disney/ABC version of Sounder with Carl Lumbly. Douglas is also best known for her portrayal as Cissy Houston in the Lifetime TV movie Whitney in 2015.

Taye Diggs

Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles in the Broadway musicals Rent and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the TV series Private Practice, the films How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Brown Sugar, The Best Man and its sequel, The Best Man Holiday. Between 2014 and 2016 he starred as Inspector Terry English in Murder in the First.

Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan (born October 18, 1951) is an American author. Her work is characterized by relatable female protagonists.

The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 1996

This is a list of adult fiction books that topped The New York Times Fiction Best Seller list in 1996.

Whoopi Goldberg

Caryn Elaine Johnson (born November 13, 1955), known professionally as Whoopi Goldberg (), is an American actress, comedian, author, and television personality. She has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and is one of the few entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award. She is the second black woman to win an Academy Award for acting.Goldberg's breakthrough role was Celie, a mistreated woman in the Deep South, in the period drama film The Color Purple (1985), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her first Golden Globe Award. For her role in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990) as Oda Mae Brown, an eccentric psychic, Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a second Golden Globe, her first for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1992, Goldberg starred in the comedy Sister Act, earning a third Golden Globe nomination, her first for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. She reprised the role in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), making her the highest-paid actress at the time. Her other film roles include Made in America (1993), Corrina, Corrina (1994), The Lion King (1994), The Little Rascals (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Girl, Interrupted (1999), For Colored Girls (2010), Toy Story 3 (2010), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Nobody's Fool (2018) and Furlough (2018). In television, Goldberg is known for her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She has been the moderator of the talk show The View since 2007.

Films directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan

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