Groove [2000]

Based on Terry McMillan's best-selling novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back stars Angela Bassett as a 40-year-old, Manhattan stock trader and single mom whose static life gets a jolt during a vacation with her pal (Whoopi Goldberg) in Jamaica. Sparks fly when Bassett meets a 20-year-old stud (Taye Diggs) who has an ambivalent career path but a great body and lots of sexual energy to burn. After some prodding by Goldberg's warm-funny secondary character, Bassett gets it on with the fellow--and proceeds to worry about what she's doing with a man half her age. The film is most enjoyable in its sunny, exotic early scenes and becomes more formulaic once the unlikely couple transports their will-we-stay-together-or-won't-we tensions back to the Big Apple. But director Kevin Rodney Sullivan goes out of his way to make a movie unabashedly thick with fantasy and wish-fulfillment for female audiences (it's Diggs who reveals a lot more flesh than the regal Bassett). This is a Saturday-night movie all around. --Tom Keogh

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