Film / How Stella Got Her Groove Back

How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romance film, directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan and an adaptation of Terry McMillan's bestselling novel by the same title. The original music score was composed by Michel Colombier.

The movie follows Stella (Angela Bassett), a very successful 40-year-old stock broker raising her son and living in the Bay Area. She is persuaded by friend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica. As she soaks in the beauty of the island, she encounters a strapping young islander, Winston Shakespeare, who is 20 years her junior. His pursuits for her turn into a hot and steamy 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 the responsibilities of mother and corporate executive.

The story is based on McMillan's own marriage to Jonathan Plummer, a Jamaican man half her age. However, McMillan filed for divorce in 2005 after Plummer came out as gay, implying that he only married her for American citizenship to escape his notoriously homophobic homeland. A sequel novel covering these events has not yet been published.

Tropes associated with this work:

  • Author Avatar: Stella is quite clearly based on Terry McMillan and her own marriage. Before the divorce, anyway.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Winston Shakespeare, though many Jamaicans have English names due to the nation's history.
  • The Film of the Book: It's based on the bestselling novel.