“It’s Not All Downhill From Here” by Terry McMillan is about a year in the life of Loretha, a woman in her 60s, and her circle of friends. Moving through life they experience diverse trials and tribulations, some of which revolves around them being at that particular stage in life. It immediately reminded me of “Waiting to Exhale” but while the women are also imperfect, they feel a bit more self-aware and somewhat settled in their lives. The friend group is also slightly larger and the story is set in Pasadena, California rather than Arizona.
“Waiting to Exhale” is a classic from the 1990s black film canon. Based on Terry McMillan’s 1992 bestseller, the film was released in 1995 directed by Forest Whitaker and featured an all-star cast of female leads which included Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, Loretta Divine, and Whitney Houston.