First, I need to offer an apology to the cast and crew of Waiting to Exhale: in my misspent youth, my friends and I snuck into a late showing, thus denying the production the literal several dollars that might have kept it on top of the box office that much longer, thus encouraging studios to create more films led by Black women. Whitney, if you can hear me: I’m sorry.

Now, being from the west myself, it’s hard to discern seasons, so a film set largely in Phoenix, Arizona doesn’t offer much in the way of foliage—but it does offer a warm-hearted vibe of changing lives and the promise of renewal, following the travails and triumphs and vehicular vandalism of four women who support each other through bad relationships (that iconic car fire will warm your soul on these chilly fall nights).

Where to stream: HBO Max, IMDb TV