"Juanita"

Imagine Stella from “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” had a second cousin named Juanita. Juanita is a grandmother, overworked, and under-appreciated by most of her children. She decides to travel to a small town from her life in Ohio with revelatory results.

Alfre Woodard is fantastic as Juanita, equal parts refreshing and emotional. She breaks the fourth wall perfectly, engaging the audience into the shenanigans around her. Adam Beach is charming and captivating as Jess, Juanita’s love interest. Latanya Richardson-Jackson is wonderful as Kay-Rita, Juanita’s best girlfriend. Ashlie Atkinson is funny as Peaches. Blair Underwood is sexy and hilarious as Juanita’s man in her mind. Tsulan Cooper, Jordan Nia Elizabeth, Acorye’ White, Marcus Henderson, Bonnie Johnson make a unique, funny, and warm supporting cast.

Director Clark Johnson captures the expanse of Montana. Juanita is truly the center of her story even when she is on the other side of the room. Writer Roderick Spencer adapts the novel “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof” by Sheila Williams. There is a great display of culture about Native Americans. The story is beautiful for watching a black woman have agency to reclaim her life. Also, to go against the grain that traveling and discovering yourself is for the young and free. The cooking scenes are also fun to watch.

This film is streaming on Netflix.