Woo (film)

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Woo 1998 Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Daisy V.S. Mayer
Produced by Beth Hubbard
Bill Carraro
Bradford W. Smith
David C. Johnson
Howard Hobson
John Singleton
Michael Hubbard
Stephanie Koules
Written by David C. Johnson
Starring Jada Pinkett Smith
Tommy Davidson
Dave Chappelle
Paula Jai Parker
LL Cool J
Darren Heath
Michael Ralph
and Duane Martin
as 'Frankie'
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Jean Lépine
Edited by Janice Hampton
Nicholas Eliopoulos
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
United States
May 8, 1998
United Kingdom
September 25, 1998
July 2, 1999
Running time
84 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13,000,000
Box office $8,064,972[1]

Woo is a 1998 romantic comedy film, directed by Daisy V.S. Mayer, and starring Jada Pinkett Smith in the title role. Tommy Davidson co-stars. Woo was filmed in 1996.


Woo (Smith) is an extroverted woman living in New York City, and she has a notorious knack for turning men into mush. When Woo's psychic friend Celestrial (Girlina) predicts that the man of her dreams is about to enter her life, Woo doesn't believe it is true. Celestrial, however, is convinced that Woo is destined to meet a tall, debonair Virgo. Woo's cousin Claudette (Paula Jai Parker) and Claudette's boyfriend Lenny (Dave Chappelle) plan to spend the night together but find themselves entertaining Woo instead. Lenny begs his best friend Tim Jackson (Davidson) to take Woo out - even though shy, strait-laced law clerk Tim is the polar opposite of the sassy and brassy Woo. That same night, Lenny and Claudette's night goes wrong when his sick obsession with chicken drives her to be forced to dress up as a sexy but awkward "chicken ho" (he makes her cluck and walk like a chicken) but she is allergic to feathers.

At first, Woo expresses disinterest in the matchmaking mismatch. But when she's told that Tim is a Virgo, she decides it is fate, jumps at the chance, and immediately heads for Tim's apartment. Meanwhile, Tim, who can't believe his luck, goes next door to his neighbor Darryl (LL Cool J) for tips on romancing women. Darryl supplies Tim with incense, edible body oils, and a tape of sexy songs. When Woo arrives, Tim is completely smitten. Woo, however, discovers that Tim is anything but the sexy, spontaneous stud of her dreams. Finding Tim's pseudo-cool act totally transparent, she humiliates and teases him. They are just about to exit Tim's apartment when Tim is visited by three of his pals - Frankie (Duane Martin), Hop (Darrel Heath), and Romaine (Michael Ralph). The chauvinistic attitude of Tim's friends irritates Woo, so she retaliates and freaks out the trio by acting insane. Finally, the date gets underway. Woo and Tim arrive at a stuffy Italian restaurant, but Woo's behavior gets them thrown out. They go to a dance club, where Tim becomes the victim, punched out by Woo's ex-boyfriend. Woo likes a good laugh, and when Tim discovers the theft of his flashy new car, she finds this hilarious. And so it goes, straight on till morning.


  • Tim's friends: Frankie, Hop and Romaine have their own night of fun, gradually going to the same places Woo and Tim go. Unfortunately for them, they unwittingly go to a night club with mostly drag queens, but Hop thinks they are really women and is ultimately horrified once he finds out the truth.

Tagline: It's her world.. we're just living in it.



The film was met with very negative reviews from audiences and critics.[2][3] It currently holds a 10% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews.[4] Derek Armstrong at allmovie, while giving positive reviews to stars Davidson and Smith's performances, stated that the script was "formulaic", and that the film in general was "not much of a vehicle for its impish starlet."[5] Made on a budget of $13 million, the film only grossed $8,064,972 domestically, making it a certifiable box-office flop.[6] It was, however, a success when released on home video (originally VHS, and later DVD).


  • A.J. Johnson, Foxy Brown, Orlando Jones, and Roland "Buddy" Lewis all make appearances in small roles.
  • Although it was never actually used in the film, the character Woo's full name is Darlene Bates.
  • Isaac Hayes and Pam Grier portrayed Woo's parents in the film. All of their scenes were cut from the final edit, however.
  • The role of Tim was originally to be played by Tupac Shakur, a close friend of Smith's. However, he was killed before filming began.


Main article: Woo (soundtrack)

A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on May 5, 1998 through Epic Records. It peaked at #52 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.


  1. ^ "Woo". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "'Woo' Loaded With Attitude, Vulgarity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  3. ^ "FILM REVIEW; Brawling, Humiliation And Theft, All on the First Date". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Woo (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Armstrong, Derek. "Woo (1998)". Allmovie. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Deep Impact Exceeds Expectations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 

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