Tiffany Hall

Woo (film)

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 (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's 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 Chapelle) plan to spend the night together but find themselves entertaining Woo instead. Fearing that his night alone with Claudette will be ruined, Lenny begs his best friend Tim Jackson (Davidson) to take Woo out — even though shy, straight-laced law clerk Tim is the polar opposite of the sassy and brassy Woo. At first, Woo expresses disinterest in the matchmaking mismatch. But when she's told that Tim is a Virgo, she decides it's 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, who knows all the smooth moves, 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 gets a visit from 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 with wild, seemingly psycho behavior. 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. "Maybe we could be having a good time, if you could control your psychotic mood swings," says Tim. And so it goes, straight on till morning.

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



The film was met with mixed, though generally more negative, reviews from audiences and critics. It currently holds a 0% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. 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. Made on a budget of $13 million, the film only grossed $8,064,972 domestically, making it a certifiable box-office flop. 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 "Woo" Bates.
  • Billy Dee Williams portrays himself in a brief fantasy sequence.
  • Isaac Hayes and Pam Grier portrayed Woo's parents in the film. All of their scenes were cut from the final edit of the picture, 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.


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