The Whitney Houston Movie on Lifetime Was Wrongly Named: My Review
The much-talked about Whitney Houston movie came on Lifetime yesterday and we all know how their track record with biopics is less than stellar (read: downright a mess). But, I had hope that this would be a good one because Angela Bassett was directing, and Yaya Dacosta as Whitney in pics was semi-convincing (plus I’ve loved her since ANTM).
Well, let’s talk about it.
* It shouldn’t have been called “Whitney.” It should have been “See what happened with Whitney and Bobby was…” The film was named incorrectly, because it wasn’t about Whitney. It was about her relationship with Bobby, from the time they met to when they separated. It was interesting that they focused very heavily on her drug use. According to Whitney, the first time Bobby was alone with her, she did lines of cocaine. And then eventually, years down the line, after he tried to get her to quit, Bobby joined her in the habit.
Yes, Whitney died of an overdose in 2012, and we know she wasn’t an angel (remember the show Being Bobby Brown on Bravo). But if you’re going to call a movie “Whitney” then maybe focus on the bigger picture of her life, as opposed to how she and Bobby couldn’t get their shit together and did lines of coke.
* Maybe it should have been called “It’s not Bobby’s fault.” Every story has 3 sides: both the parties’ and the real truth. This film definitely made Bobby Brown look good. Not only was his gap-toothed smile missing (and that’s a signature of his) but in this story, Bobby’s Bad Boy reputation was only perceived and it didn’t become real until he got with Whitney. Even his cheating with other women was just slid in to get to the greater point of seeing Whitney flip out. It made for good dramatic scenes but Bobby came out looking almost saintly next to Whitney in this film. And that is crazy because Bobby got in all types of trouble by himself and was certainly not some dude who just caught up. I get it. Bobby did not take a perfect princess and turn her bad but Whitney also didn’t turn him all the way out.
* Yaya Dacosta was an OK Whitney. I wouldn’t say Yaya was bad as Whitney but I didn’t get Nippy fever from her unless she was pissed and talking really fast. So the scene where she told Bobby she was leaving him, I believed her then. And when they did the montage of her singing “I’m Every Woman.” Otherwise, I just kept seeing Yaya Dacosta in bad wigs, not Whitney Houston. She worked with what she had, though.
* The star of the film was Deborah Cox. She was the singing voice of Whitney and she sang her damb FACE OFF. That was the part of the film I enjoyed the most: anytime they had Whitney singing. I got my whole life. Although no one can NAIL the exact tone and sound of Nippy, Deborah held her own and had me throwing my house shoes at the TV in glee. She SANG DOWN.
* The wardrobe department worked hard. The outfits in the movie were fierce! Whitney was laced in all types of strong shoulder pads and sequins. MOST of her jackets were super shiny, besides the Gordon Gartrelle one she had on in the meeting with faux Clive Davis. BTW, that is one character that impressed me. They nailed Clive’s epic combover.
The wigs in the film were terrible, but you know in real life those wigs were always janky. Sooo… accurate?
The scene of Whitney and Bobby’s wedding, they went out their way to nail the costumes. I bet they had a ball with that because between Mama Cissy’s purple ensemble and giant headpiece to Whitney’s dramatic veil-hat, I got what I NEEDED. COME ON, DRAMA! They even had the person playing Robyn Crawford, Whitney’s BFF in a purple suit similar to the one she had on in the actual wedding. Speaking of Robin…
* They shaded Robyn throughout the movie. Robin was Whitney Houston’s BFF and assistant. But through the years, it was rumored that she was actually her ex-girlfriend before Bobby even came up on the scene. So this film threw in this character as a high-top wearing, masculine woman who was always besides Whitney rolling her eyes and throwing silent shade.
The lack of explanation for her was actually distracting. It’s like “well, we have to include Robyn but we don’t know how to do it sooo let’s throw her in like some Captain Ride-or-Die but make her kinda butch too so people kinda maybe get the point.” It was lazy.
The Whitney movie was not BAD because if I ask myself the question “did I want to slide off my chair halfway through?” the answer is “NO.” However, it also wasn’t good. At all.
I definitely get why her family was against this movie and I understand why they’re angry at Angela Bassett for taking this on, because it does Whitney NO favors. Pat Houston said they weren’t even consulted on the film, and then when you see this final product, it’s clear that they family would hate it.
I am actually not sure of what the film was trying to say because the only thing I got from it was “Whitney was a talented drug addict who was in a dysfunctional relationship with Bobby.” If that’s the point, then kudos. If it wasn’t, then mission not accomplished.
But Bobby Brown should be happy with it.
Did you watch it? Lemme know what you thoughts. Also, what should this film really be called?