Saturday, January 17, 2015

LIFETIME: THE WHITNEY MOVIE (RECAP & REVIEW)


"Time to be Whitney Houston" were the first words out of her mouth. I knew right then and there I had to grab my snacks, sit back and watch the story unfold. 




Beforehand, I think it's safe to say we all knew Whitney's vocals were prohibited from being used in this Angela Bassett production for Lifetime. Thankfully, Deborah Cox (who once sang with Whitney herself) lends a helping hand.



Whitney's best friend/manager Robin, at the time, was beside Whitney during her Soul Train performance of The Greatest Love of All and Robin's character confirmed what every soul that grew up on Whitney's music was thinking -- her infatuation with Whitney Elizabeth Houston.



Fortunately this movie does not just give us what we already know, it also gives the viewers and longtime fans insight on behind the scenes, like Whitney's 26th birthday celebration in 1989. 
During this event, Angela Bassett revealed what the majority might have not known -- that Whitney started drugs BEFORE she met Bobby, claiming "It's just for fun" -- her drug use pre-Bobby came to no surprise to me because I specifically remember her brother, Michael Houston, revealing this on numerous occasions. 


Next up, Clive Davis. I have to admit, a few people in Whitney's lives just rubbed me the wrong way. One happens to be Clive. Every time I think of him, I think of his actions and words during Whitney's funeral. It just seemed to me he was promoting her latest album more than her personal life, but that's neither here nor there. During the first scene when the viewers were introduced to Clive Davis, Whitney was in his office and about to smoke a cigarette, until Clive stated "Nah uh. Not in my office!" -- But of course, Clive wasn't concerned about her health, he was more concerned about "[her] voice," aka his cash cow. Having said this, it's just hard to believe most of these interactions took place, word for word, unless the people that are in the scene gave insight to Angela herself during production. I will say this -- Clive Davis' character resembled him so much, I had to do a double-take. The same goes for the portrayal of Eddie Murphy.

Speaking of voices. It was kind of a chore to imagine Whitney and not Yaya during her dialogue. Maybe it's the movies I've seen Yaya in, or maybe it's Tyra's fault, but nonetheless Yaya does a great job with the time she had preparing for the role. 



I'm Your Baby Tonight is being performed in the studio and LET ME TELL YOU -- Deborah's vocals and riffs are so similar to Whitney, I had to rewind and re-jam again like I was in my bedroom under my parents' roof. 



Whitney's mom and dad is introduced and according to the film, Cissy Houston was not too fond of Mr. Brown. When Whitney revealed to her family and friends that she was getting married, Cissy said "you can take the boy out the ghetto but not the ghetto out the boy" - I knew Cissy wasn't a fan of her daughter's love for Bobby, but daaaaaang --I didn't know it was like that.



According to the film, Whitney suffered a miscarriage on set of The Bodyguard. To add on things I did not know...I didn't know Bobby had another kid outside of his marriage to Whitney. A few might roll their eyes to my statement, but Bobby's life never intrigued me like Whitney's. I remember witnessing Bobby and Whitney's courtship when they were officially introduced to us as a couple on B.E.T.. My initial thought was "Bobby is so wrong for Whitney," but as years passed, my feelings swerved and I came to respect their love for one another.



Whitney was so adamant of taking a couple years off after having Bobbi Kristina, but Clive Davis comes in and tells Whitney to tour and promote The Bodyguard soundtrack. Allegedly, this conversation takes place in the hospital, a day after Bobbi Kristina was born. Clive even calls Bobby to his office in hopes that he gives Whitney the push that she needs. This is not that hard to believe. As stated earlier, Clive just rubs me the wrong way, IMO - he seen Whitney as his cash cow and not a human being, but in a record executive's defense....that is just a sacrifice you have to make to reassure your empire grows.

Before the premier, Angela Bassett herself stated that the film will not concentrate on her drug use. I had my doubts with her words during the candid interview with Wendy Williams because the trailer spoke differently. Now after seeing the film, I can reclaim my doubts due to the frequent cameos of cocaine lines and marijuana totes. With that being said, the film ended tastefully. I wish it started out with Whitney leaving her mother's womb, giving us insight on her life growing up, but I get it...with less than 21 days to film a movie and 2 hours to tell a story --you have to work with what you've got and make sure you keep the viewers' attention and satisfy the fans.

pictures courtesy of Lifetime and Billboard