I wasn’t able to watch the Lifetime Whitney Houston movie in real time so I DVR’d it. Then I dragged my heels on actually watching it. I’d heard and read some of the negative reviews people gave the film. I also saw Angela Bassett being interviewed about it. The Aaliyah movie was a disappointment largely because they couldn’t use any of her music and that affected the soul of the movie. But when I learned that Deborah Cox sang all of the songs, I was more optimistic. No, Deborah Cox doesn’t sing exactly like Whitney but she can sing her face off and I knew she would do her songs justice.
So, over the weekend, I fired up my DVR and sat down to watch it.
I liked that the film focused on the love affair between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. I know that Whitney was a glossy, beautiful R&B/Pop star, and people would always say that Bobby Brown contributed to her downfall. I never believed that. I always got the sense that they were kindred spirits and although she was a model turned singer with the voice of an angel, she was still a girl from Jersey. People always said she was such a real person and down to earth. And Bobby Brown may have been a bit of a hell-raiser, he always struck me as a real person as well.
I saw an interview that Angela Bassett did on Kelly and Michael and she said that Whitney and Bobby were an example of real love. I think that was evident throughout the movie. I think it was a nice homage to their love story with the good, bad and loving.
But…there were parts that dealt very directly with their substance abuse. It showed how Whitney used drugs to cope with the tough times and how Bobby used alcohol and later drugs to do the same. People were up in arms because the movie showed Whitney’s drug use and Bobby’s subsequent drug use. Nowhere did it say that she got him into using drugs. It did show that she used it socially initially then begin to use it as a tool later. But he did the same thing with alcohol.
Now Yaya DaCosta as Whitney was great casting. You can tell that she took the time to really study her. The guy who played Bobby Brown (Arlen Escarpeta) was a good actor but didn’t really make me think of Bobby Brown. But he did have good chemistry with Yaya.
All in all, I thought it was a good movie that showed a snapshot in the life of a legend. And it showed a very intense love story between two very creative and strong personalities. I got the distinct impression that Whitney was a caged bird with her strict upbringing and her often isolating career as a singer. Her voice was how she reached out to the world that she couldn’t always live comfortably in.
Nice work, Angela Bassett!