‘Whitney’ Biopic Review


Lifetime released its second highly-anticipated biopic. The first was that of Aaliyah back in November, but I wasn’t interested in watching that one and from the horrendous comments, I didn’t miss anything. Let’s get into the basics:

  • Whitney Houston – Yaya DaCosta
  • Bobby Brown – Arlen Escarpetas
  • Vocals – Deborah Cox
  • Director – Anglea Bassett

When seeing the promo pics, I could not disagree with the casting. The movie has aired and it’s time for my review.

Before I get into it, of course her family did not approve of the movie. It’s been two years since the death of Whitney Houston and in my opinion if there were to be a movie about the life of Whitney Houston I expected it to hit the movie theater. I would have also though VH1 would’ve picked up the concept being that their biopics are on point.

Whitney Houston’s mother and sister-in-law were not in favor of the movie. Whitney’s sister-in-law commented:

“Brace yourself for the worst”

“…assaulting the legacy of another individual”

Now let’s get into the review. These are my feelings on the movie as I was watching it.

The movie began with Whitney meeting Bobby at the Soul Train Awards. The first hour was really just about them dating, not much about Whitney’s career. An hour into the movie she only sang 2 songs and,had sex 3 times.

It moves on to the proposal  and Whitney telling her family. They were no pleased at all. Bobby ends up telling her he got his ex pregnant again. Shoot to the scene of her snorting yet again.

Moving on tot he filing of The Bodyguard. Whitney miscarries and her mother continues to emphasize that her  relationship with Bobby was a mistake

Moving on to the wedding. It was a great depiction of pictures that have been seen, but THUMBS DOWN  to what was on Cissy’s head. The movie does another jump and fast forwards to birth of Bobbi Kristina

Turning point of when Whitney’s success was getting to Bobby. Bobby was asked to meet with Clive to persuade Whitney to go on tour. According to the movie Bobby gave up his career to let Whitney shine and raise their daughter as he would travel with her.

Bobby became the protector and more aggressive. Before a show, the both would do coke backstage and Whitney would go on stage as if nothing happened. The blue ensemble and wig she had on was SPOT ON and HA to Bobby being the extra background dance on the sideline.

No coincidence that the Bobby Brown interview came on after. This movie made him look like an angel since he’s been dragged through the mud, under a bus, and thrown on the train tracks all these years.

[Back to the movie.] Party time with the duo. Whitney letting lose as Bobby sat back and danced. This chick comes up and starts talking to him. The NERVE of groupies.

Its portrayed that her fame is what drove him to get crazy. Damn nearly sexing on the dance floor. He drops the bomb that he’s leaving to get back to work. Must not have liked the “Mr. Houston” comment

Let the cheating begin. Whitney walked in on him cheering (insert the Waiting to Exhale  car burn scene, pun intended)

This is where there detrimental relationship was shown more & the commercials became more frequent.

Back another club scene with Bobby and ol dude. Bobby’s best friend shot right in the head in front of him. He calls Whitney while she’s on tour and begs for help.

“How do you stop when the one person you love is just as bad as your are.”

Whitney’s appearance declines. Tabloids gets out about what Bobby said in rehab. Whitney still smoking. She tells him to go then reconsiders and gives him YET another chance. Movie ends with ‘i will always love you’. Pretty much the ending of Bobby and whitney.

Movie ending with her relationship with Bobby clearly being over then insert the paragraphs of when they got divorced, a synopsis of her career, & that her legacy will always live on. See what I mean by the content being RUSHED.

Song that were sung were:

  • “Greatest Love of All”
  • “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (in studio)
  • “I’m Every Woman”
  • “I Will Always Love You”

Sidebar on the casting – The casting of Eddie Murphy & Baby Face was bad, but the BEST casting in the movie went to that of Clive Davis. Also to the lady that played Whitney’s mother Cissy, she could play Mary J. Blige in a biopic instead.

In certain spots there was too much animation from Yaya. I’ve seen interviews of Whitney and I guess Yaya was channelling that but it was too much. The lip synching was another problem I had. Round of APPLAUSE to Deborah Cox who provided the vocals. She did an amazing job and did every song justice. I just thing that you could tell too much that lip synching was going on. Certain spots just didn’t seem organic.

When looking at the production of other lifetime biopics, I would’ve expected this movie to be a bit longer, and for her early life to be shown. I get that it was only going to be a PORTION of her life, but it seemed drawn out in the first hour and then rushed in the second.

Overall the movie wasn’t horrible, but Whitney Houston was a co-star. Having a movie about her is having a movie about HER. This was more of the story of her and Bobby. Of course I expected him to be included but you can’t call it “Whitney” and not include all elements of her life. Yes she loved Bobby but there was life without him.

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