A few months ago, images of Lil' Mama, Drew Sidora and Keke Palmer dressed up as TLC surfaced on the web. Initially when I learned these ladies were chosen to play the roles of T-boz, Left Eye and Chilli, I was stunned. Lil' Mama seemed to be the only one who resembled her character, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (which was surprising because I never would have picked up on the resemblance otherwise). Needless to say, my hopes for the film weren't too high.
The movie itself took me through a myriad of emotions. My heart bled for Left Eye. Scenes depicting her internal struggles with alcoholism and self-worth left me teary eyed. Watching T-boz's character hooked up to IV's in between shows during their "Fan Mail" tour caused my mouth to drop involuntarily. Even Chilli's tumultuous relationship with producer Dallas Austin won some head nods because we've all been there. Reading and watching interviews about their lives is one thing. Seeing it play out on the small screen is a different story.
TLC's biopic was reflective of their lives behind all of the glitz and glamour. These were three young women determined to achieve success in the midst of adversity. We all go through tough times. Handling them with grace and dignity is something that these women mastered. They wrote girl power anthems and top selling hits while going through some of the lowest points in their own lives: T-boz writing "Unpretty" from her hospital bed, Lisa seeing a rainbow after setting Andre Rison's house on fire then creating her most popular verse for the song "Waterfalls". They were spirited, lively and passionate regardless of what came their way. Their story is an inspiration to anyone who has been in similar situations.
That brings me to some of the critics' reviews that I have read online thus far. Most of them have been negative; labeling the movie as melodramatic. One critic stated that the movie did not celebrate their triumphs enough, and should have focused more on the "positives" like awards and accolades. On the contrary, I believe it celebrated personal triumphs that the public did not see: Chilli & T-boz having their children, Lisa working on her spiritual healing, their overall tenacity as a group. All of the women were involved in toxic relationships, but stood up for themselves while encouraging other women to do the same. Calling this movie melodramatic, depressing and reminiscent of "Atlanta Housewives" is ignorant in the purest sense of the word. However, I understand that it is human nature to dismiss experiences one cannot relate to.
A criticism that I do agree with is that the movie seemed a bit choppy. Smoother transitions between major events would have been more ideal. I am a HUGE TLC fan, and have been since they first stepped onto the scene in 1992. I have done extensive research on them over the years. Prior to watching the movie, I told my mother that I was not sure how they were going to capture all that TLC embodied in two and a half hours. My intuition was correct. This absolutely should have been a two part movie.
Nevertheless, Crazy Sexy Cool was a fantastic movie that garnered the most viewers out of any network television movie this year. These ladies are still breaking records twenty years later. Not to mention, even the most beautiful and talented women in the world still smooch frogs ;-).