...or should I say Whitney and Bobby.
Angela Bassett made her directorial debut in the Lifetime biopic Whitney which premiered this past weekend. Yaya Decosta, runner up on season three of America's Next Top Model, portrayed the late songstress. The movie spanned five years of Whitney Houston's life when she was at the height of her career.
Yaya did an excellent job playing Whitney. I believed her. I saw a young, strong-willed woman who found herself in a very lonely place - the top. She met someone whom she connected with, and made her feel special. Whitney's youthful innocence and charitable contributions were highlighted, as well as her excessive drug use. In my opinion, I don't think one overshadowed the other. I hope this leads to more major roles for Yaya!
Whitney focused largely on Houston's relationship with Bobby Brown (played by Arlen Escarpeta). It is no secret that the pair had a tumultuous relationship that many contribute to her downfall. Bobby is often credited with ruining her career and turning her into, well, a mess. Online reviews that I have read say the movie is "pro-Bobby". I beg to differ.
Bobby came across as a douche. Ms. Bassett did a superb job of contrasting his douchy behavior (impregnating his ex, telling Whitney he had plenty of girls when Eddie Murphy made him feel insecure, being caught in bed with another woman, etc...) by showing instances when he supported Whitney (canceling his tour to be by her side when she had a miscarriage while filming "The Bodyguard"). She humanized Bobby, and showed how someone like the great Whitney Houston could fall for "the bad boy from the projects".
Let's have a real moment ladies. We all know someone who has been involved in an intense, drama filled relationship. Family members and friends warn them, but to no avail. Emotion and passion replace good old fashioned logic and common sense. Whitney Houston was a talented, self-assured woman who loved hard. She had her demons...don't we all? The movie demonstrated Bobby perpetuating, not creating them.
Overall, I give Whitney a solid B/B+. Of course, in the world of biopics, I have The Jacksons: An American Dream to compare it to (smile, wink). Angela Bassett did a great job of tastefully telling Whitney's story while still being honest. She chose subtle nuances to allow viewers to draw their own conclusions as opposed to melodramatic twists and turns that we have become accustomed to with reality TV (alright...there were some of those too). Ms. Bassett almost made me forgive LIfetime for letting Wendy Williams (with her messy @$$) botch Aaliyah's biopic...almost.
S/n: speaking of the Aaliyah biopic, it occurred to me that I would have preferred the movie's ending to have the little guy from Fantasy Island shouting, "Hey Boss. De plane, de plane." Then I could have written it off as a bad comedy.
Too much? Ok. I stop now.
What are your thoughts on Whitney? Yay or nay?