Whitney Houston Biopic Has Tough Time Adapting Singer’s Life To Screen
Directed by Kasi Lemmons, written by Anthony McCarten, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody is the new biopic on ...
...the singer’s life. That performance launched her career as she was soon signed to Arista Records as a recording artist.
Under the tutelage of Clive Davis, the wide-eyed young woman doesn’t know much about the industry, but wants to sing epic ballards, ...
...and starts her career singing pop songs. However, her parents are looking to make changes to her personality and image.
Her father John Houston (Clarke Peters) is particularly controlling as her manager, and even suggests she be seen with more men to avoid suspicion that she and Robyn are a couple.
All the people from Whitney’s past are now along for the ride as she meets Bobby Brown (played by Ashton Sanders), lands several number one hits, and becomes addicted to drugs.
The plot bounces from scene to scene with no follow through, just exposition. This makes I Wanna Dance With Somebody feel like a series of vignettes about Houston’s life instead of a complete narrative.
The film doesn’t see any real cohesion until an 1:40 mins into the movie when the cracks start forming in Whitney’s persona, and finally showing the impact of the pressure fame has on her.
The performance I truly don’t understand is Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown. Another role bogged down by a prohibitive plot. Everyone in her life wanted her to be someone other than who she was.
This drove her to engage in activities that gave her respite away from the noise. Imagine being in her shoes having ...
...with deal with the isolation, loneliness, and depression, while performing for thousands night after night.
All the things Whitney wasn’t allowed to express in her quest for normalcy, manifested into spiral that people witnessed, but addressed too late.
Not even 2.5 hour film written by Hollywood’s most sought after biopic writer could give cohesive and coherent representation to her legacy.