|Music icon Whitney Houston (left); Yaya DaCosta and Arlen Escarpeta who play Houston and hubby Bobby Brown in the Lifetime movie, Whitney|
But Whitney, the long-awaited film about Whitney Houston and her tumultuous relationship with hubby Bobby Brown, can't be as bad as Lifetime's hot mess film about Aaliyah's life and tragic death, can it?
Well, I haven't seen Whitney yet, so I can't say. But, my initial impressions aren't good.
For starters, Yaya DaCosta, the actress playing Houston, looks very little like the music icon in the clips I've seen. That may not matter, though, if DaCosta is able to convey Houston's essence. After all, Denzel Washington didn't look anything like Malcolm X in Spike Lee's mesmerizing 1992 film, but Washington still made you believe he was the outspoken black activist.
But DaCosta has a tall order to fill Houston's pumps.
Another thing: The producers were unable to use Houston's vocals, so all of her songs in the film will be sung by Grammy nominated singer Deborah Cox. While Cox is talented, she's no Whitney Houston. But who is?
The film, which premieres Jan. 17, marks the directorial debut of Angela Bassett, who co-starred with Houston in the film Waiting To Exhale and who knew Houston fairly well.
While speaking to a group of TV critics on Tuesday during the winter session of the Television Critics Association press tour, Bassett stressed the film is about Houston's combustible relationship with Brown and is more of a loving tribute to her.
Bassett basically hinted the film will sidestep the more sordid aspects of their relationship, which I took to mean that it will essentially whitewash many of those parts of Houston's life.
"Do we really need to see that?" Bassett was quoted in the Los Angeles Times.
If you're going to make a true and honest biopic on Houston's life, the answer is, yes.
Here is the official Whitney trailer if you haven't seen it already.