The Stream: It doesn’t distinguish itself from other musical biopics
The Big Screen: Lots of Whitney Houston music and recreated performances
The Final Bill: If you love Whitney, you’ll be entertained.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Writers: Anthony McCarten
Stars: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters
Genre: Biography, Music, Drama
Runtime: 2 hours 18 minutes
Production Companies: Compelling Pictures, Black Label Media, TriStar Pictures, Muse of Fire, Primary Wave Entertainment, West Madison Entertainment
Platform: In theaters on December 23, 2022
Notable Trailers: MISSING, 65, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, Jesus Revolution
What’s up, Streamers! It’s a slow weekend in January. There aren’t a lot of highly anticipated movies being released this month. I decided to catch a December released that I missed during the holiday season. I caught up with the Whitney Houston movie titled: Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody. I’m only expecting biopic tropes and a lot of Whitney songs. Here’s how it goes.
I assume no synopsis of the Whitney Houston biopic is necessary. It’s a movie about Whitney Houston’s life – from her initial record deal to her untimely death. This isn’t the first movie that has told some part of this story, so there aren’t any surprises. Crack is whack and hijinks ensue.
There really isn’t much to this movie. The biggest reason to see Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody is to hear all of the great songs and see a dynamic performance by Naomi Ackie. It’s not a special movie otherwise because it is a paint-by-numbers, run-of-the-mill biographical film about a music icon who has a drug problem and died too soon. Naomi Ackie gives a good performance. She is lip syncing to Whitney’s vocals most of the time, but she emotes through the songs pretty well. The recreation of the music videos is fun to see, and each needle drop reminds you of the power that Houston had in pop music.
I will say that while the movie is too long it moves at a good pace. It isn’t boring, especially if you like the next song that plays, and it ends of a high note.
Ultimately, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody is another in a long line of music biopics. It doesn’t do anything new with the genre or tell you anything that you probably didn’t already know about Whitney Houston. It does have great music that will have you singing along and dancing in the aisles. That may be enough for the Whitney Houston fans to grab a big box of popcorn. Everyone else can wait for this to stream at home.