Lifetime's Whitney Houston Biopic: Did Whitney Make You Feel 'So Emotional'?

Question for the group: Should Whitney — Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic, which premiered Saturday — have been titled Whitney… and Bobby, instead?

The Angela Bassett-directed film is as much about Bobby Brown’s fall from grace as it is about Houston’s rise to stardom, chronicling the former R&B king’s drug addiction, musical aspirations and sexual indiscretions in vivid detail.

Then again, it’s only appropriate, considering Brown essentially called the shots in Houston’s life — at least according to the film — from the moment they first clicked that fateful night at the Soul Train Awards. From that point on, it was a whirlwind of steamy nights and knock-down, drag-out fights, with a few major events (their wedding, the birth of their child, etc.) thrown in for good measure.

Both Yaya DaCosta (Ugly Betty) and Arlen Escarpeta (American Dreams) turn in fine performances as both halves of one of music’s most infamous couples, while the vocals — re-recorded by singer Deborah Cox due to producers’ inability to secure the rights to Houston’s music — are eerily on par with the legendary singer’s.

Supporting players — like Suzzanne Douglas (The Parent ‘Hood) as Whitney’s mother Cissy, and Mark Rolston (The Shield) as music mogul Clive Owen — are also worthy of some praise.

Whitney might not tell the story viewers are expecting to see, spanning only a small portion of the late singer’s incredible career, but as merely a snippet of her tumultuous life in the public eye, it certainly gets the job done.

All right, time to share your thoughts on Whitney: Did it tell the story you were expecting? Were DaCosta and Escarpeta true to Houston and Brown? Were you at least entertained? Grade the movie below, then drop a comment with your full review.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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42 Comments
  1. Saif says:

    Very pointless movie, no facts, disrespectful, may our beautiful soul the voice rest in peace! Lost all respect to Angel Besset!

    • Anesu says:

      This comment make no sense at all , the movie is about Whitney and Bobby’s relationship, Angela said that.
      Whitney doing drugs before Bobby has been mentioned by many people who knew her , blaming Bobby for that was unfair they both brought baggage into that relationship and it destroyed them both .

      • TigerLIL says:

        Bobby will be the first to admit he was not the best husband with that being said her brother already made it perfectly clear that it was he who introduced her to cocaine so that is settled. I believe he loved her and bout did the best he could maybe he didn’t have the best example who knows. I just wish Bobby had been more entrepreneurial I think she would not have been so pressurized by the industry to make money for them and could have likely had a better life. Once you show you can roll the dollars in its lights out for you that business will work you into the grave

  2. CK says:

    Well, It wasn’t as sanitized as I thought it would be. Aside from that, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t amazing. I’d say a B- that rounds up to a B when you factor in Deborah Cox’s phenomenal vocals.

    • Muffy says:

      I agree. I can say it was better than “Liz & Dick, ” “The Brittany Murphy Story ” & “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” Now, that’s not hard to do, but it was above those Lifetime flicks Imo. Those sex scenes were explicit for a Lifetime flick. Should have been called “Whitney & Bobby.”

  3. Roger Pearson says:

    Should have Debra Wilson from MadTV play Whitney.

  4. kimberly says:

    The movie was more about Bobby than Whitney! You could tell Yaya was lip syncing but Deborah Cox voice was incredible. Overall I hated the movie and can’t wait until someone does a real biopic of Whitney that doesn’t end abruptly

  5. David says:

    Not bad for a tv movie that only focused on one small part of her life. There is obviously much more to tell and I think people need to look at it for what it is. I suspect there will be a full movie about her life on the big screen at some point.

  6. Edwin says:

    Well, it should have been called Whitney & Bobby: A Love Story. Because what we got was basically their love story and not her life story. The acting (by everyone), the wardrobe, and the music was incredible though. Great TV movie.

  7. StephonJS says:

    i just need the movie to be renamed Whitney and Bobby. but great movie. alot better then the Aaliyah biopic. I hope down the line we get the full story, but this was a great period movie.
    Loved Deborah Cox singing Whitney’s songs.

  8. Jenny says:

    It wasn’t as bad of a train wreck as I thought it would be. But it was very one sided trying to make feel sympathic toward Bobby. I knew the focus was going to be on the time Bobby and Whitney were together. However, felt a lot of that story was missing.

    • zee says:

      I agree, clearly Bobby was the only one who co-signed for the dollar because the movie made Bobby look way to clean than he was in reality.

  9. cyclone says:

    At least casting got the actors who look like their real life counterparts unlike the other recent Lifetime movies –Brittany Murphy, Saved by the Bell, Aaliyah, etc.)

  10. akismet-a4bc08e3fdde61c3eb3bf12d88a1b232 says:

    Clive Davis, not Owen. 😉

  11. Carrie says:

    Movie – meh. Vocals – pretty spot on. Yaya nailed whitney in certain moments – performance scenes, mannerisms, eye rolls etc – so props to her – that one scene when she is recording a song in the studio with LA Reid- eery how much she looked liked Whitney!

  12. Better than the Aaliyah one but that’s not saying much.

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  14. Paula says:

    I loved the movie. I think all of the actors did a wonderful job and Ms. Angela Bassett did an excellent job directing it. Whit new Houston will never be forgotten and her legacy will forever live on. Everyone has skeletons no matter how small or BIG your name is…..great job to everyone who played a part in this movie!!!

  15. CharmCarm says:

    I think Angela did a wonderful job with her first time directorial debut. The performances and costumes were amazing, I felt like I took a step back in time to those crazy 80’s.

  16. Loke yourself says:

    This movie will not win any awards. Very poor

  17. Andie Starz says:

    What hand did Bobby Brown have in the content? Was it because he was the only one willing to Co-op for a buck. The move “Whitney” was emotional for me! It took me back to the Incredible talent & the loss to all of us. My God, it was terribly Sad. To see her portrayed in such a fashion was hard.
    I’ve been a huge fan of Angela Basset. But I am very disappointed she would sign to this project! Is she going to redo Ike Turner’s portrayal. No, because Tina Turner is still alive to defend herself. By Mr. Brown’s own admission he was insensitive to his daughter at the funeral. But he always has an excuse. But the fact remains he doesn’t have s good relationship with his daughter, Bobbie Christina. If he was the voice of reason during his relationship with her mother wld she feel tht way? The interview w/ Mr. Brown was in poor taste. The interviewer questions were not probing, let Oprah interview him!
    God bless the man who discovered her, Clive. The piece he put together was thoughtful & really focused on her VOICE! And he was so respectful.
    Watchin this I cried, especially the Oprah Show clip, to see Oprah tear up.
    I think ur a jerk and an opportunist!

  18. Andie Starz says:

    What hand did Bobby Brown have in the content? Was it because he was the only one willing to Co-op for a buck. The move “Whitney” was emotional for me! It took me back to the Incredible talent & the loss to all of us. My God, it was terribly Sad. To see her portrayed in such a fashion was hard.
    I’ve been a huge fan of Angela Basset. But I am very disappointed she would sign to this project! Is she going to redo Ike Turner’s portrayal. No, because Tina Turner is still alive to defend herself. By Mr. Brown’s own admission he was insensitive to his daughter at the funeral. But he always has an excuse. But the fact remains he doesn’t have s good relationship with his daughter, Bobbie Christina. If he was the voice of reason during his relationship with her mother wld she feel tht way? The interview w/ Mr. Brown was in poor taste. The interviewer questions were not probing, let Oprah interview him!
    God bless the man who discovered her, Clive. The piece he put together was thoughtful & really focused on her VOICE! And he was so respectful.
    Watchin this I cried, especially the Oprah Show clip, to see Oprah tear up.

  19. tee says:

    Worst portrayal ever…
    Yaya tried but she didn’t come close.
    There were so many other talented actors who could have given Whitney the just she so deserved. So sad for her family. Such a mokery.

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  21. themoviegal says:

    Clive Owen is an actor. Whitney’s producer was Clive Davis

  22. sue catteau says:

    Bassett should hang her head in shame for desicrating her so-called friends memory!! No wonder it took 5 days to make. It was the bobby brown pity party. HORRIFIC!!!

  23. Steven says:

    Awful. Embarrassment. Not a life biopic at all.

  24. TigerLIL says:

    I just hated the movie and I’m a big fan of Houston and Mrs. Basset. Whitney was a voice and although Mrs Cox can sing she is no Whitney. I was really disappointed with the acting just didn’t grab me I don’t know she kinda came off odd JMO. Hey kuddos for the attempt I think it should have been a mini series…..

  25. Shachay says:

    It was specifically well acted by Yaya Decosta, Debra Cox vocals were absolutely stellar and Angela Bassett’s first time directorial debut was admirably impressive. However, hereto, trying to make it real compared to what, …truth? Over-all I enjoyed the portrayals. I viewed “Whitney” unexpectingly, as it unfolded, and found myself really entertained.

  26. Towan says:

    I thought it was ok. I wish they would have released the rights and let Whitney sang her own songs, although Deborah Cox did a good job. But all respect I really thought Angela Bassett should have just left this alone and let this movie be put on the big screen. I mean, come on Whithey was a global Icon. I know there is soo much more to tell about the woman’s legacy. But nice Job Angela I’ll give u an A for effort. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

  27. Yaya did a great job. She acted just like whitney. Debra cox voice was amazing, no one can ever sing like whitney but, Debra was great!! Overall the team was wonderful in portraying everyone. All due respect to angela, i wish she would have left it alone to respect the family. The movie deserves to be on the big screen..This is Whitney Houston we are talking about.

  28. Gfoster says:

    I believe the Whitney fans of the world would truly love to see a mini series of this Icons extraordinary life and times. 2 hours of her marriage with Bobby Brown did not do her name justice. Her life was Epic and it should be highlighted from beginning to end as such. I’d give it a 6 out of 10 for story line, the acting a 5 and the music a 7.

  29. jazlady says:

    The movie was just OK could have picked better actors (well known actors)and dug a little deaper into her life.We know more about her than the movie showed.Just OK.

  30. renee says:

    Hated it!! A little respect for an iconic women would be good. Made her seem like she was snorting every 15 min. Very disappointed in Angela basset, just lost respect for her. Shame on you Angela.

  31. s says:

    I absolutely hated it i gave it a big fat F I love whitney and cant believe that all there was to her life….shame shame shame!!!

  32. Judi Cook says:

    I was disappointed that the movie concentrated mostly on the drugs and a disfunctional marriage, rather than on the fuller picture of a talent who changed the history of music, whatever mistakes she might’ve made along the way. I was also surprised that they made her friend so dikish that there’s no way you couldn’t let your imagination run wild with that one. And the sex scenes weren’t far from being outright soft porn.

    On the bright side, when I was singing professionally in the early nineties and thought I was singing on such crappy stages with the backboard up and some colored spotlights…who would’very thought that a mega-star like Houston was performing on the same, cheap crappy stages, especially after the success of The Bodyguard? I would’ve thought she had a much better setup, but apparently I was wrong. I guess I was more successful at the time than I thought.

  33. Kenya says:

    The film description said it was about Whitney Houston and her rise to fame. What is was really about was her relationship with Bobby Brown. Not quite the same thing. For it to end before the drug use starts taking a real toll on Whitney and her career was a disservice. I agree with another poster who said it should be renamed – Whitney & Bobby: A Love Story. I was really disappointed. Also don’t think it was necessary to take up 30 of 90 minutes showing full length songs.

  34. persuada says:

    I don’t know what Angela Bassett was thinking when she made this bee cee they are not ugly at all Im sorry for saying this she doesn’t have a voice like Whitney at all allI was hearing Debra cox voice can’t nobody hold a candle to her she’s one of the kind I also think bobby brown was jello cause Whitney was getting all the attention To keep it real what if someone do the same to Angela Bassett she wouldn’t like it at all so why are people still talking down on her and she isn’t here to defend herself I think is sad.everybody makes mistakes in life no one isn’t perfect but Jesus himself the one in heaven not the one in hell Even though she’s gone I still respect her cause she forever will be a super star in my eyes so miss Houston rest in people beautiful queen😇