Movie Honoring Whitney Houston


Bella Mangione

On Dec. 23 the movie Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody was released to theaters. The movie’s goal is to celebrate Whitney and tell her story to the world.

Released to theaters on Dec. 23, the movie “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody” shares the life of Whitney Houston as she rose to fame in the 1980s. 

The plot begins with young Whitney practicing gospel songs with her mother, who was also a singer at the time. Whitney’s issue with singing at church is that it doesn’t let her express herself; her mother makes sure she performs it the specific way it was written. 

Later, when she is at the park, she meets a girl (Robyn Crawford) playing basketball. They quickly go from friends to roommates to romantic partners. Houston eventually makes Crawford her assistant and “creative partner.” Whitney’s father makes them hide their love for each other and ensures that Whitney is seen with men when in public. 

This is how she meets her future husband, Bobby Brown. They met at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards when he comforted her when she did not win an award. Before Whitney and Bobby’s relationship, Robyn expressed her concern that Whitney no longer loved her and was beginning to experiment with other men. Bobby was the first serious relationship Houston had, and eventually, they got married. 

Throughout her career, Whitney struggled with listeners saying her music “isn’t black enough.” She continually fought back against statements like this, among others that were made; one scene from the movie shows her live on the radio responding to one of the many critics. In summary, Houston explained that she doesn’t see music as a color; to her, music is music, and she will perform the songs that make her feel happy. 

Toward the movie’s end, Whitney has a daughter with Bobby; her name is Bobbi Kristina Brown, but everyone calls her Kristina. It is also around this time that Whitney begins experimenting with drugs, mainly after parties, but it eventually gets to the point where she takes them before she goes on stage. The effects of the drugs can be seen through her fatigue, sweating, and lack of vocal range when on stage. 

Her record producer/executive Clive Davis notices the changes in her voice, patience, and overall physical health and asks her to go to rehab. When she repeatedly refuses to go, her performances get shorter and worse until she misses her father’s funeral, and her mother sends her to rehab. 

When Whitney returns, she focuses on her relationship with her daughter and family. While her voice was never the same after the drugs, she did regain some physical strength, and at this point, she was singing significantly less. 

The movie ends with Whitney staying at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she overdoses. The film then has a recap of her best shows and leaves audiences with facts about her life and the music records she broke. 

Link (to get tickets):