Whitney (2015 film)

Whitney is a 2015 American biographical film directed by Angela Bassett based on American singer Whitney Houston and her turbulent marriage to R&B artist Bobby Brown that premiered on Lifetime in North America on January 17, 2015.[1] Whitney received mixed reviews from critics, with praise going to DaCosta's performance as Houston and Bassett's direction of the film but criticism of Escarpeta's casting and the film's accuracy.

Whitney (2015 film).jpg
GenreBiographical drama
Based onWhitney Houston and
Bobby Brown
Written byShem Bitterman
Directed byAngela Bassett
StarringYaya DaCosta
Arlen Escarpeta
Yolonda Ross
Suzzanne Douglas
Theme music composerRedOne
Dan Sundquist
Travon Potts
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducersLarry Sanitsky
Kyle A. Clark
Lina Wong
CinematographyAnastas N. Michos
EditorRichard Comeau
Running time88 mins
DistributorLifetime Television
Original release
  • January 17, 2015 (2015-01-17)

The movie stars Yaya DaCosta as Houston, Arlen Escarpeta as Brown and Yolonda Ross as Houston's longtime friend and road manager Robyn Crawford. Whitney is set in a period of five years (1989–1994) when Houston was catapulted in the worldwide success of her film debut The Bodyguard and its subsequent soundtrack. Filming took 20 days to shoot and was primarily filmed in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, California.

Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox performs all of Houston's vocals in the film, including "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Your Baby Tonight", "I'm Every Woman", "Jesus Loves Me" and "The Greatest Love of All". In addition, songwriting/production team The Jackie Boyz performed Brown's vocals for "Every Little Step" in the Soul Train Awards scene.


In 1989, Whitney Houston (Yaya DaCosta) is a worldwide phenomenon and household name with two highly successful self-titled albums under her belt. She attends the 3rd Annual Soul Train Awards with her high school friend and road manager Robyn (Yolonda Ross), who is a lesbian. During a category in which Houston's name is booed by the audience, she later performs at the ceremony. It is here that she meets fellow R&B singer Bobby Brown and they begin a courtship shortly after, due to her being impressed with Brown's performance of "Every Little Step". In August 1989, Whitney invites Bobby to her lavish 26th birthday celebration, where Bobby discovers Whitney abusing cocaine.

Whitney begins recording her third album I'm Your Baby Tonight (1990), the relationship between her and Brown continues to blossom consistently, leading to a sexual relationship between the two. Unbeknownst to her, Brown is in a relationship with his girlfriend Kim, who had just given birth to his daughter. Just as Houston discovers this, she is left heartbroken and infuriated. Bobby later severs ties with Kim, and Whitney later manages to pull through and persevere in the already hectic relationship. Sometime later, Brown is unable to replicate the success of his album Don't Be Cruel, as his record label wants him to record a greatest hits compilation.

Whitney and Bobby continue to date for a number of years, with Brown proposing to her by late 1991, and the two are married by the summer of 1992. It is around this time that Houston is hand picked by Kevin Costner to star in what will become her film debut The Bodyguard. Houston is reluctant at first, but is encouraged to film by her husband Bobby. While on the set of The Bodyguard, Houston suffers a miscarriage, causing her to become very sickly. Cissy visits and persuades Whitney to leave Bobby, but Whitney refuses.

Whitney struggles to keep up with fame and placate Bobby, whose career has taken a back seat to hers, as she continues to dabble with drug use after the birth of their daughter Bobbi Kristina. Soon after, The Bodyguard and its subsequent soundtrack becomes a massive success, leading Whitney to go on an international tour for nearly two years.

The pressure continues to grow for both Whitney and Bobby, primarily Whitney, who continues to abuse drugs at the height of her stardom. Bobby deals with his situation similarly after losing his childhood friend Steve in gun violence.


Critical receptionEdit

Whitney has received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics and holds a 62% approval (certified "fresh") rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 54, which indicates "mixed or average" reviews, based on 17 reviews.[3]


  1. ^ "First-Time Director Angela Bassett Defends Her Whitney Houston Biopic - ABC News". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]

External linksEdit