Hey, guess what? Lifetime's Whitney Houston biopic actually doesn't look terrible! Admittedly, this is judging from a brief trailer released by the network Thursday (via Buzzfeed), which shows Yaya DaCosta in action as the music legend for the first time. Watch it:
Can we all agree this will at least be better than that cut-rate Aaliyah movie everybody hate-tweeted? Here are five reasons why I suspect it may surprise us all.
1. Yaya DaCosta is actually talented.
Credit where credit is due: DaCosta rose from the career ash heap known as “ex-'America's Next Top Model contestant” to forge a legitimate acting career. In fact, she was one HitFix's picks for “13 actors who should be bigger movie stars” back in June. Truly, I thought she was one of the best parts of “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” and she even made an impression in “The Kids Are All Right” despite being onscreen for only a few minutes. Could this be her J. Lo breakthrough moment? Rooting for her.
2. Angela Bassett directed this!
Yes, THE Angela Bassett, who co-starred with Whitney in 1995's “Waiting to Exhale.” She hasn't directed a movie before, but I have faith in her abilities regardless – I simply can't bring myself to believe that such a brilliant actress could possibly suck as a filmmaker. Also, she seems like a tasteful lady.
3. Yaya seems to have the Whitney stage moves down pat.
I mean, look at this.
4. Whitney's story actually merits the biopic treatment.
While I loved Aaliyah (“Rock the Boat” is still my jam), I'm not sure her life story merited a feature-length biopic (though she certainly deserved better than Lifetime's shoddy attempt). Whitney, on the other hand, lived a truly tragic life while she was alive. There's a lot more material to mine from her story, and from the looks of it all the tragedy-and-triumph bases have been covered here.
5. The non-Whitney vocals sound pretty great.
I would be remiss not to mention that Whitney's family is vehemently against this movie, which is why the songs you hear in the trailer were all Whitney re-records of previous hits – i.e. “I Will Always Love You” (Dolly Parton) and “I'm Every Woman” (Chaka Khan) – and not Whitney originals. That said, Deborah Cox's stand-in vocal work sounds pretty spot-on in the snippets we hear in the trailer. I doubt the family will come around on this, but for their sake (and for Whitney's) I'm hoping this actually does turn out alright. Either way, her legacy is secure.
“Whitney” premieres Saturday, July 17 on Lifetime. Will you be watching?