See It at the Movies

WHITNEY

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WHITNEY

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(Whitney Huston documentary)

We go from the sweet, tender life story of Mr. Rogers to the tough, passionate life story of singer Whitney Houston, whose tragic death in 2012 shocked and saddened her many fans.

Houston was born in the New Jersey ghettos, where she was nurtured and dominated by her back-up singer mother, Cissy, and shady politician father.

The gritty documentary takes us chronologically from birth to death, using surviving family members, her entourage, newspaper headlines, home movies and concert and TV interview clips to tell the story of rising fame and ultimate misfortune. We get to know this beautiful woman with a voice like no one else, with all her talents and all her demons.

While we remember the tabloids doing a job on her during her battle with drugs and her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, we learn much more about her family and the good and mostly bad influences they had on her life. The movie reveals much about her sexuality, her relationship with her closest friend Robyn, the sexual abuse she suffered from a family member, her love/hate relationship with her father and, most sadly, her fall from glory.

"Whitney" covers it all, the good and bad, the glitter and the dirt, allowing you inside the sometimes unattractive parts of show business. We still get goosebumps when we hear Whitney belt out "I Will Always Love You" and cringe at the video of Houston trying to sing the song during her final years, at age 48. "It's not easy," Whitney tells an interviewer. With all the demands put upon her, we can see why.

At times, this is a tough movie to watch (We are very far from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood), but it is an important documentary, if only to warn us of the pitfalls of greedy people and a life of drug abuse.

Rated R, with profanity, drug use and sexual references.

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