The Buzz: At first glimpse I dismissed this film as a Lifetime version of The Bodyguard. But after watching the emotional first trailer I was pleasantly surprised to discover the film was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. I was a big fan of both Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees, and so I’m looking forward to seeing her latest film after a six-year break. I’m confident Gina’s strong storytelling will take this familiar concept to a new level. The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.
If there is one thing that we can be sure of, it’s that Lifetime’s interpretation of Aaliyah’s short dramatic life – Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B will be a pretty bad movie. The project has been swimming in controversy from its inception and now that the finished product is almost upon us, we can’t help but be wary. After a chaotic casting session, Alexandra Shipp who is known primarily for her work on Nickelodeon bravely stepped up to the plate right after teen sensation Zendaya Coleman wisely rejected the part. We are sure she did the best she could to fulfill the obligations of the role, but the fact that Lifetime is steering this ship spells trouble.
The network has been known for its salacious tales that border on tacky and at times outrageous. They excel at using the memory of dearly departed celebs for financial gain – remember The Brittany Murphy Story? So it’s no wonder that Aaliyah’s loved ones were not supportive which explains why the trailer utilized the music of Iggy Azalea to get the word out. Weird? We think so. But even worse is the fact that Aaliyah’s world famous tunes are not featured in the film because Lifetime failed to successfully gain access to her catalog of hits. This already guarantees that viewers will be experiencing frequent moments of delirium as they are being subjected to recreations of the real thing. Who wants to watch a film about a fallen star without the original content? CONTINUE READING