Before I start my review confession time here, at best I have a passing like for Whitney Houston’s songs – she was certainly an amazing singer. But musical taste wise she didn’t do it for me as they say. So if like me you are not a fan, why bother to go and see it. Well as it happens it’s more a snapshot of Whitney’s life rather than a straight out and out music documentary.
She had great talent, a loving church going family, so what caused Whitney’s life to spiral out of control leading to her untimely death. There were demons in Whitney life, even before she broke into the massive star that she became, she dabbled in drugs even before the end of her teens and this would haunt her right throughout her career.
There was also a complicated relationship between her best friend Robyn and her husband Bobby Brown. Robyn had stood up and protected Whitney many years before and as result they had an extremely strong bond. Enter Bobby Brown, Whitney had a deep love for him but he was trouble for her and Robyn did not like him at all and the feeling was mutual. Both competed for her affections which meant that Whitney was torn between her loyalty for her life – long friend and her love for her husband.
There was of course lots else in the mix that caused Whitney problems, but one of the most revealing interviews was with her former bodyguard, he tried to save her from herself but despite his best efforts ultimately he was not successful in preventing her death. As many previous stars have discovered to their cost, money and fame do not fix everything and can sometimes add to the speed of their passing. Like a moth getting too close to a flame, fame can burn you and badly.
Ultimately,we can sometimes imagine that the grass in greener on the other side of the fence so to speak. This documentary is a salutary lesson that we should embrace the small things in life and not always constantly strive for more. It’s turns out that we already have what many stars wish they could return to. “Can I Be Me” is a lifelong phrase that Whitney used many times throughout her life when she felt that others were trying to steer her down a different path, but had trouble always trying reach that goal. So Whitney fan or not this documentary is worth seeking out. A worthy film of the week.
She was a rare talent and it is deeply saddening that she is no longer with us. May She Rest In Peace.