I want to dance with someone 4 points
I Wanna Dance with Somebody; USA, 2022
Address: Kasi Lemmons.
Script: Anthony McCarten.
Duration: 144 minutes.
Performers: Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams.
Premiere exclusively in theaters.
Manual biographical feature film, authorized by the singer’s family and record label heirs Whitney Houston, I want to dance with someone joins the long list of great musical icons whose lives have been brought to the screen during the last decades. The statement can be rewritten as follows: the Kasi Lemmons film (Harriet, Eve’s Bayou) is a succession of vignettes that outline the rise, fall, return and death of The Voice (The voice), as the press defined her when hearing her malleable vocal range. The daughter, cousin and professional goddaughter of three great singers in the world of r&b, soul and beyond –Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin, respectively–, the future star was musically nurtured by her own mother until the ideal moment arrived. to launch his career. At least that is what the film implies, which finds them rehearsing a gospel piece in a church, the veteran teaching that “you sing with your head, heart and guts”, a visual leitmotif that will be repeated several times with the run of the two and a half hours of footage.
Many of the themes that run through the biography are present in those first minutes: the tense but affectionate relationship between mother and daughter, the flirtation with drugs, still within the limits of recreation, the desire to play beyond the rules. with his musical instrument, the vocal cords. The film whitewashes Houston’s sentimental relationship (mimetic Naomi Ackie) with her friend Robyn Crawford, who would be by her side –usually in the shadows– throughout almost her entire life, beyond marriages and formal maternity. And so the scene of the “discovery” arrives, represented thanks to a classic dramatic script resource. In the mid-80s, Cissy, still active as a singer, fakes a vocal problem and lets her daughter open the recital at a nightclub, knowing that hidden in the audience is Clive Davis (the always dutiful stanley tucci), powerful music producer and founder of Arista Records. From there to the first single and the hit of the second album there are a couple of steps. Whitney becomes the first African-American artist to go much further than simply crossover between black and white audiences.
From that moment on, the script by Anthony McCarten –author of another biopic recent with similar characteristics, Bohemian Rhapsody– He squeezes high and low instances of his career and personal life. Falls in love, separations, tours, confrontations (the bond with the father, conflictive and eventually turned to the courts, has an important presence), his time in the cinema from The bodyguard and the beginning of the decline. And the drugs, of course, that the ATP montage always leaves out of the picture. Pure summation of moments, glued together chronologically without much dramatic logic, little or nothing of cinema. If the great legacy of Houston is music (Ackie moves her lips perfectly while the sound track lets us hear the original voice of the singer) better listen to the records again.