By: KHANDIS PLUNKETT
(Gainesville, Ga.) – On Nov. 16, Lifetime premiered their biopic of the late R&B artist Aaliyah titled, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. The movie was set to premiere in August but had to be pushed back to its November date due to several interruptions with production including the lack of cooperation of the family.
Despite the disapproval of the family, Lifetime, along with executive producer Wendy Williams, went ahead with the production. The family did not release the right to any of Aaliyah’s movie and refused to give writers any background information on Aaliyah’s personal life.
Though the movie did pretty well in ratings, with 3.2 million viewers tuning in on the night of the premiere, and becoming the second highest ranked Lifetime premiere, following behind Flowers in the Attic, it also brought in a massive wave of negative feedback from fans everywhere, and friends and family who were close to the late star.
In short, the movie was a disaster and nothing less than disrespectful to the family.
I, along with thousands of other Aaliyah fans found the movie to be a train wreck that should of never been filmed. The family did not release the rights to any of Aaliyah’s music, so the actress Alexandra Shipp, had to sing songs by other artists.
Just going by the title, I think it’s pretty obvious that Aaliyah was an R&B artist, so wouldn’t it of made sense that the songs she sang be by other R&B artists? At least artists whose styles are similar to Aaliyah’s? Well, the songs that the actress performed were songs by artists like Earth, Wind and Fire and Marvin Gaye– artists that sound nothing like Aaliyah. If they couldn’t use her music, another R &B artist’s music would have worked better.
In addition to not hearing any of Aaliyah’s music, which helped make the movie bad, none of the actors casted to play the characters, including the actress who played Aaliyah, looked anything like the real people. Does it not make sense to have the people playing the characters resemble them, at least a little? Well none of the characters looked the part, which only added to the negative outcome of the film.
The movie was offensive, to say the least, and failed at its attempt of honoring the late and great Aaliyah.
Fans are disappointed because we wanted to see the background of Aaliyah– things she enjoyed as a child, secrets about her family life, things she liked to do… a side of Aaliyah that we didn’t already know. We wanted to see Aaliyah the person, not just the entertainer.
The movie failed to do any of that. All it proved was that they knew nothing more about Aaliyah than any average fan, and they should of never made the film.
The family would like to see their Aaliyah’s story on the big screen, and I hope that after this catastrophe of a movie, they get their wish of seeing their precious fallen angel’s story brought to life on the big screen– Tell the real story of Aaliyah that we all want to know, and still haven’t been told yet.