New Film Shines Spotlight On Whitney Houston’s Life


Amazing singing and acting performances make this movie great, even for those not familiar with Whitney Houston’s career.

by Carly Pedroza, Staff Writer

A new drama musical I Wanna Dance With Somebody, based on the well-known singer Whitney Houston, and directed by Kasi Lemmons, was released on December 23, 2022. The movie explains how Whitney rose to fame in the 1980´s and became one of the greatest singers in her generation.

The movie stars Naomi Ackie as Houston, Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis,  Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston, Nafessa Williams, Robyn Crawford & Clive Davis himself. The movie was filmed in Arlington, Boston, New York City, Newark and Tampa. 

In the movie, Clive Davis plays a big part due to the fact that he was Houston’s record producer. So who really is Davis? Davis is a 90-year-old man born in 1932 in New York. He is a well-known record producer, and one of the most respected names in history. In 2001 Davis became a lawyer at a huge record label. Since he became a lawyer he has been in a number of movies like Cant Stop Wont Stop, Little Girl Blue and three movies about Houston. 

The African American director Kasi Lemmons, from St. Louis, has been directing since 1997. Lemmons has directed quite a few other films such as… Talk to Me in 2007, Black Nativity in 2013, Harriet in 2019. Lemmons also directed a few Netflix limited series, such as… Self Made in 2020 and an episode of ABC’s Women of the Movement in 2022.

The good thing about this movie is even if you’re not a big fan of Houston, you can still enjoy the movie because they do a fantastic job explaining her life and how she became so famous. On top of that, the performances are amazing and the singing is phenomenal.

Some of the facts they gave early in the movie include that Houston was in choir at her home church and she was a backup singer for her mom. Clive Davis came to see Houston’s mom´s show because the owner of the club wanted him to see Houston perform backup for her mom. However when Houston’s mom saw that Davis was there, she pretended to lose her voice so that way Houston would have the spotlight.  

As of January 14th, 2023, I Wanna Dance With Somebody made $22.2 million in the US and $27.1 million in Canada. Overall the film made $49.3 million. The movie is a quick two hours and 25 minutes. Common Sense Media rated the film at a 3/5 and IMDb rated it at a 6.9/10.The audience rating was 4.3 with 4/5 stars.