The web is still buzzing over Lifetime’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’ – Toni Braxton‘s long-awaited biographical film that set Twitter alight when it aired Saturday night.
Recounting the ‘You’re Making Me High’ singer’s highest highs over her storied career (and well documented lows), the flick was a critical homerun and earned thumbs up from viewers, fans, and media alike.
No exception to the many who have lauded the production for its brazenness and willingness to share intimate details about the life of one of music’s most celebrated songstresses, That Grape Juice has compiled a list of 5 reasons why the movie was an absolute knockout!
Hop below the jump to get into them (warning: spoilers contained below):
Toni Braxton was involved
No stranger to earning flack for their two most recent musical biopics (the Whitney Houston and Aaliyah stories) due to the absence of support from those involved in the stories, Lifetime’s take on Toni’s story started off on the right foot given the diva’s presence during the film-making process.
Adapted from her memoir of the same name, the movie not only had the ability to directly lift quotes and scenes from the hotly-selling title, but also featured narration from Braxton.
They used her real voice
With Lifetime’s take on the Aaliyah story, fans were disheartened to hear Alexandra Shipp (the actress who portrayed her) use her own voice to try to imitate the fallen singer’s angelic tone. Her attempt, unfortunately, was a fail on every level. And, while Deborah Cox (who voiced Whitney’s iconic numbers) was a bit closer to the original, Marvin Gaye once crooned it best when he said “ain’t nothing like the real thing baby.”
Accompanying Toni’s involvement in the film was the ability to use her voice to re-record her unforgettable R&B numbers and get clearance to use some of the real music (and not poor karaoke remakes as featured in Lifetime’s two previous biopics).
The Aaliyah biopic (unfortunately) became a joke for many reasons, but none more than its poor casting. While Whitney’s film was a bit more “on the mark,” we can say that none of Lifetime’s recent diva biopics have hit the mark more than Toni’s.
Lex Scott Davis (Toni) has an uncanny resemblance to the singer (as seen above). Gavin Houston, who assumed the role of Babyface, and Debbi Morgan (Evelyn Braxton) were also an excellent selections.
Toni finally got to tell her side of the story
The Grammy-winning vocalist has been quite vocal about her meteoric rise to fame and almost equally meteoric descent in high profile interviews (see: ‘Oprah,’ ‘Behind the Music’) as well as in her highly publicized memoir. And, while for many the story of her multiple bankruptcies, health failures, and son’s battle with autism were not exactly new knowledge, seeing them played out on screen gave them new light and new life, so to speak.
Being able to detail these recounts, especially as it relates to the proceedings around her bankruptcies, finally allowed Toni to express in full how and why those events occurred.
The film didn’t victimize her
For as accomplished as she is, the unfortunate events that have seemingly plagued the life of Toni Braxton seem just as plentiful. But, instead of playing the “woe is me” card, the film simply shone more light on the fighter and survivor she is. Carefully skating the thin line between “recount” and “complaint,” ‘Unbreak My Heart’ successfully gave attention to Braxton’s battles without making her seem like she was making excuses for the events that occurred.
For this reason, and the four that preceded it, we at That Grape Juice give Toni Braxton’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’ biopic two well deserved thumbs up.