Top 5…: Reasons Toni Braxton’s Lifetime Biopic Was a Homerun

Published: Monday 25th Jan 2016 by Rashad
toni braxton thatgrapejuice lifetime biopic

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).

Excellent casting

Screen shot 2016-01-24 at 9.42.39 PM

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.

lifetime thatgrapejuice toni braxton

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

Un-Break My Heart

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.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Arfa January 25, 2016

    Toni Braxton movie>>>>> TLC, Aaliyah, Whitney movies

    • LmfaoHoe January 25, 2016

      Okay yes to the Whitney/ of course Aaliyah flick. But TLC were very good too, no need to bring two legendary artists down.

  2. MUSICHEAD January 25, 2016

    I enjoyed the movie! A lot of people don’t realize that Toni was never really broke. She got paid 22 million from LaFace right after her first bankruptcy. Also, she filed the second bankruptcy to protect her assets like every smart business person including Donald Trump has done in the past. Toni still has money. The only thing she really lost was her rights to a couple of her songs including You’re Makin Me High. That’s why u never see her perform that song.

    • Erik January 25, 2016

      She did lose the publishing rights to some of her songs. However she still has rights to perform ANY song in her catalogue..

      • MUSICHEAD January 25, 2016

        But not for free which is why she doesn’t

    • AnnaliseKeatingsNewWig January 25, 2016

      @Musichead that explains alot. I really wanted to hear it, but I understand why she didn’t use it now.

    • Erik January 25, 2016

      Wrong again…Toni was on tour 2013-2015 and performed you’re making me high and How may ways, which is another song she lost publishing rights to…Truth is, she can not profit from the sales of these songs, however she can perform ANY song she wants…publishing is specifically based on the recordings of these songs, it has NOTHING to do with performances darling…

      • Danny Bey January 25, 2016

        Thank you.

    • Danny Bey January 25, 2016

      So then tell me why when I saw her in concert last year she performed every one of her hits?

  3. Gee January 25, 2016

    The best part of the movie was Debbie Morgan who played Evelyn Braxton.

    • Antisatanicthealbum January 25, 2016

      “Imma cut it off” yes honey giving me waiting to exhale meets Lorena Bobbit tease

    • What now January 25, 2016

      That woman is an incredible actress. She played the hell out of an Evelyn Braxton.

  4. Casual-T January 25, 2016

    The movie skipped over a lot, but it was good overall. Gavin Houston was spot on for Babyface, but Debbi Morgan was miles over the top in her portrayal of Evelyn Braxton (unless Ms. Braxton is really the way she is portrayed, which we really don’t see on Braxton Family Values). Lex Scott Davis has some physical resemblance to Toni Braxton, but Ms. Davis didn’t act anything like Toni.

  5. Jj January 25, 2016

    I wish Lex was coached on how to sing. The lio synching was not good. Lex was lip synching like she was singing a Janet song. No hunty, its Ms. Toni the one with the powerful voice that Christina Augilera has tried to copy.

    • AnnaliseKeatingsNewWig January 25, 2016

      she should have lipsynced more convincingly, but they were right for not making her sing. Toni has such a distinctive and unique tone and no-one can replicate it (not even her sisters can fully do it). The TLC movie had the girls sing some of the songs and it sounded bad and off-key , so i think Lifetime learned their lesson.

  6. What now January 25, 2016

    It was a good movie. I’ve been listening to Toni since I heard the movie was coming out. I used to think she sang like a man, but now I understand that’s her unique sound and tone that can’t be replicated. She’s an incredible singer with a great catalog. I’m a new fan.

  7. Ajm265 January 25, 2016

    Didn’t think the girl who played to I did a go job not at all I’m a huge Toni fan and it was just as bad as that Aaliyah movie. The boy playing baby face did a great job.

  8. yesterday was Aaliyah 37birthday to the good music January 26, 2016

    It was a good movie

  9. Julio January 26, 2016

    The movie was great, especially with the intro Man Enough(captivating) and the end. The few things i didnt like,they didnt show how Toni was huge during her prime,how she got pregnant during More Than a woman and asking the label to post pone the album which they denied resulting to less promotion(very important).However, i was happy the movie showed her as a survivor and overcomer through all her downs and her 7th Grammy win….adding shes just starting..i wish her another platinum US album…aww so sweet!

    • Erik January 26, 2016

      I agree with how they rushed and missed a lot of important points in Tonis life. For example, how she was deceived and manipulated by Barry Hankerson and had to take him to court. Or how she was the first African American to play a lead role in a Disney Broadway play…I think Tonis story is one that deserves the motion picture treatment. There is so much more that needed to be explained in order for people to really understand how much of a survivor and fighter Toni Braxton is.

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