I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens at the 1994 American Music Awards. A woman dressed in black walks across the stage, being cheered on by an eager crowd. She is Whitney Elizabeth Houston (Naomi Ackie).
1983, New Jersey – Whitney is trying to sing as part of her church’s choir, but her mother, Cissy (Tamara Tunie) pushes her to be better, even if she is being hard on her daughter. Whitney also lives with her father, John (Clarke Peters), and brothers, Gary (Daniel Washington) and Michael (JaQuan Malik Jones). Cissy and John frequently argue loudly, causing Whitney to spend time away from them with her brothers.
Whitney later befriends Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams). They start off as best friends before developing a romantic relationship and eventually moving in together.
Cissy is set to perform one evening when noted record producer Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci) walks in. She pretends her voice is gone to encourage Whitney to go up and sing live. Whitney sings “The Greatest Love of All”, which impresses the whole crowd, but especially Clive. He later gets in touch with Whitney and brings her family to the record studio to sign her. John has some stipulations, but ultimately, Whitney agrees to work with Clive.
Whitney has her first major live performance on The Merv Griffin Show. Cissy and John watch from backstage, where Cissy is annoyed at how slow the music is and how poorly lit Whitney is, so she takes matters into her own hands to ensure her daughter comes out looking fine. Whitney is met with applause and cheers.
As Whitney’s career begins to take off, John makes himself Whitney’s manager. When she wants to make Robyn her assistant, John objects because of their relationship and tells them to go on dates with men, which Robyn refuses. Whitney later records a song with Jermaine Jackson (Jaison Hunter) and is said to have slept with him, which infuriates Robyn.
Whitney puts out hits like “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” but she faces criticism for selling out and not sounding “black enough.” While at the Soul Train Awards, she is booed when her nomination is announced. There, she meets Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders), who tells her not to mind the people bad-mouthing her because she is Whitney Houston.
Whitney and Bobby begin a romantic relationship. Several months in, Bobby proposes to Whitney, but he admits that his ex-girlfriend Kim got pregnant by him after an alcohol-induced hook-up. Whitney is enraged enough to get her driver to stop in the middle of the road so she can storm off, but Bobby follows her and apologizes enough to convince her to go through with the engagement. Whitney breaks the news to Robyn, who has come to inform her that Oprah wants to interview Whitney.
In 1991, Whitney performs the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, which is seen by her family and audiences all across the country, and she earns an incredible reception.
Whitney develops an interest in acting. Clive finds a script for her – “The Bodyguard” – and asks her to postpone her wedding. She initially refuses until she learns the leading man is Kevin Costner, who specifically requested her for the role of the famous singer. For the film, she records her own soulful version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. In 1994, she performs the song at a concert for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Throughout the sequence, her marriage to Bobby is shown, and she gives birth to their daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
After going on tour, Whitney demands to go home as soon as it’s over so that she can return to her family. She finds Bobby not at home and later learns he has been messing around with other women. They get into a loud fight when she attempts to throw him out of the house, and he refuses, which makes Bobbi Kristina cry.
Clive meets with Whitney over her not putting out an album over the last eight years, even though she has released seven major songs. She later confronts John over his handling of her finances, and she cuts him out of her life. She begins to let her sister-in-law Pat (Kris Sidberry) manage her. When John is later on his deathbed, Whitney visits him, but they have one last argument, and she declares she is no longer his little princess. After John passes, Whitney is absent from his funeral.
Whitney later descends into a drug addiction, which gets bad enough that it affects her vocal range and leads to a disastrous concert performance. When she brings Bobbi Kristina to Clive’s house, he urges her to enter rehab. Whitney does so and tearfully has to leave Bobbi Kristina behind.
In 2009, Whitney meets Bobby one last time to tell him she is divorcing him. She continues to work on music and maintaining her relationship with Bobbi Kristina.
In February 2012, Whitney travels to Beverly Hills for the Grammys. She has a drink at a bar where the bartender talks about how he saw her perform live at the American Music Awards, and he tells her she is the best to have ever done it, and also gives her a free drink. Whitney leaves him a $100 tip. She goes up to her hotel room to run a bath and tearfully sings to herself in the mirror.
The film then cuts back to 1994 at the American Music Awards, where Whitney performs her iconic medley of “I Loves You, Porgy”/”And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”/”I Have Nothing”.
As footage of the real Whitney Houston plays, the ending text states that she passed away on February 11, 2012, from drowning in the bathtub due to drug intoxication. She remains the best-selling black artist of all time, and to this day, she is considered THE best voice of her generation.
The film chronicles the life and career of musical superstar Whitney Houston.
Whitney is discovered by record producer Clive Davis, who helps launch her career. Her controlling father, John, handles her finances and tries to dictate how Whitney lives her life. She also has success in films like "The Bodyguard" and has many iconic performances, such as at the 1991 Super Bowl and the 1994 American Music Awards where she performs an iconic medley.
Whitney later meets and falls in love with fellow singer Bobby Brown, getting married to him and giving birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina. However, Bobby cheats and abuses Whitney, and she develops a drug addiction, forcing her to go to rehab.
Whitney passes away in 2012 after drowning in her bathtub due to drug intoxication, but she remains the best-selling black artist of all time and is still considered the greatest voice of her generation.