(For those following at home, Lisa is attempting to clean out her DVR by watching and reviewing 38 films by the end of today!!!!! Will she make it? Keep following the site to find out!)
It’s becoming a new annual tradition. Every January, Lifetime airs a biopic about a singer. As I watched Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, I found myself thinking about what makes a good biopic. Unfortunately, good lives rarely make good biopics. After all, we watch biopics for the drama behind-the-scenes. When someone has lived a successful life and has basically lived her life with intelligence and integrity, it makes them a role model. But it doesn’t necessarily make them into a fascinating subject for a movie.
Now, I have to admit that, before watching this movie, I didn’t know much about Toni Braxton. My musical taste tends to run from EDM to more EDM. I had heard the name Toni Braxton, of course. I knew that there was a reality show called Braxton Family Values, though I’ve never seen an episode. But I didn’t know much about her or her life.
So, as I watched, I kept waiting for the inevitable moment when Toni Braxton would first be pressured into trying cocaine or when she would end up in an abusive marriage or when she would eventually end up going through a Hellish rehab experience. But none of that happened, largely because Toni Braxton appears to have been pretty intelligent when it came to making her life decisions.
Oh, there’s certainly some drama. She had some financial difficulties early on her career. Some members of her family get jealous of her success but not so jealous that they can’t be totally supportive. She gets married but the marriage ends — not because of infidelity or abuse but just because sometimes marriages end. And really, Lifetime should be commended for the way it handled the end of Braxton’s marriage because sometimes, marriages just don’t work out and it’s not anyone’s fault. Finally, Toni discovers the she has Lupus. Lupus is a serious disease and both Toni and the movie deserve full credit for educating the public.
In the end, Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart is a well-made and perfectly pleasant film but it’s not particularly memorable Lex Scott Davis does a good as Toni and the film provides good roles for a lot of talented African-American performers. But, as a movie, Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart never quite reaches the memorable heights of last year’s Whitney.