This movie made me get up out of my bed and get my laptop to start this review and not in a good way. Before I start my rant about the obvious, let me get through the rest of the movie. 40 minutes into the movie, I didn’t feel like I learned anything about Cheryl or Sandy that I didn’t already know. The only thing I did learn was that Sandy’s dad died and after she would cut herself with a razor but even that moment felt rushed. We didn’t sit in that or feel any pain. It was very cavalier and even though it knew it was something that was important to the makeup of who she was a person, I did not get that from that scene. Those 40 minutes felt rushed.
I do want to say that the hair scene was reminiscent of the scene in What’s Love Got To Do With It? when Anna Mae got her hair done. Also, Laila Odom sounds and acts just like I’ve seen her do in real life. She was phenomenal as Pepa. For me, she is the standout in the film.
The transitions in this movie just do not work well to move the film forward like they are supposed to. It just feels like they wrote all the things they could remember and someone said let’s do it all…and oh, let’s add the music, too. There was a time jump between “Push It” and “Express Yourself” that lasted about five minutes. The falling transition with Treach and Pepa was WEIRD! I think they thought it would convey the freedom she felt with Treach at the time but…not what I felt. Just felt cheap, especially with the green screen background. While we’re on the subject of feelings, all the scenes where there was supposed to be real emotion all felt short and weak. I felt more excitement when the girls were happy, which was the point, but as viewers we want to know the inside of the these women. What made them cry, what made them angry, what made them not speak to each other for years. That’s what we’re here for, Lifetime! Cheryl and her eating disorder were a major thing back when I first heard her talk about it when they had their reality show on BET back in the day. Here, it seemed like a blip in her life, and again, it progressed too fast.
The breakdown of the group also didn’t progress the way it should. It went from 0 to 4,000 and I was wondering where the catalyst was and if I missed it. I have the answer to that. I did because there was no clear build up.
It took this movie two hours and 40 minutes to give me what I had been waiting for, an emotional breakthrough. I got one pivotal moment in this movie and it came at the tail end. For shame, Lifetime, for shame!
The VH1 Honors for them was what the BET moment was for New Edition. I wanted to see some rehearsals, hear some conversations that they had in order to pull off that performance, but I just got the performance.
Now, I leave you with my rant. YOU CANNOT DO A SALT-N-PEPA MOVIE WITHOUT SPINDERELLA! They knew better and I will roast them every time for it! What we should have not done is have a Spin in the movie and keep mentioning her but not exploring that character as if she didn’t exist. It bothered me to no end that they kept saying, “And that’s Spin” and just moving on. How did she feel? Did she have a say? If she didn’t, how did she feel about that? Was the middle man between Salt and Pepa? These are answers I don’t have that I needed. I would have given me the whole Salt-N-Pepa experience and we missed that.
In closing, I stand by what I said in the early days of this blog. The New Edition bipoic reigns supreme as one of the best I’ve seen in this new age of biopics. They had the right formula. I wish this film could have done the same.