After “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” aired over the Lifetime network this weekend, the Internet went bananas with negative critical comments about the film that talk show maven Wendy Williams executive produced, according to Variety.
Williams, who had been touting the film on her daily talk show promised Aaliyah’s fans that her story would be told from an honest, forthright place and that they would be pleased as punch.
Critics bombarded the film with bad reviews. A number of cast members were criticized as being miscast, with some slack given to Alexandra Shipp (pictured), who portrayed the title role of Aaliyah. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the young actress “does not let a weak script stand in her way. She lights up every scene she’s in.” WSJ also criticized the overall film project as a paltry attempt at moviemaking stating, “The final result was a bland, non-insightful look into Aaliyah’s life and career that, while managing to avoid any majorly salacious drama, unfortunately ended up stripping most of the heart, soul and reverence that the late singer-actress deserved.”
The Aaliyah film project, a biopic of the 1990’s R&B singer whose life came to an abrupt halt at the age of 22 in a plane crash on August 25, 2001, has had its fair share of roadblocks. The role of Aaliyah was originally supposed to go to actress Zendaya Coleman but she dropped out of the scheduled project back in June. Aaliyah’s family members also reportedly refused to give Lifetime the okay to use the singer’s music.
A-list celebs even weighed in on the Lifetime fiasco. Megamusic producer Timbaland was depicted in the film as a skinny, light-skinned man, far from his actual appearance. Timbaland worked closely with Aaliyah, including on her second album, One In A Million, which he helped to produce with Missy Elliot. It sold 8 million copies worldwide.
Timbaland criticized the biopic on Instagram via text and video messages seemingly aimed at the movie’s producers. The musical dynamo referred to the biopic as “bulls**t!” on the social media account, adding “This is why people should never remake movies. (Expletive) happens. Now you have to deal with the consequences!” The 42-year-old producer also went on to utter a warning on one video: “They will feel my wrath tomorrow morning.”
Comedian D.L. Hughley also chimmed in on the film’s criticisms via his Twitter site: