We all remember the three ladies of TLC- even if you weren’t a fan, born in the era or caught wind of the jaw dropping lyrics these ladies garnered during the 90’s and early 2000’s. The highly anticipated made for TV movie on the VH1 network was finally released Oct. 21. The film drew the highest cable ratings the network has ever seen. 4.5 million viewers to be exact caught the rise and fame of the ladies as they witnessed the struggle, heartache and pain of the group.
TLC is personally one of my favorite girl groups of all time. Their girl power anthems have always stuck with me throughout the years and even today I find myself playing some of their first hits such as “What About Your Friends?” and “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” These songs gave TLC their rough around the edge reputation that included baggy clothing, oversized glasses and condoms that were placed throughout their wardrobe.
Before the release of this film, I wondered how exactly the cast members would resemble the original group members. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was played by rapper Lil Mama, Tionne “T Boz” Watkins was portrayed by actress and model Drew Sidora while Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas was portrayed by actress KeKe Palmer.
Lil Mama had the most resemblance to Left Eye as her natural rough around the edges demeanor did justice in portraying the late rapper. Actresses’ Drew Sidora and KeKe Palmer somewhat resembled T Boz and Chilli. In my personal opinion, actress Tika Sumpter would’ve portrayed Chilli more realistically. The resemblance between actress Drew Sidora and T Boz is a mutual one. The two share the same skin complexion and the wig of choice that was used for Sidora was quite striking in her portrayal of T Boz.
Watching biopic films of music stars always puts me at the edge of my seat because I wonder if their singing voices will actually match the character that is being portrayed. This film garnered mixed emotions for me in regards to the singing voices of the ladies. While T Boz was known for her low key raspy sound, Sidora wasn’t really seen singing, but more lip syncing instead. Palmer did however sing a few lyrics from one of the group’s first singles, “What About Your Friends?” Although she doesn’t have the greatest singing voice, it was worth it to hear her try to master the voice of Chilli.
Rapper Lil Mama did however rap a few verses from “Waterfalls” and there were also some lip syncing involved. Lil Mama is not a top rated rapper, but her rhymes definitely put her at the top list to portray Left Eye. Not surprisingly her voice was very comparable to Left Eye, who was known for having a high pitch rapping style.
Although the music story is what really drew many people to watch “CrazySexyCool,” the acting also was part of it as well. There were a few scenes were the acting wasn’t too shabby. However, in some scenes, the acting felt more forced than naturally portrayed by the cast.
The film however did capture the group’s rise to fame after signing with their former record label, LaFace Records. We have all heard the story about the group going bankrupt but never fully understood the just of it. “CrazySexyCool” certainly fills any blank spots you may’ve had in regards to the group and those who were part of their careers from the beginning.
What makes the film even more interesting is the recapture of some of TLC’s classic songs. As a fan, it was a great thing to see the cast portray the group in some of their former music videos, concerts and interviews.
“CrazySexyCool” is worth a watch for many reasons, but more so because fans will get to understand the struggles the late Left Eye faced before her sudden and tragic death in 2002 in Honduras. The film may or may not be the greatest for some, but it certainly gives you an inside look and will change your perspective on the ladies of TLC in many ways.
Film rating: 8/10