“Beauty” is currently in Netflix’s top ten, so someone is taking notice. Still, the film didn’t have a Wikipedia page until July 1, and as of this posting, has only been reviewed by seven outlets (mostly major publications like the trades and The New York Times). One wonders if Netflix is leery of a legal battle in the midst of the streamer’s highly publicized financial struggles. The quality of the film can’t be a consideration, because they proudly promoted the ghastly “Red Notice.”
For fans of the late diva, the absence of Houston’s music is probably an unscalable hurdle. Thinly veiled biopics of cultural icons tend to be dicey commercial propositions. Look at “Primary Colors,” “Up Close & Personal,” and “Last Days.” But this is nevertheless a pedigreed movie with big names that’s getting dumped onto the biggest streaming service on the planet. I’m a Houston fan, and I didn’t realize it was available to watch on Netflix until someone alerted me to film critic Noel Murray’s tweets. I love Noel Murray, but if you’re using Arkansan assassin to spread awareness for your movie, I must question your marketing efforts.
In any event, Whitney Houston deserved better just about every second of her life, and it’s a kick in the gut to see her life trivialized yet again.