Ben Oliver

Banner image for Whitney: Can I Be Me

Whitney: Can I Be Me

That girl didn’t die because of drugs, she died of a broken heart.
11 June 2017

A documentary looking into the life of the superstar.

Can I Be Me opens with some fantastic footage of Whitney on her 1999 tour, belting out I Will Always Love You. You can see she’s using every last ounce of her energy to give it her all, and it’s captivating. This is followed up by some solid background info as the film covers her early years. It’s a slick way to quickly build an image of the person and the performer.

Unfortunately what follows is a fairly dull, meandering collection of archive footage and interviews. Broomfield asks a lot of questions without answering them. He points out that Houston’s career is essentially set up by a gaggle of studio execs but never really explores how she felt about that (in spite of the film’s title). People talk about her friend and possible lover Robyn, but we never actually get an interview with her.

Interesting un-seen footage aside, this is by and large a bit of a forgettable hot mess, lacking interviews with key people.

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