Mona and I went to see the Aretha Franklin movie, Respect, yesterday. It was unexpectedly boring.
Part of the problem is that hers really isn’t a very inspiring story. She was born wealthy and talented, by the age of 25 she had nine albums under her belt and a very lucrative touring career, then she switched record labels and had a lot of big hits. The only obstacles she faced in her life were overcoming the consequences of her own bad decisions.
But more than that, it’s just poorly written and very stereotypical. The Black men are all abusive and promiscuous, the only Jew is smarmy and money grubbing, the White men are largely rednecks.
We saw this scene play out repeatedly:
Aretha: “I want to do a thing!”
Record Producer: “No!”
Aretha: “I insist!”
Record Producer: “Okay then!”
It just didn’t ring true.
Two thumbs down.
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