The new Netflix original, Beauty, which premiered today, is not a biography about Whitney Houston. On the other hand, it is not a biopic on Whitney Houston. In other words, anyone familiar with Houston’s life would recognise the inspiration for this Netflix drama in the singer’s formative years, despite the obvious name changes.

The film, written by Lena Waithe and directed by Andrew Dosunmu, centres on a teenage singer named Beauty (Gracie Marie Bradley) in the 1980s who is offered a record contract by a major label. While Beauty has the support of her entire family, she leans on Jasmine, her best friend and lover, the most. As Beauty’s singing career takes off, the two young women’s passion for one another becomes stronger, but they realise they must keep their relationship hidden from the world.

Though there is no opening caption declaring that Beauty is based on a true tale or closing credits reel depicting actual events, anybody familiar with Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford’s story and Waithe’s friendship with the singer may easily deduce that the film is inspired by real events.

Does anyone know if Netflix’s Beauty is based on a real event?

Well, sort of. Although the film Beauty was clearly inspired by the true tale of Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford, the characters in the film are not named after any actual individuals. Lena Waithe, a longtime admirer of Houston’s, has written a fictionalised account of the singer’s life that draws heavily on the singer’s connection with Robyn Crawford, albeit changing the characters’ identities.

who is the movie beauty based on

Like Whitney Houston, whose mother Cissy Houston trained her to sing, a young Beauty (played by Niecy Nash) is on the edge of stardom in the film. Beauty’s mother, like Cissy, a former member of the girl group the Sweet Inspirations, had a singing career that eventually led to neither recognition nor wealth; this may explain why Beauty’s mother is so demanding. The complicated bond that Whitney Houston shared with her father, John Russell Houston, is also explored in the film. In 2003, Houston’s real-life father filed a lawsuit against his daughter, alleging that she owed him money for services he provided to his business. In Beauty, Giancarlo Esposito’s character, Beauty’s father, creates a tense subtext by accusing his daughter of owing him money while he is in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. Both Michael, Whitney Houston’s full brother, and Gary, Whitney Houston’s half-brother, have parallels in Beauty; they are played by Kyle Bary and are titled, not so discreetly, Abel and Cain (played by Michael Ward).

who is the movie beauty based on

The fact that Beauty has a secret sexual relationship with her best friend Jasmine is the most damning evidence that the film is based on Houston’s life (played by Aleyse Shannon). Robyn Crawford, Houston’s best friend and assistant, was frequently spotted at the singer’s side throughout her career and was even widely speculated to be Houston’s lover, and Jasmine is an obvious stand-in for Crawford. Both Crawford and Houston denied these accusations when asked about them publicly, although Crawford subsequently said in her biography that she had a brief sexual relationship with Houston but that Houston halted it because she was afraid of getting discovered.

What is the plot of this stunning film?

In the film, Beauty and her best friend Jasmine are a couple, much to the dismay of Beauty’s parents. In particular, Beauty’s half-brother Cain refers to Jasmine as “evil,” a sentiment echoed by Houston’s real-life half-brother Gary Houston in the 2018 documentary Whitney, in which he referred to his sister’s connection with Crawford as “evil.” Houston’s living relatives, including Gary (now 64), probably wouldn’t have approved of the account of Houston’s life that Waithe sought to convey. Possibly this is why the film is not explicitly about Whitney Houston, despite the title. The narrative of Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford may be seen for what it is—a sad love story—with little effort.

You May Also Like
Hot Avatar Trilogy

Hot Avatar Trilogy: A Delight for Fans! in Work by Paramount and Nicklodeon

Three new animated Avatar films are in development at Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios,…
fast furious 10 director justin lin announces his exit from the franchise 001

Reasons Behind Justin Lin’s Departure From “Fast and Furious”?

Why did Justin Lin leave “Fast and Furious”? Justin Lin is a…
Project X Netflix

Wondering Whether Project X Was Based On A True Story? Get Your Answers Here

Project X is a prevalent movie showcasing one of the craziest teen…