Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story
I don’t think I was expecting award-winning groundbreaking material from a VH1 production, but nostalgia got the best of me. Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story is just that- a biographical drama chronicling the ups and very low lows of the inception of what came to be the kick-ass girls of TLC, including reenactments of their iconic videos like Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg [MV], Creep [MV], Waterfalls [MV], and the intergalactic super-bombastic video for No Scrubs [MV]; up until the moment of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’ death.
Oh, yeah~ I said reenactment.
The first striking thing starting out the movie is how shockingly similar Drew Sidora and Lil Mama looked to T-Boz and Left Eye respectively — almost like seeing a ghost of their young selves. Though Keke Palmer, playing Chilli, is the more experienced actress of the three, she is the one who stuck like a sore thumb since Chilli has such a particular frame within the group. There’s really no working actress at the moment who would resemble her, and Keke just towers over everyone in the cast.
The problem with The TLC Story is that… it feels long. It’s like two hours long, it feels longer, but it’s not long enough to accommodate all of their lives on screen, taking us through their training days and showing us a very conflictive Lisa from the get go, which in turn made me dislike her the most. It shows Chilli’s pregnancy and decision to abort, and then suddenly moving on to the next project, as T-Boz’ is cheated on and then gets miraculously pregnant. The important events in their lives are there, but are never there long enough to be felt.
Then there’s the cheese. Technology has come a long way so that the movie’s inclusion of the girls’ music videos seems… okay. The general shot of the girls in the water background in the Waterfalls video seems to be perfect, though some of the makeup and lightning is noticeable in close-up shots especially in their reenactment of No Scrubs. I don’t think the inclusion of the music videos within the story did anything, so the backstage sequences would’ve worked out enough.
However, you can’t escape the cheese in most of the drama, starting out with that really REALLY bad audition scene that’s so exaggerated it’s funny; up to the point when Chilli receives the call of Lisa’s passing.
What Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story does great is kicking your new-found TLC music binge as you sing along to the hits you once loved to sing out in public.