CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story

 
Emotional biopic with serious topics, strong language.
  • Review Date: October 18, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages include rising from humble beginnings through hard work and perseverence, plus not giving up in spite of difficult odds. Shows the consequences of troubled lives and exploitation.

Positive role models

The women aren't perfect, but they are talented and committed to the group and each other. Some industry managers, producers, and boyfriends are portrayed as unethical and exploitative.  
 

Violence

Occasionally catty arguments break out; sometimes things get pushed or broken. Lisa Lopes' legal problems include burning down her boyfriends' home; her death also is discussed. References to getting shot. The pain of living with sickle-cell anemia is highlighted.

Sex

Conversations about being "loose" and infidelity are featured. Pregnancy and abortion are discussed.

Language

Vocab ranges from "hell" and "piss" to "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism

The title of the movie is based on TLC's second album, Crazy Sexy Cool; music from all their albums is featured. Car makes including Volkswagen and Ford shown.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (beer, champagne) and drunken behavior visible. References are made to Lopes' addiction to alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story is a dramatization of the behind-the-scenes world of TLC before, during, and after their rise to fame. The story covers some serious topics including infidelity, abortion, illness, and death, but there are some positive messages about female empowerment and the importance of friendship. The language is strong ("hell," "piss," "s--t," "f--k"), and drinking and drunken behavior is visible. There's discussion of addiction. A few occasions involve arguments and violent acts, including the setting of sneakers on fire.

Parents say

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What's the story?

CRAZYSEXYCOOL: THE TLC STORY is a dramatic biopic about the rise of the iconic '90's hip-hop group TLC. It tells the story of how dancer and singer Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas (played by Keke Palmer), rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (played by rapper Niatia Kirkland, aka Lil' Mama), and singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins (Drew Sidora) came together from humble beginnings in the 1990s to create the first successful hip-hop girl group and one of the highest-grossing female groups in American music history. The personal stories of each of the young women, including their individual relationships, medical problems, and run-ins with the law, also are told. Throughout it all, the group's hit music is featured.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

CrazySexyCool, which is produced by Chilli Thomas and T-Boz Watkins, offers an entertainingly dramatic look at the events that led to the Atlanta-based group's meteoric rise to fame, which came to an abrupt end with the tragic death of Lisa Lopes in 2002. It highlights the close, personal relationship they had with each other and notes some of the events from which their empowering lyrics are inspired. It also reveals some of the many obstacles they faced throughout their careers, including exploitative managers, dysfunctional relationships, and T-Boz's well-publicized battle with sickle-cell anemia.

Viewers who grew up with TLC will certainly enjoy hearing their story and listening to their music. Watching excerpts of some of the actual footage of their televised events is fun, too. But music lovers not old enough to remember the group will get an important lesson on how these young women managed to break down barriers in the historically male-dominated hip-hop industry and how they paved the way for the hip-hop artists the world listens to today.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different ways singers and performers "make it" in the music industry. What is the story behind your favorite singer or group's popularity? Are there things you've been surprised to know about them?

  • What do you get out of watching a movie like this? Do movies like this one teach us something about what goes into becoming successful as a musician? Or is it just voyeurism?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 21, 2014
Cast:Drew Sidora, Keke Palmer, Niatia Kirkland
Director:Charles Stone
Studio:DreamWorks
Genre:Drama
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story was written by

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