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Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody | 2022 | PG-13 | – 4.3.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong drug content, some strong language, suggestive references and smoking.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several kissing scenes, discussions of infidelity, the death of a woman from a drug related drowning, a man’s death from an unspecified health issue, a woman being arrested and taken out of her house in handcuffs in front of her young daughter, many arguments and a threat of violence, several scenes of drug use and alcohol use, and at least 1 F-word and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Biopic documenting the ups and downs of the life of Whitney Houston (Naomi Ackie), from singing backup for her mother to superstardom to her untimely drug related death. Also with Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters, Daniel Washington, Bailee Lopes and Bria Danielle Singleton. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. [Running Time: 2:26]

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A man and a woman kiss passionately in the back of a limousine, the man proposes to the woman, and she accepts. A man and a woman kiss and hug for photographers. A man and a woman kiss at their wedding. A man and a woman kiss while the woman holds her newborn child in the hospital. Two women dance, hug and kiss.
 Two women hug while sitting and sharing a cigarette. A woman tries to hold another woman’s hand and she pulls away. A woman enters her father’s office and finds him holding the hand of a woman seated on his desk; we hear him saying something about the two of them being together.
 Two women move in together. Two women flirt and talk. Two men wave at each other and it is implied that they are in a romantic relationship.
 A woman becomes enraged when her partner tells her that she slept with a man (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man tells a woman that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his child and she becomes upset (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman returns home and finds that her husband is not there (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man tells his adult daughter that she needs to be seen in public with men; he says that her spending time with another woman will start gossip. A woman tells her partner that the Bible says that their relationship is wrong and the other woman becomes upset. A woman warns another woman that a man she is involved with is promiscuous. A woman tells her daughter to imagine that she is singing in the shower when she is nervous about performing and she is upset about picturing the audience nude.
 A woman’s dress has sheer fabric in cutouts at the shoulders and sides and we see cleavage, her sides to the hips and her partial lower breast. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A woman wears low-cut tank tops that reveal cleavage in several scenes. Dancers wear outfits that show their stocking covered legs to the hips. A woman wears a form-fitting dress while filming a music video. A woman’s low-cut dress is also slit up one side (cleavage and her leg to the hip are seen). A woman swims while wearing a swimsuit (we see her bare back, cleavage and legs to the hips). A woman sits in a bathtub covered with bubbles (we see her bare shoulders).

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – A woman winces and holds her abdomen and we understand that she miscarried (we see her in the hospital later recovering).
 A woman becomes enraged when her partner tells her that she slept with a man; she throws things in an apartment and breaks things while yelling and the other woman says, “It’s just a guy,” and the other woman says, “I hate you so much right now.” A man tells a woman that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his child and she becomes upset; she tells the driver of the limousine they are in to stop the car, and she gets out of the car and walks through traffic causing cars to swerve and honk as she yells at the man. A woman returns home, finds that her husband is not there, and when he returns the next morning they argue bitterly and she throws him out of the house; he threatens her to not disrespect him and squeezes her face while pressing her against a wall and she threatens to get a gun and shoot him; the man leaves and she then goes to her child’s room to hold her as she cries. A woman is handcuffed and taken away from her home in front of her young daughter after her mother finds her doing drugs; we hear that she will be in a secured residence for 4 months while being monitored during rehab. A man and a woman argue, he grabs her shirt and says, “You better get yourself a good lawyer.” A woman seemingly accidentally hits a man on the back of the head with her purse a few times while he is seated in an audience and he turns around upset. A woman puts her engagement ring on a bar and leaves as her husband pleads with her not to go.
 We read that a woman died from a “drug related accidental drowning” at the age of 48. A woman yells at her father about his mishandling of her money and they argue. A man and a woman argue bitterly. A woman looks at her daughter angrily while she sings in church and reprimands her about making sure that she knows the melody before she adds flourishes. A man and a woman argue and he tells her to “watch that tone,” and “I’m sick of you.” A woman argues with her daughter and says, “Don’t make me wup your [anatomical term deleted].” A man tells his adult daughter that she needs to be seen in public with men; he says that her spending time with another woman will start gossip. A man complains about what his daughter wears to a contract signing. A woman is interviewed and accused of not being Black enough and being a sellout; she becomes upset and says that what is meant by that is, “She’s not obedient enough,” and, “She’s not fearful enough.” A woman argues with her father about his wanting to fire another woman. A woman says, “I think I’m gonna throw up” before a performance (she does not). A man tells a woman that she needs rehab. We hear that a woman’s voice and vocal range diminished from smoking and using drugs for several years.
 A man is shown in the hospital on monitors and we later see a funeral with mourners gathered at the cemetery. A woman perspires and seems to be unstable and unable to remember song lyrics while onstage. A woman looks tired and unwell in a few scenes.

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody LANGUAGE 5

 – At least 1 F-word, 1 obscene hand gesture, 3 sexual references, 18 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (white Catholic school girl, raggedy [anatomical term deleted], crazy, oreo, stupid little broad, tough cookie, bad influence, not Black enough, sellout, whitey, seat filler, little girl, sad, criminal, crazy, trippin’, homey, thick head, rude, bad boy, dumb, hateful, uninformed), exclamations (oh baby, shut-up, be nice, don’t push your luck), 4 religious profanities (GD), 12 religious exclamations (e.g. oh my God, oh God, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman rolls a bill into a tube to use to snort cocaine (we see the powder but do not see the act), a woman is shown receiving cocaine hidden in a pen from a man in several scenes, a man and a woman snort cocaine while drinking liquor and smoking cigarettes in a few scenes, two young men and a young woman smoke marijuana from a bong, and several magazine headlines read that a singer is abusing drugs. A man and a woman drink champagne, a woman drinks a glass of wine while smoking a cigarette, a man tells his client that he will buy her a bottle of expensive champagne every time one of her songs makes it to the top of the music charts, people drink champagne on a boat, people in a bar are shown drinking liquor and wine, and a man drinks from a bottle of liquor. Two women share a cigarette, a woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes, and a man smokes cigars in several scenes.

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Success, fame, fitting a mold, record contracts, anxiety, family, drug abuse, recovery, relapse, rehab, Nelson Mandela, 1994 South Africa.

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody MESSAGE

 – The pressure of being a celebrity can be impossible to overcome.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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