Salt-N-Pepa (2021 Lifetime)

Salt-N-Pepa (2021 Lifetime)

Cast:  Laila OdomG.G. TownsonArnold Pinnock 

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Emily escapes from an abusive relationship by moving back to her hometown only to discover she has a long-lost twin, but her newfound sister might be a murderer. Emily Piggford, Ish Morris, Cory Lee, Tomas Chovanec star. (2021)

Thoughts

The movie begins with some actual Salt N Pepa music, which is different for a Lifetime movie. 

Manhatten 2005 at the VH1 Salt N Pepa are reuniting for the first time in 5 years.

Flashback to 20 years earlier at a community college in Queens, Cheryl “Salt” and Sandra “Pepa” meet on campus. They run into one another, working for $5 an hour at Sears. Cheryl dates a co-worker, and Sandra has a pink wig and some beatboxing skillz. (Also, Martin Lawerence is there?) The girls become fast friends and go to a male strip club for no reason. On the drive home, they talk about their backstory with some heavy-handed writing. 

Salt N Pepa record a track, and Sandra is kind of offbeat. She messes up the recording and argues with Cheryl’s boyfriend, Hurby, who is producing the song. They get a clean take, and the song plays on the radio, and they dance on their car while singing along. 

Sandra and Cheryl perform at a high school in Harlem to some high schoolers who are haters; they win them over. Hurby keeps booking gigs and tries to get the act some traction. Then he takes meetings with a record producer and excludes Sandra from the deal. He negotiates a better rate for himself and Cheryl. Hurby is controlling and shady. 

1985- Cheryl drops out of school and advises Sandra to do the same. They go to their first gig as a signed artist and are surprised to learn two girls are impersonating them. Hurby pulls them off stage and gets into a fight with their manager in an alley. Cheryl tries to break up the fight and gets punched in the face too. 

JP, Spinderella, and a whole team step in to help manage the group. Sandra “Pepa” is confused about why Hurby is making all these decisions without talking with her.

They quickly fire Spinderella and is replaced with another female DJ. 

“Push It” is released, and the group really blows up. We get a montage of Salt-N-Pepa performing around the world and hear “Push It.” in the entirety. (Which is rare for a Lifetime Biopic. Do we need to talk about Britney Everafter or the Aalyiah movie?)

While on tour, Sandra catches Hurby cheating on Cheryl. He tells her that if she tells on him, she is out of the group. Cheryl, get an anonymous call from someone telling her that her man is stepping out on her.

They continue to top the charts and tour the world. Sandra learns that she is in a bad contract. While Cheryl starts writing empowering female anthems. 

Sandra meets a man and ends up pregnant. When she tells him, he is not thrilled. 

1990, Salt-N-Pepa band together to renegotiate their deal with Herby. Cheryl breaks up with Herby when she learns he fathered a son with someone else. 

Sandra gives birth in a thunderstorm with Cheryl by her side. They promise never to leave one another. 

They perform “Let’s talk about Sex.” at an MTV spring break and perform on Arsenio Hall and advocate for AIDS and HIV awareness. (Which is very cool.)

Salt N Pepa start recording their next album and take creative control over half the record. They record “Shoop” while holding their kids in the studio and then go on another world tour while the song plays. Then they film the music video.

Cheryl starts having anxiety and questions why she is even in the music business. She binges and purges to gain control of something in her life. 

1996 Salt N Pepe go to court and are released from their contract in court proceedings. They are free from Hurby. 

Too bad Pepa is blowing off recording sessions to have elaborate parties where she drinks martinis while looking fab. The album is a flop, and Salt-N-Pepa are starting to butt heads while on tour. Cheryl is pregnant on tour and falls in performance. She is put on rest, and they have to cancel the tour. Her religion saves Cheryl. Meanwhile, Pepa is in an abusive marriage.  

Cheryl tells Sandra she needs to stop being Salt-N-Pepa and find herself. Sandra tells Cheryl that their friendship is dead. The group breaks up after fifteen years.

2005- Cheryl is working on new music and Sandra is suicidal. That is until VH1 calls and wants to honor the group and reunite them with a performance. They perform a montage of their hits to wrap up the movie.

Side Note

Minority Report: Most of the cast features black actors

Spinderella spoke out against the Biopic and was not involved in the making of this movie. 

THIS MOVIE WAS THREE HOURS LONG. 

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Overall rating

🎵 🎵 (2 Music Notes)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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