Wendy Williams: The Movie (2021 Lifetime)
Cast: Ciera Payton, Heather-Claire Nortey, Chelsea Brady, Morocco Omari
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Talk show host Wendy Williams executive produces the biopic on her life, revealing the highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years. Wendy has made herself the go-to source for great celebrity dish on her hit talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, but recently the spotlight has turned towards her. The authorized project provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. Despite all the naysayers and obstacles Wendy encountered throughout her life, her strength and determination have allowed her to thrive. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter. (2021)
The movie begins with a shot of a crying eyeball. It is fake Wendy Williams in her dressing room having a sad moment. She quickly turns it on to film her talk show. Wendy Williams breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience to “Walk a mile in her size 11 shoes.”
Cut to an 11-year-old Wendy Williams. She is fat-shamed by her family and bullied by her classmates. (She breaks a chair at a birthday party… AKA my worst nightmare.) Her mother puts her on a tuna and brine with mustard.
Washington DC, 1987: Wendy Williams hosting a radio show in the DC metro area and on a new diet of… cocaine. (Probably way more effective than tuna and brine with mustard/) Wendy Williams goes back to a hotel room with a musician named Ricky Tony, and he rapes her. (It is shockingly a good depiction of the horrors of sexual assault.) She gets an HIV test and then does crack. We are 15 mins into the movie. THIS IS WILD!
1988 New York, Wendy Williams is on a weekend new show and living her best life partying with lots of cocaine. The weekend gig turns into a full-time job with a $60,000 salary. She works hard on her show, but she is fired by an executive to says, “Go get married and have babies.” Wendy William sets up camp at the KISS FM lobby and gets a chance to fill in for Carol Ford. Wendy Williams spill tea about Milli Vanilli lip-syncing. She gets her own show where she gossips about the music industry called “Dish the Dirt.”
Wendy dates another musician who gets her pregnant. She has an abortion. (Is this movie trying to hit every trope of Lifetime Movies? All that is left is a kidnapped daughter.)
1994- Wendy meets Kevin at a club, and he gives her his number. They hit it off, and she is drawn to his bad-boy appeal. Kevin is a party promotor, and he lays it on thick to woo Wendy. She calls him a “thug with a heart of gold.” He supports her when she gets breast implants and lipo. She talks about the surgery on air and is suspended for two weeks for speaking out.
Wendy Williams is fired from talking about a “gay rapper” on-air and almost outing someone. She gets married and then pregnant. Wendy relocates to Philly and has a miscarriage. She talks about it on air. Then she has multiple miscarriages and has a stillborn baby. She gets a new doctor who tells her that she can have children but needs to take it easy while pregnant. She broadcast her show while on bed rest like a boss.
The marriage starts to go south after Wendy gains 100 lbs and Kevin starts steping out on her. Wendy does her PI work herself and finds the other woman. She tells him that if he ever cheats on her again, she will leave him. Wendy gets a UID and moves her family back to New York. Her first day of work is 9/11/2001.
Wendy writes a tell-all book and includes Kevin’s cheating in the book with his approval. It is a New York Times bestseller. Her radio show is more popular than ever, and Kevin starts looking into daytime television. Wendy gets her talk show! It is a hit, and Wendy throws herself into work. Wendy’s personal life is not going as well; Kevin is still cheating. She goes to Jersey and finds Kevin living in another house with another woman that he bought with Wendy’s money. She spray paints “Kevin & Wendy 4 ever” with a heart exclamation point.
She stays with him and starts drinking. Then she faints while filming her show live during an infamous Halloween episode. Kevin convinces Wendy that she is the problem and puts her into rehab in Florida. It is there that she learns that Kevin’s side piece is pregnant. She calls Kevin and tells him to get her back to New York ASAP to save her show. Wendy is losing sponsors due to bad PR.
Wendy is constantly watched while working and lives in a sober house. Her life is regimented and she is trying to getting back on track after being derailed by trauma. On her way back to the halfway house, Wendy jumps out of the car and literally runs to a meeting to reclaim her life. She legally and fincially frees her self from Kevin. She will be his meal ticket no more and claims her independence while looking fab. How you doing?
Minority Report: Most of the cast features black actors
Man, this movie did not disappoint. Loved it.
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