Maybe you're too bummed to bother with the Grammys tonight and it just so happens to be raining right now where you live, in which case you can log onto the magical Netflix instant watch and watch either Waiting to Exhale or the made-for-TV Cheetah Girls movies that Whitney Houston produced with Disney. If it's not raining or you're holding out for another of Whitney Houston's fine forays into cinema, you'll either have to wait patiently by the mailbox, log onto Amazon Prime, or bide your time until VH1 starts playing The Bodyguard on a loop. Even though her starring vehicles were pretty heavily criticized, all of Whitney Houston's movies were financially successful because she's extremely likable and engaging. As a producer, she seemed especially focused on making movies such as The Princess Diaries and the Brandy Cinderella that feature strong female protagonists who grow up to be royalty or famous singers, which in America means essentially the same thing. Not a bad legacy. Here, in chronological order courtesy of the fine movie gremlins over at IMDB, are Whitney Houston's movies, complete with the role she played in making them and some fast-facts should anyone challenge your Whitney Houston acumen.
- The Bodyguard (1992) — Whitney Houston plays Rachel Marron, a pop singer that a former Secret Service agent/wolf whisperer with dirty-blonde hair and soft, sensitive eyes must protect. General sexiness and a super appropriate rendition of "I Will Always Love You" ensue. It's streaming through Amazon Prime (free for members), was originally written as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross, and boasts the best-selling soundtrack of all time.
- Waiting to Exhale (1995) (Savannah Jackson) — This movie is pretty much the blueprint for most of Tyler Perry's movies...except it stars Whitney Houston and is therefore better. Rumor had it that all the original cast members were marshaling themselves for a sequel, but that's clearly not in the cards anymore. Thanks for getting our hopes up, Angela Bassett.
- The Preacher's Wife (1996) (Julia Biggs) — A movie that features Whitney Houston as a choir mistress and Denzel Washington as a sexy angel shouldn't be bad and the critics on Rotten Tomatoes seem to concur — they think it's 63% not bad. The soundtrack is the best-selling gospel album of all time.
- Cinderella (1997) (Fairy Godmother and Executive Producer) — This made-for-TV Disney movie was noted at the time for its diverse casting — King (Victor Garber) and Queen (Whoopi Goldberg) somehow have produced a Filipino Prince (Paolo Montalban), and Cinderella (Brandy) has a white step-mother (Bernadette Peters), a white step-sister (Veanne Cox), and a black step-sister (Natalie Desselle-Reid). Houston (then 33) originally signed on to produce and play Cinderella, but then asked Brandy to play the part, saying "She has the energy, the verve, the eyes, the wonder."
- The Prince of Egypt (1998) — For the film's soundtrack, Houston recorded the Oscar-winning song "When You Believe" as a duet with Mariah Carey, a high-point in a star-studded movie that belly-flopped hard at the box-office.
- The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) — Produced Anne Hathaway's big-screen debutante ball.
- The Cheetah Girls (2004) and The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006) — Executive Producer of these TV movies about four girls who aim to take the world by storm with their music
- Sparkle (2012) (Emma and Executive Producer) — Whitney Houston's final movie, set for an August release, will tell the story of three sisters who form a successful singing group but must deal with the fallout of fame and drugs. Too soon?