What's Love Got To Do With It? (1993)
Hands down, my favorite Blackbuster of all time is “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” with Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. If you can’t tell from the title, it tells the story of internationally known singer and actress Tina Turner. She’s a legend. An icon. A pioneer. Nobody has legs like Tina. Nobody has arms like Tina. Nobody can move in a fringe dress like Tina (no, not even Beyonce, though Sharon Jones came close). You bitches can’t even spell Thunderdome. Put. Some. Respeck. On. Her. Name.
This movie is a classic. If you’ve never seen it before, then I don’t know you. You can’t sit with us, and your invitation to the cookout has been revoked. How am I supposed to break bread with someone who doesn’t understand “Eat the cake Annie Mae”? How am I supposed to cut a rug with someone who doesn’t know the hand gestures for “That’s a five dollar fine.” Honey, do you even know the dance moves to “Proud Mary”? Do you even know the complicated punch, punch, kick, turn, combo that happens during the musical breakdown of that song? I mean, if I can’t build a friendship with you over any of the above things, then I honestly don’t see the point.
All jokes aside, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” is simply an amazing movie that touches on the dark side of Ms. Turner’s life. Tina suffered through an abusive (physically, verbally, economically, emotionally, you name it!) marriage with Ike Turner, which was condoned by the members of her band (except Jackie “you only gotta hit me once motherf-er!”) and her own mother. One of the most memorable moments to me was after Ike hit Tina for the first time and she had to go out on stage to perform. A single tear rolls down her cheek as Ike comes up to kiss her before she starts singing “Fool in Love.” Who could forget when she attempted to run away with the kids only for Ike to find out because her mother told him? Or when she felt like suicide was the only answer?
But it’s not all dark. Never in your wildest dreams, did you ever get this feeling...when Tina beat the hell out of Ike in the back of that limo. I vividly remember screaming 'yes' at my television when I first saw that scene (and yes, I just dated myself by saying I saw it first on television, but whatever). I felt it in my soul when Tina made the decision to leave and never come back as she dodged through traffic in that white pantsuit and heels. Even though Angela Bassett won a Golden Globe for this award, and became the first Black recipient for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, she was cheated out of the Academy Award that she so rightly deserved. She transformed both in personality and body (THOSE ARM MUSCLES THO!!). She became Tina Turner, and it’s her most memorable role for me.
“What’s Love Got to Do With It?” is a story of strength, courage, redemption, and ultimately self-love. It scored a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes back in the day, and 10/10 would recommend it. Go watch it so you can learn that love is nothing but a second hand emotion and that time will ease the pain because for every light that fades, something beautiful remains so you better be good to me.