What's Love Got To Do With It

  • 1993
  • Movie
  • R
  • Biography, Drama, Musical

This enjoyable biopic of rock singer Tina Turner was made at more or less the height of her success, and very much under her control. Adapted from Turner's autobiography, I, Tina, it plays something like A STAR IS BORN, plus rhythm and blues soundtrack, minus a third-act death scene. Shy, gawky, country-raised teenager Anna Mae Bullock (Angela Bassett)...read more

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This enjoyable biopic of rock singer Tina Turner was made at more or less the height of her success, and very much under her control. Adapted from Turner's autobiography, I, Tina, it plays something like A STAR IS BORN, plus rhythm and blues soundtrack, minus a third-act death scene.

Shy, gawky, country-raised teenager Anna Mae Bullock (Angela Bassett) joins her mother in the big city and spends her nights at the club where her sister, Alline, works. It's here that she first spies sexy Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne) and his Kings of Rhythm onstage. When the microphone is

passed around for audience participation, it's the little girl with the great big voice who wins the biggest ovation. Recognizing Anna Mae's talent, Ike retools the band around her, christens her Tina, and takes the show on the road. Ike and Tina marry and, while they achieve fame and fortune,

their home life descends into a hell of abuse and humiliation. Finally, Tina must find the strength to leave her husband and forge a new career without him.

Two things lift WHAT'S LOVE out of the realm of showbiz boilerplate. One is the music, with knockout production numbers crystallizing major turns in the emotional life of the protagonists: a rousing "Make Me Over" at their first studio session; "Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine" over their

bordertown nuptials; "A Fool in Love" at the couple's starmaking first Apollo show, where the beleaguered Tina can barely go on. The other is the two stars: Fishburne and Bassett are both extraordinary, and though the story is inevitably slanted to Tina's perspective, Fishburne makes Ike a complex

and compelling presence.

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  • Released: 1993
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This enjoyable biopic of rock singer Tina Turner was made at more or less the height of her success, and very much under her control. Adapted from Turner's autobiography, I, Tina, it plays something like A STAR IS BORN, plus rhythm and blues soundtrack, mi… (more)

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