In Wendy Williams: The Movie on Lifetime, Ciera Payton does a fabulous job bringing the true story of celebrity talk show host Wendy Williams to life. From the abrupt cadences in her voice to the shifting of her feet when she graces the stage, Payton nails Wendy’s mannerisms to a tee. The former queen of New York radio still dishes the dirt and is still wildly popular, so it is important to have an actress who could play this role and make us forget we’re not watching the real Wendy.
Wendy Williams: The Movie (Lifetime) Synopsis
Follows the highs and lows Wendy has experienced throughout the years, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show.
In the beginning scenes, we see a distraught Wendy Williams, who has tabloid magazines in front of her. This time, she’s the one in the news. And the most intimate parts of her life are now on everyone’s newsworthy topics list. The movie slides us back into 1975, where we meet an 11-year-old Wendy and learn personal details of her childhood. Wendy is the fat girl who talks too much and breaks a chair at a birthday party because she’s too heavy. Her mother doesn’t know what to do with her. She struggles to get an overweight Wendy into a size 12 dress. Her father graces the door and tells her she’d be so beautiful if she’d just lose some weight.
Wendy Williams’ mother comes off like a stage mom in this movie who is embarrassed and frustrated by Wendy at times. In the documentary, which airs just after the movie, we see a much sweeter version of her mother. I came away with the thought that her parents loved her very much and wanted her to succeed. They dreaded seeing her suffer at the hands of bullies who fought and ridiculed Wendy Williams because of her weight.
Wendy Williams: The Movie airs on Lifetime this weekend. I had a chance to screen it last night. Check out my review (includes SPOILERS) This was a good movie!!#wendywilliams #wendywilliamsmovie #lifetimemovies #moviesbasedontruestories #TVNews https://t.co/Zcrt2eRm2r
— Traciy Curry-Reyes (@Traciyreyes) January 29, 2021
There are many hard moments like this in the movie. But there’s one more—one that is even more troubling, a bedwetting scene. Now, Wendy is 11-years-old. She knows it’s the anxiety. But her mother tells her it’s her weight and promptly places her on a tuna fish diet. Her little brother Tommy is under suspicion for sneaking Wendy Twinkies, and that’s a problem. You see, Wendy is the little fat black girl, as she calls herself in the movie, who breaks chairs at birthday parties. Despite all of that, Wendy Williams believes she is absolutely fabulous in her own mind, and she couldn’t wait to get out of her parents’ house so she could begin living her dreams.
It was a long hard road: she deals with competitive and jealous female co-workers and bosses. But “success is the best revenge.” She marches into her superior’s office and tells them she just got another gig that took her pay from 9,000 to a whopping 60,000.
The word protection is used a few times in the movie. Perhaps, Kevin Hunter, who Wendy Williams describes in the movie as “a thug with a heart of gold,” used his protection as a psychological anchor to keep her bound to him so she wouldn’t leave. Wendy Williams had several warnings or strokes of bad luck before she married him. Those were warning signs. Those were clues that she shouldn’t get involved with him.
The movie is well-produced. It was as if the doors to Wendy’s mansion were open, and we had a front-row-seat into her private life. The decor and the outfits were beautiful. And the dialogue is authentic. Catch it tonight at 8/7 p.m. Central on Lifetime.
[Main Image via Lifetime w/permission]