Does anybody even like this film?
After the Lifetime biopic premiered on Saturday, Timbaland – who co-produced the singer's second album One In A Million with Missy Elliott – posted no less than 20 times on Instagram, decrying the made-for-TV film.
"A lot of people asked if I'm watching that bullshit," Timbaland posted in one video. "Evidently not. No way. Not Timbo."
In another post, he added over a twinkling piano beat: "This is why people should never remake movies: bullshit happens. Bullshit happens. Now you have to deal with the consequences."
Timbaland also struck out against the inaccurate casting in the film. The producer is played by Izaak Smith, who looks absolutely nothing like him. Missy Elliott is played by Chattrisse Dolabaille, who coincidentally also looks nothing like her.
The choice of actors was so poor that it generated the hashtag #LifetimeBeLike, with people besieging Twitter with send-ups of Lifetime's lazy approach to casting:
The film already was off to a shaky start during production. Initial lead Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the film after facing criticism from fans that she "wasn't black enough" to play Aaliyah, to be replaced by Alexandra Shipp. Relatives of the heralded pop star also sought legal action to prevent the film being made, which meant that Lifetime failed to acquire the rights for Aaliyah's music.
These petty tribulations failed to concern the television channel, which pressed on with production anyway and just used some of Aaliyah's cover songs. This included her rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Never Gonna Give You Up", which speeds up and slows down inexplicably in the film.
Lifetime also came in for criticism with its rose-tinted depiction of Aaliyah's secret marriage at the age of 15 to a 27-year-old R. Kelly, who wrote "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" for the singer. Instead, it depicts the singer's parents as insane for trying to stop the lovestruck couple. In reality, her family annulled the illegal marriage less than four months after the ceremony.
All in all, the controversial film that many tried to stop turned out to be just what everybody thought it would be: a pointless, senseless and badly-made biopic about an R&B star who should have just been left alone.