Gabby Douglas, the famous American gymnast, has had a movie made about her story of Olympic success. Douglas, a member of the U.S. Woman’s Gymnastics team, won gold medals in individual and all-round competitions at the Summer Olympics of 2012.
The Lifetime movie recounting her story premieres at 8 p.m. on Saturday and features Imani Hakim, who you may remember as the little sister from Everybody Hates Chris, in the lead role. As well as Hakim, Regina King is playing Gabby’s mother and S. Epatha Merkerson as her grandmother.
The film, which coincides with Lifetime’s Black History Month, shows the highs and lows in Gabby Douglas’ gymnastic career on her way to gold medal success at The Olympics. It portrays Gabby in her younger days closely studying Olympian Shawn Johnson, and deciding that she wants to work with Johnson’s coach Liang Chow.
There are some very emotional parts in the film which show her struggle with training in Iowa while her family is in Virginia. At that point Gabby almost quits but sticks in there despite other issues like arguments with fellow gymnasts and some racism.
It also shows the heartbreaking task that Natalie Hawkins (King) had in bringing up Gabby Douglas and as well as three other children. Despite the numerous sacrifices and crushing financial hurdles she recognizes Gabby’s potential and does what she has to do to ensure Gabby’s success.
Olympics-dominating gymnast Gabby Douglas has her story Lifetime-ized in The Gabby Douglas Story, and it’s 90 minutes of treacly declarations and follow-your-dreams platitudes that waste the talents of both Regina King and S. Epatha Merkerson. Prominent female gymnasts immediately default to America’s sweethearts in the public consciousness, so there’s no reason to expect some sort of hard-hitting biopic about Douglas. Still, the biggest disappointment of the The Gabby Douglas Story is not what it is, but what it could have been.
Nevertheless the Gabby Douglas Story does pluck at some heart strings, and is an appropriate start to Lifetime’s Black History Month. See for yourself what you think and post your comments in the feed below.