Pop Culture Blind Spots: The Bodyguard

Tomorrow, February 11th, will mark the four-year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s passing. And while her death was tragic and it’s certainly sad that we’ll never get to enjoy her sing live again, we’ll always have the tremendous career she left behind so we can never forget her legacy. Among the great projects she left behind is The Bodyguard, a movie that came out in 1992, when I was six years old. Somehow I was never introduced to it growing up, and hence became a pop culture blind spot for me – until recently. Join me as I experience one of Whit’s most beloved roles and unexpectedly fangirl over the pairing of Whitney and Kevin Costner.

Knowledge of this film:

  • Whitney Houston
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin is Whitney’s bodyguard
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Someone gets shot
  • Kevin carries Whit somewhere

Is there a reason this font is so big or is it just “1992”?

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If Kevin Costner is a bodyguard, why is he shooting randos in a sketchy garage? I have questions already. It’s the first scene.

Kevin Costner eats his dinner out of a pot with a wooden spoon like a savage. He’s also setting up to be a classic tale of man who *cue movie trailer guy* “has the perfect job but the one thing missing from his life – is love”

Had no idea Whit’s name was Rachel.

Kev is just too cool for school. He’s sitting in his backyard, wearing his hoodie and Ray Bans and throwing knives at a wooden pole. Dare to dream.


This movie was made in 1992 and the cars looks straight out of 1989. Ok, I guess not that much older.

Rachel’s mansion looks like The Great Gatsby’s house (Leo DiCap version).

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Rachel’s intercom isn’t working but Frank is let in anyways – like obviously she needs Frank because security is in poor form already. She’s a celebrity – she needs her intercom to be working.

Rachel’s apparently filming a music video inside her house, which, I mean, why??? That’s what studios are for.

As she sits in a chair watching the dancers rehearse, it’s immediately sad knowing that this film is some kind of weird hyper reality for Whit, and makes me really sad. But then – Frank and Rachel meet for the first time:

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The only other movie I saw Whit act in was Cinderella, and that’s a much more lighthearted movie than this. In The Bodyguard, she’s showing off her dramatic talents – that I’ve never witnessed before – and I’m so impressed with her skills already.

Whoever this cute kid with the boat is is the MOST adorable. I think it’s Rachel’s son? AND ALSO HE’S VERY HOT NOW. HBM STATUS TO THE MAX

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Rachel has been receiving death threats via mail. This is probably why Frank got hired in the first place.

“Reagan got shot.”
“Not on my shift.” Frank Farmer, Bodyguard to the stars.

Some creep broke in and masturbated on the bed???? Honestly what is wrong with her team for not taking more security precautions earlier. ALSO, I don’t trust Sy. He’s troublesome. I don’t trust any of these folks.


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Henry is holding a Koosh ball. I guess it is 1992.

They’re installing better security for her house (e.g. an intercom that works, a gate, cameras etc.) but like why hasn’t this happened sooner I don’t understand.

Who is Boat Kid’s baby daddy?? BTW Boat Kid’s name is Fletcher, but Boat Kid is much better.

Nicki, Rachel’s sister, used to be a duo act with Rach, but stepped aside to let her be a star. Is it Selena (y los Dinos) situation?

Again, Rach’s team has been receiving *ransom notes* but a) they’ve been hiding it from Rach b) they haven’t sent it to the police until now?

Ok, I should know this but is The Bodyguard soundtrack just all Whit songs? (the answer is yes, it’s amazing).

Some car followed Rachel’s limo but none of Rach’s people except Kev noticed – again, how? Her entire team sucks. Prediction: it will be her downfall.

There was an intense car chase and Frank legit jumped off a cliff and rolled onto pavement. Action hero shit.

There’s a dog that belongs to someone who lives in this house but doesn’t move at all. I feel like he’s going to become integral to saving someone’s life later on.

“Tuesday morning brunch? Where’d you get this guy, Bill?” Sy, you’re a douche.

Why does it look like Rachel is shopping in a thrift store? She’s trying on clothes behind a curtain that doesn’t go all the way up.

“Never mix business with pleasure” Rachel foreshadowing them gettin it onnnnnn

Why is Frank sitting in the dark and watching a Rachel Marron music video? Maybe he’s doing research on his client?

Oh yes, another thing I know about this movie is Whit’s hood costume. Legit is this Pretty Little Liars?

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Frank gives Rachel a secret cross item that will signal her being in trouble. She will use this, no doubt. In this scene and probably again later.

There are so many people waiting for Rachel at this club, like surrounding the entrance. *RANT ON HOW CELEBRITY IS DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS IN 1992*

I am so annoyed with these fans surrounding her dressing room door. This looks like that Rockumentary episode of Saved by the Bell where Casey Kasem does a fake rock doc of the gang’s band, who have a total of two hits and are the biggest act in the world.

Frank tries to stop Rachel from performing, and he has a point. It’s probably because of the world we live in today, but with Rachel out on stage with a lot of fans in the audience, I’m expecting someone to just shoot her. Horrible, I know, but seriously.

How has she been wearing this outfit under the cape? The entire time?

Rach gets crowd surfed and it’s like, I mean Frank warned you. But also these fans are insane. Get a fucking grip.

Aw Frank is so tender with Rach. He just wants her safe, not because it’s his job, but because he’s starting to care for her as a person. I. AM. INTO. IT.

Rachel: Aren’t you going to ask me why I behave like that?

Frank: I know why.

Why are you eating an apple like you’re fucking George Washington, Frank?

*not george washington, but you get the idea*

Tony starts a fight with Frank in the kitchen (while he’s still eating an apple) but like, again, why? Because he left him at the club by accident?


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Whit’s rockin a scrunchie with her jogging suit and I appreciate that. But again, it’s 1992, so it’s par for the course.

Rach is straight up asking Frank out on a date. I respect that.


AGAIN – how the fuck is this stalker getting into Rachel’s house??


Rachel:  Well, he didn’t look like he wanted to die to me.
Frank: There’s a big difference between wanting to die and having no fear of death.
They walk down the sidewalk.
Rachel: And because he had no fear of death, he was invincible?
Frank: What do you think?
Rachel: Well, he sure creamed ’em all in the end.

Rach and Frank are on a date and at the Graumann’s Chinese Theater, which is the exact place you DON’T want to be at as a high-profile celeb.


How are people not noticing Rachel at this bar in Hollywood? Actually I’m assuming it’s in Hollywood, but IDK it could be Reseda (that’s a special niche joke for you LA folk).

Whit’s eyebrows lit’rally on fleek

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Rach’s making a joke about Frank’s ex being killed while he was protecting her. Oh man he’s gonna be so fucked up when she dies (does she die?!?). He was JKing. BUT ALSO FORESHADOWING (no, but is it I have no idea).

Some extra who looks like Randy Quaid just stared down the barrel of the camera and broke the fourth wall it’s absolutely jarring.

Oh man I Will Always Love You is playing while Frank and Rach are slow dancing and OH MY GOD HAVE SEX ALREDAYYY

“So is this a full service date, Frank?” CAN U NOT

Frank’s really got a thing with orange juice. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

His basement looks like where a stalker would keep his lair dedicated to Rachel.

This is dangerous with the sword. This is how somebody dies.






Literally exclaimed OH YEAH when they started kissing. I’M INVOLVED NOW.

Frank seems like he’s so into protecting Rachel (see: making her house akin to Fort Knox) but he already broke the rules – he’s been working for her for like a week. And now they’re sleeping together? I mean I’m not complaining. But.

Ugh Frank don’t be rude to Rachel the morning after. He says, “You didn’t do anything. It was me. I involved myself with my client.” You may be working for her but after you’ve had sex, don’t make it sound like prostitution.

Boat Kid (Fletcher) is wearing a windbreaker. Oh to be a 90s kid again.

Rachel got nominated for Best Actress? What movie was she even in?

Police are sweeping the hotel Rachel is staying in, thank God finally they’re taking action.

“Rachel: Quit bitching, Farmer. This is the part you do get paid for.”


The top of the hotel is lighting up with Rachel’s name it’s a bit excessive.

Tony sees himself on TV and he’s clearly more interested in fame than the job.

Rach is hitting on Frank’s security guard friend. Out of spite. Come on, you should be better than this.


Frank goes to Rachel’s suite and she’s gone and so is Tony – but they went out shopping. Like fucking tell your people.

The stalker calls Rachel and she thinks its Fletcher and it sounds like:

Rach asks Frank for his help because she realizes the stalker is real. Fucking finally.

I’m watching this with my friend Jennie, and she prefaces the next scenes with “There’s a sub plot coming out of left field” cut to: snow capped mountain.

Frank’s taking her to meet his dad?!!?!?!?!?! Hometown date came quickly. THIS IS SERIOUS.

Oh hey Nicki. Forgot you existed.

“Fletcher can’t swim very well.” *gets in the boat*

Fletcher’s gonna die.

Frank wasn’t with Reagan because he as at his mom’s funeral and THAT’S why he feels guilty.

Frank spends a lot of time drinking and looking out of windows pensively.

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Rachel tugs on the back of Frank’s hot sweater and I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP

The dog is the guard for Rachel’s door literally taking place of Tony. lolz

Nicki’s trouble. She kisses Frank and he’s all like no thanks bye. She’s gonna go crazy.

Nicki can’t even have a solo without Rachel coming to harmonize with her.

Frank notices footsteps in the snow that belong to a human and they notice BOAT KID WHO CAN’T SWIM is in the boat by himself and Frank running to fletch to get himo ff them boat but knocks him off HE CAN’T SWIM and after theyre onthe dock THE FUCKING BOAT EXPLODES WHAT EVEn

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“How are we gonna get the boat back?” Who cares about the fucking boat?!?

How did this stalker know they’re in the Cabin in the Woods. It’s an inside job. TONY??? IS TONY FEEDING THE STAKLER INFO???

I feel like Frank’s going to accidentally shoot someone, and that someone is going to be Rachel. I have a lot of theories. Only some of them are plausible.

Armando “arranged” it with Nicki’s help? Nicki paid someone to kill her sister? I forgot who Armando is.

Ugh this is stressful. Nicki GOT SHOT

Frank has to use a phone booth but Sy has a cell phone? I feel like the bodyguard to the star should have priority just incase SOMEONE WITH A GUN TRIES TO KILL HER.

I mean it’s sad that Nicki died but like, also, karma a little?

Frank to Fletcher: “Everybody’s afraid of something, Fletcher. That’s how we know we care about something, when we’re afraid we’ll lose it.”

Apparently Fletcher has since learned how to swim.

Um I hate that I heard the voice of Chris Connelly from MTV and totally called it before seeing his face.

my childhood


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Why does everyone have earrings that weight 10 pounds each

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The girl subbing for Rachel performing I Have Nothing at the Oscars is horrible.


Frank is going to take a bullet for Rachel. I’m saying this now. I cannot. MY HEART IS RACING.

Rachel goes on stage to present an award but she runs off because she thinks the envelope is a threatening letter from her stalker. AGAIN, THE STRESS.

Oh so the creepy stalker guy was just a creepy stalker then??

Rachel blames her paranoia on Frank, because he’s worried she’s about to get killed, but she misplaces her anger on him and gets mad and ughhh

Oh no I’m like physically ill Rachel won for best actress and (another bodyguard) Portman is the hitman and he’s acting as a cameraman. Shit is GOING DOWN.


Final thought: *there needs to be more tongue*



A Definitive Ranking of the songs on Platinum Christmas

The year is 2000. I graduated 8th grade and met Molly in high school for the first time. We survived Y2K. George Dubya was elected President for the first time. American Beauty won Best Picture at the Oscars.  Ian ‘Thorpedo’ Thorpe dominated in his native Australia during the Sydney summer Olympics. Joey chose Pacey over that other dude in the Dawson’s Creek series finale. TRL (Total Request Live, duh) was at the height of its popularity. This was the year of …Oops I Did It Again, The Real Slim Shady, ‘N Sync vs. BSB. Pop music was alive and well, and being a 14-year-old teenybopper, I soaked it all in.

The folks over at Jive Records, which was home to a lot of the pop acts featured on TRL, decided to capitalize on this and make a compilation album for the holidays called Platinum Christmas. If you shared any of the same musical tastes as I did, you remember this album clearly. My Christmas music collection was sparse at the time, and rather embarrassing to be quite honest. But I played this album on my boom box for hours. I would make my parents play it in the car, so listening to a lot of these songs remind me of sitting in the backseat, staring out the window and gazing at the piles and piles of snow we passed by.

So in honor of the holiday season, I’ve revisited one of the most nostalgic albums from my youth, and ranked each song by order of import/how good it is. Please tell me I’m not the only person who played this on repeat! And immediately skipped over Santana!

{16} Posada (Pilgrimage To Bethlehem) by Santana

In the summer of ’99, I became obsessed with Smooth by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana. Like, I bought the CD single, and put that shit on repeat with no end in sight. Because I didn’t know any better, I thought I would just automatically love all of Carlos Santana’s music. Yeah, I was a teenage girl into the Backstreet Boys, someone should’ve told me I wouldn’t like listening to the Latin-inspired blues guitar stylings of Santana.

{15} My Gift to You by Donell Jones

This song sounds like one of the B-Side tracks off a Time Life R&B/Soul collection comprised of 10 CDs.

{14} Silent Night / Noche de Paz by Christina Aguilera

Listen, I owned Xtina’s My Kind of Christmas album, and this song wasn’t on it. Because it’s boring. Literally every song on her own record is better than this one.

{13} Christmas Day by Dido

I never really got into Dido, mainly because her voice annoyed me. But apparently Dido’s been busy releasing new music since 2000, and none of it involves collaborations with Eminem.

{12}  The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Toni Braxton

I feel like I only really like Toni Braxton’s voice when it’s strictly in the confines of Un-Break My Heart or I Get So High. If I hear it in any other song, I’m not into it. Exhibit A.

{11} Little Drummer Boy by Jars Of Clay

I went through a period of time in my life, albeit brief, where I was super into Christian music. Jars of Clay is one of the big names in that genre (and also some of the guys are from our hometown of Rochester) so I got “excited” when I saw they were on this album. Their version of Little Drummer Boy is real chill, the kind of song that you probably listen to while watching fire crackle in your fireplace.

{10} Christmas Time by Backstreet Boys

As a self-professed BSB fan, I am the first to admit that isn’t the best Christmas or BSB song in their catalogue (If you want a better one by them, listen to this). At the time this song was released, I was in full BSB fangirl mode – I even remember calling into the local Top 40 radio station back home and asking them to play the song, even when it really wasn’t a single? I can’t even recall if they obliged me or not. The point is that although my love for them knows no bounds, I usually only listen to about a minute or two before skipping to the next song.

{9} World Christmas by R. Kelly

Controversies and weird shit aside, I actually do appreciate R. Kelly and his voice. Every time I hear this, I think ‘UGH’ but then it gets to the chorus and I’m hooked.

{8} Grown-Up Christmas List by Monica

While this is a popular Christmas tune, I think this was the first time I had ever really paid attention. Monica, while she doesn’t have to belt-iest or most impressive voice, it’s smooth and pure, and that’s what makes her version of this song so great.

{7} Sleigh Ride by TLC

If you want a never-heard before track by classic TLC, you need to listen to this. Everything about it screams 90s/early 00s, and it’s fantastic. T-Boz’s distinguishable voice, Chili’s R&B riffs, and the magic that is Left Eye’s raps is all featured in this track. Not to mention they managed to make a classic Christmas tune sound like an original. Not many artists can do that without coming off as trying too hard.

{6} I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You by ‘N Sync

As previously mentioned, I was a BSB fan. Also as previously mentioned, 2000 was the height of the BSB vs. ‘N Sync rivalry. And while I wasn’t as intense as some girls, I did refuse to listen to any ‘N STINK songs. I changed the radio station anytime they came on, and silently seethed in dance class the day my teacher played the entire No Strings Attached album during warmups. I still have only heard Bye Bye Bye a limited amount of times. So, when Platinum Christmas was on repeat back in Y2K, I promptly pressed fast forward on my CD player. Years later, I calmed it down a bit, and actually listened to this song. It’s great, y’all. But hey, let’s not get crazy. BSB 4 Evr.

{5} Who Would Imagine a King by Whitney Houston

Boy, do I miss 80s/90s Whitney. This particular song was also on the soundtrack to her movie The Preacher’s Wife, and it shows off her gorgeous voice in a more religious setting, and the lack of excessive riffs is exactly what the song needed (or didn’t need). This song is a reminder why Whit became a music icon in the first place.

{4} Christmas Song by Dave Matthews

I don’t know about you guys, but in Rochester, I feel like Dave Matthews Band was like THE band to be into if you were one of those people that was granola-y and wore hoodies like this. And in usual DMB fashion, this track was recorded live, and just hearing the screams in the background reminds me of all the dudes wearing those baja hoodies and flip flops and Grateful Dead tye dye t-shirts. But I mean, great song.

{3} Merry X-Mas Everybody by Steps

2000 was also the year I went to London/UK/Europe for the first time, and I was into this phase of being into a lot of British pop acts, because I wanted to seem cool, I guess? Like I was super into Westlife, BBMak, Craig David, S Club 7, etc. Steps was a S Club 7-like band that was comprised of five guys and gals and really big in the UK. While I did get into Steps a little, it was really just this song that I still sometimes listen to on my current Christmas rotation.

{2} This Christmas by Joe

Look, no one can touch Donny Hathaway’s OG version, but Joe is pretty close. While others have tried, I feel like Joe is the only one who can sing it like Donny, but not actually be Donny or copy his every note.

{1} My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears

By far, this is the best song on Platinum Christmas, and worth the price of the entire CD just for this song. Brit hadn’t released any holiday songs up to that time, and again, she was at the height of her popularity (…Oops era, remember) so this song was like a Christmas gift in and of itself. It’s an original song, which is a welcome respite from the usual Christmas music catalogue played on soft rock radio stations during the holidays, and it’s just fun. It’s upbeat and makes you want to dance around the Christmas tree while eating cookies and watching the snow fall outside. In fact, in college, my friend and I even made up a dance – quite literally made up a dance on the spot – to this song and the non-impressive moves were the highlight of the holiday season every year.