The Reel Review
With a music career that has sold more than 100 million records, Shania Twain is the best-selling female country artist of all time. This Netflix documentary, named after her latest single, details the career of the Canadian-born Queen of Country Pop, starting from an impoverished childhood where, as an eight-year-old, she was encouraged by her mother to sing late nights at bars in Northern Ontario, culminating in her becoming a global superstar.
Packed with old photos, a treasure trove of archival performance footage even from the early years of her career, and interviews with friends and colleagues, Twain herself tells much of her life story in this very straightforward documentary. She speaks of raising her younger siblings following the tragic 1987 deaths of their parents in a car accident, then moving to Nashville where, after a frustrating debut album, her career would skyrocket after meeting music producer Mutt Lange.
Together, they would marry and create three albums that broke the 10-million-unit Diamond threshold, including 1997’s rousing “Come on Over,” the best-selling country album of all time. Twain also discusses her very painful divorce and a debilitating voice-damaging bout with Lyme disease that led to a 13-year performing hiatus. Lionel Richie shares how he convinced Twain to return to performing.
The archival footage of Twain’s youth and mid-90s recording sessions will be a particular delight for fans, and details of Twain’s much more hands on involvement in the details of her career, particularly the styling of those many iconic music videos, will spark a newfound appreciation for her tireless work ethic. More behind the scenes details about some of her many hit songs would have given the film even more color, and it also falls a bit short on the more recent details of her personal life, omitting a mention of her second marriage in 2011 to Frédéric Thiébaud, the former husband of her former assistant and best friend whose affair with Lange resulted in both couples’ split. Despite that, Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl is still a well-produced, enjoyable crowd-pleaser about the country music icon. Below is a link to her 2011 autobiography:
• Shania Twain has received five Grammy Awards and is the only female artist in history to have three consecutive albums certified Diamond (selling 10 million units) by the RIAA.
• “Come On Over” sold more than 40 million copies, making it the best-selling country album of all time. Above is the video for “From This Moment,” one of the album’s twelve (yes, TWELVE) hit singles.
• With an estimated net worth of more than $400 million, Shania Twain currently is wrapping up the final dates of her Las Vegas residency, performing at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater. Twain and husband Frederic Thiebaud are long-time residents of Corseaux, Switzerland on the banks of Lake Geneva.