A Star Is Born

Village East Cinema, NY
A Star Is Born opening credit

In the news yesterday, I noticed that Lady Gaga is engaged to be married. My only hope is that it works out better than it does for Ally in her 2018 film A Star Is Born. I liked this film, a romantic drama that was not quite a musical but featured some pretty good musical numbers; particularly her first song that she sings in French at the drag club. This film had character, and feeling, and glitz, and romance as imperfect as it can be. I think that Gaga had direct creative control over every element of the production, while some of the scriptwriting might have seemed forced it was actually the pop star’s own true voice.

The film is about Ally, who is a normal girl who lives with her dad in the suburbs. She works some service job in a high-end hotel and sings when she can at a drag bar in the city. It is in this drag bar where she’s discovered by the rock star Jack.  Jack is kind.  Jack is sensitive.  Jack knows how to ice a broken hand. His brother is the cowboy from Big Lebowski.     Don’t be Jack.

Spoiler alert: Jack is the worst kind of drunk. He pisses his pants on stage while his girl wins best new artist at the Grammys, then hangs himself from the garage door opener when her A&R man criticizes him.

Seriously, it’s a look at the cost of success. You can be the best at what you do and still be absolute shit at real life. Jack’s only redeeming quality is that he looks like a friend of mine Jay Greene who’s a finish carpenter in Brooklyn.

It hurt to see that. I have known talented guitarists who have ended their lives in eerily similar ways. So that hit too close to home. There’s other stuff that I want to say about this film, but that right there is a hard stop for me.

Good for Lady Gaga though. I hope she keeps making movies. Although I’d like it if they were a little more like her early music videos Bad Romance and Telephone. You know exactly what I mean.

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