Take comfort to the next level

Maybe this isn’t news to anybody, or at least anybody who knows anything, but A Star Is Born! (mandatory exclam) is not the movie for you if you are in a down mood or even a tiny bit hormonal. (I was both.) Or if it’s raining or threatening to rain for four days straight. (It was both.)

I’ve been thinking about it since Saturday afternoon, when I saw it with my friend CV. Neither of us had encountered any previous incarnation of this apparently famous tale so we went in blind and dumb, even though I watched the trailer a million times and read a thousand pre-release reviews. Thank god we had tacos first, to fortify our souls.

I expected something larky and cheesy and thus did not see what was coming coming in any way, shape, or form, but I didn’t cry that much, which was surprising, since I cry at everything. I am a movie audience’s best crier. I’d like to consider this personal growth but suspect I was too stunned by plot events to produce any extraneous fluids; at some point my body must’ve entered a spontaneous self-preservation mode, and it just shut itself down. Maybe it helped that my hormones were occupied.

Part of this was also due to “atmosphere”: we attended a matinee at an AMC shopping mall multi-plex embedded with those horrible Dolby seats (“Powerful image and sound technologies meet cutting-edge, reserved recliners” that “pulsate with the action”), and it was a distracting cinema experience for somebody who only wanted to—I hate to have to type this out loud—see a movie. There is such a thing as too much technology. You can try to mount a defense for it, I guess, depending on the type of picture being screened, but in the case of an earnest melodrama for actual adults, it was 100% misapplied. i.e., during no scene did my seat need to be pulsating. No wonder I hardly ever want to leave my home.

I loved this movie, though, even though I’m not sure I ever want to see it again, even though I already have plans to see it again. What a terrible sentence that is, but I’m not going to bother to change it because it’s already taken me an absurd amount of time to write this blog post. That’s the price you pay for freedom. Live and let live! I say. Star and be born!

Here’s Taffy Brodesser-Akner on Bradley Cooper:

He wore a Stand Up to Cancer shirt that I could barely see in the glare of his irises, which are the blue of a swimming pool in a tropical vacation brochure. (Do you know that they Photoshop the blue to make it bluer? Do you know that they do that to fill you with longing?)

Your weekly Bruce

I had a friend once who never understood what it was about Bruce Springsteen, so I am not surprised we are no longer friends. Don't make this same mistake! Here he is improvising in front of a bunch of Germans with a necktie tucked inside his shirt, for some reason.

Your weekly Bruce

May you find as much joy in anything as he does in performing for an audience.

From Born to Run, Chapter 66: The Rising:

Our band was built well, over many years, for difficult times. When people wanted a dialogue, a conversation about events, internal and external, we developed a language that suited those moments. We were there. It was a language that I hoped would entertain, inspire, comfort and reveal. The professionalism, the showmanship, the hours of hard work are all very important, but I always believed that it was this dialogue, this language, that was at the heart of our resiliency with an audience.