July 31, 2017

Amazing Documentary "Bright Lights" about the Unwavering Relationship between Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Carrie: "Hello, we're here with a woman who alleges to be my mother. 
I don't buy it for a minute. But, um, this is how we'll find out." 
Debbie: "I have proof." 
Carrie: "You have films."
Debbie: "I have films and I have a certificate."
Carrie: "You have the films that I'm happy." 
Debbie: "Oh, yes, well, because you doubted it for so long."
Carrie: "You knew that I was going to doubt it later so you filmed me being happy?"
Debbie: "No, I thought if you filmed children and you had happy children then you filmed them who knew when you would say 'I'm very unhappy' and that's a fake film! That I made it up." 

That's how this HBO documentary, produced by Carrie's brother Todd Fisher, starts out. And after that, it leads you on an entertaining and insightful journey, not of two of Hollywood's most unlikely icons, but of a relationship that transcends mother/daughter. It's a story that transcends the strength of a woman who not only survives adversity but thrives on it. 

Debbie Reynolds, who didn't have any dance experience when she landed her iconic part in "Singing in the Rain," had a career in the movies, the tabloids, and Vegas; she even had a resurgence when she played Deborah Messing's mom on the hit NBC sitcom "Will & Grace." Her husband (and Carrie's father), Eddie Fisher, infamously left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor in one of the most exploited stories in Hollywood history.

Carrie Fisher had her first role in the movie "Shampoo" with Warren Beatty and married Paul Simon. But it was her role in what she would refer to as the "B-movie that I just agreed to do" (Star Wars) that would make her an indelible part of pop culture's history. With an amazing singing voice that she never truly utilized and a constant battle with drug addiction, depression and a bi-polar diagnosis, she evolved as a witty writer and a tell-it-like-it is satirist and Hollywood icon.

This documentary is so engaging and entertaining that you can't stop watching it. It is not a glamour piece created by the only living relative of Carrie and Debbie. It shows the love, the struggle, the humor, the loyalty of a true family partnership. 

I suggest you check it out -- to be reminded about how no family is perfect...but sticking with family will certainly make things more interesting and bearable.