December 20, 2019

A Star Is Born (2018)

Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Look, it's taken me a year to watch this because frankly, I just wasn't excited about it. All the hype, hearing that goddamned Shallow song over and over again, and that ridiculous clip of a sweaty Bradley Cooper telling a no-make-up faced Lady Gaga she's beautiful?

But I finally caved, due to a combination of peer pressure and the fact that literally everyone I knew couldn't stop raving about how much they cried watching it. So I settled in, hoping for a deeply unsettling watch where I could cry my eyes out and forget I ever once thought Bradley Cooper was hot. (I'm sorry! The Hangover was deeply misleading as to his overall appeal!)

It turns out, the problem isn't that neither of the stars are hot. (Yes, yes, I'm shallow like that. But I would have been able to overlook it had the movie compelled me in some other way.) The problem is that I just didn't care enough about either of them. I don't know if it was just my bad attitude going in, but I've certainly had my mind changed by a movie I was reluctant to see many times. This story just didn't feel new in any way. (Before you jump into the comments to remind me that yes, this has been remade a million and one times, know that I've never seen any previous iteration of it.)

I many times can we watch a movie about a self-destructive man fall in love and have the long-suffering woman try to save him? How many times can we nominate this exact movie for Oscars? Is this really what we consider to be "the best of the best?"

The movie is fine. The singing performances are actually really good. It's just all very "been there, done that." You know exactly how it's going to end. You know you're supposed to feel sad about it. I guess I just couldn't go through the actions with this one. Nothing to me connected this particular movie on a deeper level with the audience that would make me recommend this movie to anyone. The soundtrack? Sure. The actual acting? Meh.

A lot has been made of Lady Gaga's performance and how brilliant she was as an actor in this. She was good. Bradley Cooper was good. Even Sam Elliott, who is great in everything, is great in this. The performances aren't the problem. I just wish the platform of getting Oscar noms shone a light on a more deserving movie.

Final word: I have nearly zero emotions about this movie, even after watching it

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