Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds review
One of the biggest blows of deceased celebrities from 2016 was the passing of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Right on top of each other. Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack, which she never recovered from, taking her life. Then her mother Debbie Reynolds, whose health had been on the decline, passed away soon after. I guess it was good overall that they had each other and that they went to the next life together. I don't mean to get too sappy or philosophical, but its a good thing.
"Bright Lights" is some days in the life of both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. We learn how Debbie rose to fame, we learn how Debbie kind of pushed her daughter to the forefront. We learn how Carrie kind of became her own performer, instead of a clone of her mother. We learn their dynamic as a mother and daughter. We learn how they love and care for each other. How fame affected them throughout their careers. Their lives in the world of fame. "Bright Lights" definitely isn't the first documentary to cover how the fame affected and leveled itself into an individual in that craft, but "Bright Lights" offers some wonderful insight into how a family in showbiz can almost pressure itself into greatness, how we need to allow our children to be who they are while also guiding them, and how that line blurs way too much. Its a movie about how parents, whether intentionally or not, can affect their children moving forward.
"Bright Lights" is a joy to watch simply because both Reynolds and Fisher both had so much personality. There is a moment when Fisher is doing an "MTV Cribs" style tour of her home. Honestly, its not a house you'd ever expect. She has some interesting, oddball, bohemian decorations and heirlooms. Its not the typical house, but its totally in the style and id of Carrie Fisher. She grew up in a typical, Hollywood home and that left her cold. So she made a house with bold color, funny decorations and it just feels different. Its hard not to slap a smile on your face watching Carrie discuss the significance of everything in her house. What would just be filler in a documentary ends up being something gracious and lighthearted. There is also a moment when Carrie Fisher goes to a Comic-Con style convention and signs autographs and takes photography. She's moved by her fans enthusiasm and loyalty. I've been to a Comic-Con, I went in Chicago in 2014 and its a lot of fun. But you do wait for several hours just for a few seconds with a celebrity of your choosing for a photograph and autograph. But its worth it, they make it worth it and I am glad that Fisher makes it worth it.
"Bright Lights" is going to be a firm reminder of who we lost last year. Its a fun insight on who Debbie and Carrie were as people and its their personalities that make the documentary such a delight to watch. Sure, it feels familiar, but how well the filmmakers kept focus on the fun and lightside of this duo's life made all the difference.
FINAL GRADE: B