In 1937 A Star is Born, featuring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, made its debut. Now, 81 years later, Bradley Cooper directs the fourth rendition of the movie, featuring himself as troubled rockstar, Jackson Maine, and Lady Gaga as his love interest and rising star, Ally.
By a pure stroke of luck, Ally is performing in a drag bar one night while Jack is in search of a drink after a concert. While singing “La Vie En Rose,” Ally seductively makes eye contact with Jack and he decides to stay and chat with her after her performance.
The pair end up spending the evening together, Ally singing improvised songs in a drug store parking lot while Jack bandages a frozen bag of vegetables to her hand after she gets involved in a bar brawl defending Jack’s honor. The rest is history as the pair falls in love and Ally rises to stardom after Jack brings her on stage during his own concert.
Things start to get rocky as Jack struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, leaving Ally to care for him while juggling her own career. The film expertly navigates the sensitive topics of addiction and depression, showing how even those who seem to have perfect lives are affected by mental illness. It also highlights the difficult role that Gaga’s Ally took in caring for Jack, and the hard decision to send him to rehab despite her best efforts to heal him by herself.
Many things in this movie were very well done; however, there are some aspects of the movie that were a bit of a letdown. Of course when observing any fictional love story, the audience must take the relationship for what it is worth and ignore the cliches that come along with a love story straight out of a movie. It is one thing to cast your doubts aside and believe that a serendipitous moment such as the one in which Jack and Ally met could actually happen. Yet, there are other moments in A Star is Born that just don’t seem realistic, such as the speed in which Ally rises to the top of the music scene as a new artist without having stepped foot in the music industry and without ever having seriously tried to pursue her dream as a singer before meeting Jack.
In addition, there are some storyline details that are never addressed again, like Jack’s worsening hearing. However, the film makes up for such discrepancies in other ways, including the amazing soundtrack, which is currently ranked №1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The newest version of A Star is Born is an amazing love story that also contains heartbreak and certainly left more than a few people crying in the theaters. Despite the not so happy ending, A Star is Born gives the audience a unique inside view at one superstar’s rise to fame at the same time as another’s downfall. As the myth goes, for a star to be born, another must burn out.