TRAILER: Bright Lights

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Tomorrow night on HBO. The Guardian reviews:

Their differences extended down to their dogs. Dwight, a perfectly poof-y white Coton de Tulear, stays with the elegant and eternally camera-ready Debbie. But good luck keeping your eyes off Gary, the dark, panting bulldog with his slobbery tongue drooping out of the side his mouth. Gary was forever in Carrie’s arms, on her side of the Reynolds-Fisher compound where the legendary Hollywood mother-daughter team lived and laughed during their final years.

It’s impossible to watch Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’ warm documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds right now without reflecting on the shocking late December deaths of its two subjects. HBO had intended to air the film (which played some of the major festivals last year) in spring, but are correct in their decision to bump up the date. Cynics might say the network is capitalizing on a hot topic, but the film makes its own argument.

These were two women who reached a state of balance thanks to an almost aggressive honesty. Their lives were on display anyway (“We are always on a red carpet,” Fisher tells reporter who asks what they do when they aren’t on a red carpet) so why not shed some light when interest is at its peak?

  • Rex

    Two Bright Lights, extinguished too soon.

  • Oh’behr

    Dang, Wish I had HBO. Looks great. I hope people watching the show enjoy it.

    • WitlessProtection

      Get HBO Now – it’s well worth the $15/month

      • Oh’behr

        Thanks, I don’t even have a TV any longer.
        Nor do I think my laptop could do current cable.

        Yet I appreciate the advice.

        • The Return of Traxley

          I don’t have a TV either.

          PBS offers its streaming service for free or an upgraded version as a member of your local station. I binge-watched Finding Your Roots not long ago, and Sherlock’s season four is out soon, and I MUST watch the new Masterpiece series “Victoria.” It’s not the full theater experience, but I have unlimited data and no wifi (can’t justify the expense for just me), so I watch it whenever and wherever around the house on my phone.

          I’d recommend checking with your local station for details.

          • The Return of Traxley

            Totally O/T, but who cares…

            Tom Hughes as Prince Albert makes me all tingly. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a2e89341992de2f72bd295235644dde981cc1b3dfd22a339da8bbdf340b745cd.jpg

          • Halloween_Jack

            Is he in a can?

          • The Return of Traxley

            If he is, I hope he serves only one. Me.

          • Gustav2

            Sherlock Season 4 started last Sunday

          • The Return of Traxley

            GAH! Where was I????

          • Gustav2

            Amazingly, we get it broadcast the same day as the UK!

          • Gustav2

            I just noticed my local PBS is showing the first episode again tomorrow before the second. The first episode is called ‘The Six Thatchers’

          • The Return of Traxley

            Okay, I need to make sure I set my alarm to remind myself.

        • M Jackson

          “You don’t have a tv? What do you point your furniture at?”
          — Joey, “Friends”

    • bambinoitaliano

      It was shown around the film festivals, i thought the studio was going to released in selected theaters. Given the tragic of their sudden passing, i thought there will be enough interest to be shown in some art house cinemas.

    • Anastasia Beaverhousen

      Get the HBO now app. Its free for one month. Then you can cancel.

      • Gustav2

        And ‘Wishful Drinking’ is currently on HBO on demand.

        • Lakeview Bob

          I believe I heard that Wishful Drinking will be aired after the documentary.

          • Gustav2

            My guide has other shows and so does the web schedule

            http://www.hbo.com/schedule?date=2017-01-08

          • Lakeview Bob

            I checked that after I made my post. I looked at the TV’s on screen schedule and it did not show Wishful Drinking. The comment about the airing must have been made for when the documentary was originally slated. Sorry for misleading.

          • Gustav2

            Been there, done that, the husband makes me wear the t-shirt.

  • Joe in PA

    I’m thinking of signing up for the ‘one-month-free’ HBO just to see this. And now on a crass commercial note…I wonder if their properties will be sold together, torn down, and a mcmansion (mansion?) erected. Sad!

    • Acronym Jim

      Hopefully, both homes are on the historic register. The Fisher home was built in 1919 by Robert Armstrong (of King Kong fame), later sold to Edith Head and was occupied by Bette Davis for a time.

      • Joe in PA

        Dang, that is some provenance. And that “historic register” stuff…pffft…just ripe for a trumpster to rip that up. Sad!

        Thanks for the info, very interesting.

  • Gustav2
  • S1AMER

    I watch “Singin’ in the Rain” again a few nights ago (how many times over the years? 20, at least). Debbie’s wonderful, just wonderful.

    • Ernest Endevor

      I think it’s fascinating that Jean Hagen dubbed Debbie Reynolds’s voice in the final song in which Reynolds is revealed as the voice behind Hagen.

      • barrixines as aladdin, nightly

        Is that so? I never knew that. Does Reynolds do none of her own singing in the film?

        • Ernest Endevor

          Yes she does. But not that particular number. She learned to dance for that movie. She’s also dubbed in her first movie singing “boop boop di doo” by the original voice of Betty Boop. I think that Hagen gives one of the great camp performances in SITR.

          • M Jackson

            Director — “The mic is in the bush.”
            Lena Lamont — “Jeez this is dumb!”

          • Ernest Endevor

            “I’ve got more money than Calvin Coolidge. PUT TOGITHER!”

          • M Jackson

            “I ain’t people!”

          • Ernest Endevor

            My favorite moment is after the preview when she’s wearing dark glasses since she’s incognito, and everyone’s suicidal and she says “I liked it.” God but they must have had fun writing that character!

          • M Jackson

            “Oh Pierre, you shouldn’t have come.” What’s not to like?

          • carrot festival

            “A shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament.”

          • M Jackson

            “It says so. Right here.”

          • MattPS

            “How kin I make LOVE to a BUSH?!” Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during THAT reading session!

          • JCF

            “How kin I make LOVE to a BUSH?!”

            Oh darlin’, I could give you hands (etc)-on lessons!

          • barrixines as aladdin, nightly
          • TuuxKabin

            New avatar, you and your pooch? Woof!

          • barrixines

            Pooch is a biche called Wanda. She’s the dog of a French couple who holiday at my father in law’s place in France every summer and have become good friends of the family. Wanda waddled up to me when we first met and decided that I would be a good place to sit any time I was stationary for more than a few seconds. She’s a lovely, fat, slobbery part of my summer holidays but sadly getting very old.

          • TuuxKabin

            Wanda has good sense. You obviously give her a comfort zone. Give her a snuggle from us.

          • barrixines

            BTW – I thought I needed a cuter profile to stop people swearing at me so much 😉

          • TuuxKabin

            Ya’ know? I learned a long time ago, from the Divine One, ol’ lady Midler, I borrowed her motto. “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

            It is fun, clocking the various ‘mutations’ fellow commentater tots go thru. May just do the same, same pooch, Sage, different pose.

          • barrixines

            Ah I am not really serious but I should work a bit on my tactic “If you swear at me I am going to swear back at you louder” because it’s not really how I want to be online. I changed my avatar because it’s Epiphany – the Three Kings came, I ate my last raclette (I’m a right bloater at the moment) and now it feels properly like the New Year. Christmas does go on for an awfully long time here.

          • TuuxKabin

            Yes. Epiphany. Meeting up with a friend doing an annual Three Kings parade, camels and all, shoot in E. Harlem and four of us are celebrating The Three Kings here in the neighborhood. We tend to stretch holidays into seasons, especially our birthdays. Today’s is part of an early December birthday gathering.

            “Tactic”. A good operative word. Haven’t noticed you ‘swearing back louder’, but certainly a clear and incisive strategic comment, one of those “I wish I would have thought/said that” moments.

            Next liturgical holiday in Spain is when/which?

          • barrixines

            It’s much the same way here – my birthday’s in December too and it marks the start of the holiday season. The Three Kings parade here is very sweet though it’s a slightly surreal sight to see the savvy turning up with their step ladders (to stand on to see over the crowds) and their upturned umbrellas (to catch the sweets).

            Well it’s barely time to clean up the Christmas trees on the street before the Festa Major of my barri, Sant Antoni, starts – on the 13th I think. Sant Antoni Abat blesses the livestock I think so the celebrations are somewhat animal themed – probably one of the few festivals in Spain where animals don’t get harmed. I on the other hand with a huge marquee just outside the building that holds a party every night and a funfair alongside it tend to get a bit ratty after a week or so.

          • TuuxKabin

            You appear to be in the thick of it. I was in a pension in Plaça Real from November ’72 to February ’73 and don’t remember many celebrations as you describe. I wonder if it had anything to do with Franco’s regime. Only exceptional excitement was Ike & Tina Turner in el teatro Gaudi.

          • SFBruce

            That Reynolds learned to dance expressly for this role and after she was cast really surprised me. Imagine dancing with Dennis O’Conner and Gene Kelly!?!?! with just a few weeks’ training. And the three of them aren’t just good; they’re magic.

          • boobert

            At a live show I saw , she said kelly was not a pleasure to work with, lol.

          • M Jackson

            I’ve heard he was mercurial and dictatorial. But boy could he rock a t-shirt.

          • Ernest Endevor

            She was clearly a woman of formidable determination. I seem to remember reading that she was put into training for 6 months before rehearsals started and I have no idea how long they rehearsed those numbers before going into the studio with them. But, yes. She’d had a great success in a small rôle singing Abba Dabba Honeymoon and I think it was because of that the studio decided to make a new star to echo the story-line of the movie.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I’m OK with them moving it up. It was already made. Now if they were making something quick and cheap and slapdash upon hearing of the deaths, that would be bad.

  • Jeffrey

    For those who don’t have HBO we have the HBO Now app on our Apple TV and you can access it for $15 a month and activate it and deactivate it easily

  • JDS

    I have my DVR all set to record this.

  • Mike C

    Looks like Debbie wasn’t too far from her character in Mother. (Which is a very funny, overlooked movie). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SGIHbvcTRc

    • Gustav2

      Depression Babies who became mothers…

    • Ross

      Debbie is brilliant in MOTHER. The whole movie is great.

    • MattPS

      I agree. Totally underrated. Albert Brooks and Debbie have such a great dynamic together. Very similar to that movie which Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan made a few years ago (and the title of which escapes me at the moment). I guess mother-son films just don’t gather that much buzz, no matter how good they are.

  • BradCav

    I detect a hint of “Grey Gardens” at the fringes of this trailer and it makes me ever more eager to see it. RIP Carrie and Debbie.

    • MattPS

      It DOES have a bit of a GG vibe to it, now that you mention it!

  • boobert

    Glad they moved it up !

  • Derrick Johns

    It gives many of us hope. You may not have gotten along with your parents, but maybe…just maybe there may come a time when you like each other. That really rings true in the LGBT community, does it not?

  • DonnaLee

    IDK if I can see this, the bitching reminds me too much of my mother and I, and I think I’ll just end up sobbing.