A Star is Born is so good it makes me weep.
There’s the scene early on when Jackson Maine is standing on the small stage at the drag club. He’s holding a white bedazzled guitar. His hair is greasy. His face red. He’s drunk on gin and looks beautiful. He asks one of the Queens what he should play, and she says, “I don’t care. Just look at me while you do it.”
He starts singing. Ally walks through the gold streamers. She’s mesmerized. I never want the song to stop. It’s so damn wonderful.
A minute later Ally punches a rude man in the face. Then she and Jackson tease out Shallow in a parking lot.
A day later at his concert Jackson says to Ally, “all you gotta do is trust me.” Ally walks to the mic, starts singing, and oh my goodness she sounds glorious. When she presses her hands to her face — awestruck of her talent and this moment and its awesomeness — my heart skips and I’m giddy inside.
A Star is Born is a perfect movie until evil Rez arrives, steals Ally, and ruins everything. Rafi Gavron who plays Rez has a punchable face in the movie. He does in real life, too. He and I will never meet, so we’ll never throw down in fisticuffs. He might be a wonderful human. But I’ll always hate him.
This reminds me.
There are two movies I love but refuse to watch past a certain point.
The first is A League of their Own.
Kit is vile and selfish. Dottie should have left her on the farm in Oregon and never gotten her into the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. I stop the movie after Dottie smacks the line drive past Kit’s head to score the go-ahead runs in Game 7 of the World Series. Kit shoots her a look that says, ‘you just ruined my world.’ That’s where I press stop. When Dottie has ruined Kit’s world.
The Rockford Peaches win the World Series. Dottie is the hero.
A Star is Born is the other movie I love but never finish.
For me, Jackson and Ally meet. They fall in love. He’s greasy and mumbly. She’s pitch perfect always. They make music magic together. Win Grammys. Linger in love. Evil Rez and the irresistible temptation of his soulless dance pop never exist.
In my version, Ally sings “Always Remember us this Way,” and instead of breaking my heart as the moment right before evil Rez arrives and descends our perfection into madness, it becomes the start of an equally successful and equally meaningful solo career for Ally and kicks-off a second act as a song-writer / husband / producer / father / I’ll drink beers tonight and swap stories with Sam Elliott and not snort painkillers and wet myself on national TV for Jackson.
A Star is Born is the reason I grew my hair out (true) and now drink gin (false, but let’s pretend).
And, anyways, nothing about any of this matters for the quarantine and P and me. But I wanted to write about these five crucial conversations P and I had in the last two weeks and needed an intro.
Such is life.
Here are the conversations.
K: We’re low on peanut butter.
P: Dammit, K. I’m sick of risking my life going to the store every time you need something.
K: I was just saying we were low on peanut butter.
P: Oh. Okay. Yeah, let’s get some this weekend.
2. Setting: Couch. P on one end. Then Rya. Then Sula. Then me.
P: Your hair looks cute tonight.
K: Oh yeah? (insert shoulder shimmy and sexy run of hands through hair)
P: Yeah. Little greasy. But good.
K: Like Jackson Maine? (insert big smile)
P: Jesus Christ. (add sigh)
3. Setting: The park. Rya chasing a tennis ball. Sula eating grass.
K: I might need to trim my beard.
P: Ya think?
K: Maybe. But I’m kinda looking like Redford in Jeremiah Johnson. A mountain man.
P: You look like a haggard, uncredited Wildling extra from Game of Thrones.
K: (trimmed beard that night)
4. Setting: Sunday evening. Kitchen. Me fresh from the shower. Hair still wet.
K: Shower felt great.
P: Come here. Give me a hug.
P: What is that?
K: Old Spice. (insert big, confident smile). The classic scent.
P: You smell like an old man.
5. Setting: Couch. Sula in P’s lap. Rya in mine. Rya’s licking my face.
K: Rya’s telling secrets!
K: Rya! She’s telling me secrets. Come here. She’ll tell you some.
K: Come here. She’ll tell you some.
P: What are you talking about?
K: When she gives out kisses. We call it ‘telling secrets.’
K: Well. Just me.
Friends- if evil Rez tries to steal your authentic voice and turn you into candy pop, just say no.
Also, avoid large groups. Be distanced. Stay safe. Protect others.
We love you. And we’ll see you when we see you.