You know what would be so cool?
This being online, I may not be the first person who’s alerted you to the fact that Bright Lights, HBO’s documentary about legendary Hollywood mother-daughter pair Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, premiered this weekend. If I am the first person to alert you, it’s streaming on HBOGo. The film was originally scheduled to be released in March, but following the stars’ devastating back-to-back deaths between Christmas and New Year’s the network bumped the date up.
If you have ever had a mom, watched a movie, or thought, “Damn, mental health is wild,” there is probably something for you in here. It tracks Reynolds’ struggle to retire when her body needs her to slow down but her brain still wants her to do live comedy. It tracks Fisher’s journey of being a bipolar person before bipolar was a diagnosis that doctors could give. It also provides a really beautiful look at how two people were able to grow and evolve, bonsai-like, together—somehow both in spite and because of their separately massive careers.
There are many quotes in the film that are charming, but my favorite comes from a scene where Fisher is watching TV alone in her living room late at night. After telling the film crew a story in her typical fashion—gesticulating and going off on tangents—Fisher pauses and says she wants to be quiet for a little bit. Talking that way has made her self-conscious.
Then she sort of sighs and addresses the crew directly again. She says:
What a nice fantasy.