Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dorothy, A Friend Indeed


Last night after a very enjoyable and eventful dinner at my parents' house, I came home happy as larry... before I was struck down by the worst toothache I've ever had - and I've had some bad fucking toothache in my time. I took twice the recommended dosage of nurofen, stuffed my cheeks with cloves, and had a very bad sleep; waking grumpy, tired, still sore, and with a coffee-coloured stain on the sheet from the cloves, which I spat out during the night. I passed a miserable day at work (still in a lot of pain), have hardly been able to eat anything, and can't see a dentist until tomorrow. I came home, hungry and tired, took more nurofen, stuffed my cheeks with more cloves so I resemble Alvin, and thought I'd put on A Star Is Born (the Judy Garland version), since I've been meaning to watch it.

It is amazing. Since noticing in the opening credits that it's based on a screenplay co-written by Dorothy Parker, I can't help seeing Dorothy's black, bleak but beautiful sense of humour all through it, and with Judy Garland as her instrument, fresh from a four-year break from movies, it's completely heartbreaking. Judy Garland, at only 32, is already showing the signs of the stress and drug dependency that ended her life 15 years later; the songs she sings ring too true, and her character's naivety makes it seem even sadder and more poignant as if she doesn't even know it, although I'm sure Judy Garland did. The love story is tragic, and so much more insightful than any of the supposedly genius films made now about celebrity and addiction. I don't want to say too much more so I don't affect how it seems to anyone else too much, but I do want to say that everyone who loves Judy Garland, or thinks they could, needs to watch this, stat. As soon as the throbbing in my chipmunk face had subsided enough for me to watch it, I knew I loved it. It entertained me, it distracted me, and it broke my heart. You're my boy, Jude... you're my boy.

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