A Star is Born (1976) from Tuna
Chances are most of you remember this Barbra Streisand re-remake of the
1937 classic, with Kris Kristofferson opposite her. The Golden Globes
lumped it in the "comedy or musical" division, but IMDb says
Drama/Musical/Romance, and that gives the true picture. It is a
chick-flick with estrogen levels at near-record levels, earning a
dreadful 4.8 from men at IMDb and a very respectable 6.9 from women.
This 2.1 differential may represent the all-time estrogen champion.
Even the legendary Dirty Dancing currently scores only 2.0 on this
scale! A Star is Born belongs in the teeny-bopper sub-division of the
chick-flick world, because the scores are inversely proportionate to
age. (The younger the woman, the higher the score).
Kris plays a major rock and roll star on the way down as the result of too many tours, too much booze, and just enough nose candy. He is nearly unemployable and deep in debt. One night he staggers into a club and sees Barbara singing in a group called the Oreos (her back-up singers are both black). He realizes that she has the talent to make it. The two fall in love, marry, and she becomes a big star, while he continues his downward spiral in her shadow.
I loved some of Babs's earlier comedies like The Owl and the Pussycat, For Pete's Sake, and What's Up Doc. She has some talent at slapstick, and mugs well for the camera, but her dramatic efforts are another story. Yentl, which she spent her own money on because nobody else would produce it, was a legendary flop. Even Funny Girl, for which she won an Oscar, left me cold. In short, I can enjoy her being funny, or singing, but not trying to do drama.
On the other hand, Streisand was at the top of her game musically here, and is on solid ground whenever she is singing. If you don't remember the film, I know you remember the theme song, Evergreen, with music by Barbara Streisand and lyrics by Paul Williams. If a song award existed in 1972, Evergreen either won it or was nominated for it. It won an Oscar, ASCAP and Golden Globes, and was nominated for BAFTAs and a Grammy.
Kris Kristofferson is one of those people who is always likable on screen, so if Kristofferson's laid-back charm, and Barbra's renditions of award-winning songs is enough for you, this new DVD release is one you may well want. The transfer is very nice, and it includes commentary from Miss Streisand as well as several deleted scenes. If only this wasn't a six-hankie tragic love story, I might have enjoyed it.
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