Some of you might think it’s weird for me to review a documentary on a blog about how to deal with chronic pain. I’m guessing anyone who is, a) hasn’t seen this particular documentary, and b) hasn’t done much reading on Lady Gaga. There’s also the fact that I’m a huge film buff, so I wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to be able to work this into my blog. Like her or hate her, Lady Gaga certainly has had an influence on pop culture, pop music, and her fans. I’ve always considered myself a moderate Gaga fan. I’ve never spent the money to see her in concert, but I like her music, and utilize Apple Music to listen to it. I have done a bit of reading on her the past year or so as well, not a ton, but I did know before the doc, that she suffered from some chronic pain and has “borderline lupus.” I’ve also always liked the fact that she seems to genuinely appreciate her fans and treat them well. It can’t be easy for a celeb. So what of the documentary, is it worth a watch?
The answer is undoubtedly yes. Whether you are just curious about who she is, or what a year in her life (or the life of a big music star) is like, or you’re interested in how she deals with chronic pain, the documentary covers all of these things. The film itself is about her yearlong journey to performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. It also follows the recording and release of her album Joanne. Plot and subplot right there. Joanne is the mot personal album she has ever made, and also a huge break away from the flashy dance pop music that made her famous. She has also transitioned away from the over-the-top costumes and wigs, to looking more like herself – Stephanie.
The film does an amazing job of documenting the many aspects of her life throughout the year. Vying for the Super Bowl spot, talking to her family about the album she has written and the personal aspects around it, that not just affect her, but also them. The release of her album, and it’s reception from her fans. Not only how she deals with fame and the paparazzi and constant attention that comes with it, but how incredibly difficult it is for her, and without making her seem whiny. On the contrary, I felt incredibly sorry for her, and thought long and hard about how difficult it must be for celebrities to be constantly hounded like that. And finally, her personal life – her breakup with Taylor Kinney, hanging out with her friends and family, and dealing with her chronic pain.
I don’t want to speak too much about her pain, because I’d rather you all stream the film (it’s available on Netflix). I would be surprised, however, if anyone who suffers chronic pain similar to the way she does (which would include me, because hers and mine was scarily similar) didn’t become overcome with emotion. As much as I didn’t want to cry, I couldn’t help it. And yet, she remains resilient, using adrenaline from performing to do just that, and remaining as positive a person possible, despite dealing with not only chronic pain but the depression and anxiety that comes with it. If I wasn’t completely sold on being a Lady Gaga fan before, I certainly am now. But much in the same way that I am a fan of anyone who can deal with these things, and still manage to have a happy life, not letting it completely bring them down. The inspiration that can come from anyone is truly amazing.
Other than reiterating how much you need to watch Gaga: Five Foot Two (which you really, really do), I want to add that I wish I had enough money to have a personal masseuse follow me around all day.