Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

It has been two months since the passing of the legendary Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. I’ve been trying to find the words to talk about what these women mean to me and I still can’t bring myself to share that but I am going to talk about the beautiful HBO documentary, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds which is now available on DVD and Digital HD.

Two film icons share memories of their lives in the spotlight –and allow viewers into their eclectic private world –in this candid portrait of Hollywood royalty, filmed before the recent and unexpected deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

Nominated for the Golden Eye Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is the intimate profile of Carrie Fisher and her equally famous mother, Debbie Reynolds. The “powerful portrait of love in action”(Entertainment Weekly) brings viewers into the homes and private lives of two of Hollywood’s most effusive and eclectic personalities. In addition to highlighting some delightful back-and-forth banter from the Beverly Hills compound they share (a brick walkway separates their houses), Carrie and Debbie offer candid insights into their careers and personal lives, for better and (sometimes) worse.


In Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, we follow Debbie Reynolds, the last legend of Old Hollywood and her daughter, a star in her own right, Carrie Fisher in what we know now were their last days in Hollywood.

The documentary begins with classic mother-daughter banter as the two take a walk down memory lane and we get to hear straight from them what it was like living their glamorous lives. Fisher is honest and vulnerable and her signature naturally humorous self. Reynolds is the same yet walks with the grace that Old Hollywood trained her to have all of those years ago.

Together, these two are a force in the industry and watching them in the stage of their lives where they’ve enjoyed it all and now are simply enjoying each other, it’s so beautiful. Fisher and Reynolds have an undeniable boundless bond of love and what a gift it was for them to film this and share a small piece of that with the world.

Throughout the documentary, Fisher and Reynolds discuss the ups and downs in their personal and professional lives, that we’re all so familiar with, breathing humanity into the lives behind the smiling faces on the screens that we’re so used to seeing. Success is great but financial gain and worldwide notoriety can’t treat a broken and troubled heart. What I love so, so much about Carrie Fisher is her commitment to openly discussing, giving a voice to, being an advocate of mental illness and while this documentary doesn’t completely dive into her advocacy, acknowledgement of her journey with mental illness is here and it means the world.

Meanwhile, I was captivated by Reynolds’s Hollywood memorabilia collection and her explanation of memories as ghosts, as friends that she doesn’t want to let go. Speaking of letting go, Fisher, who once was not a fan of conventions and the like, over the years has let go of that guardedness to understand and embraced the fandom and seeing that…combined with everything else that this documentary offers, there is nothing better. If you are a fan of either or both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, you have to not only see this documentary but add it to your collection. It’s a love letter to the lives these women lived and oh, what bright and dark and bright again lives they were.

On stage, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds always welcomed the audience into their lives but in this documentary, they literally welcome the world into their homes, giving us their most meaningful song before the curtain fall. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is one of the most intimate and delightful documentaries you will ever see. It is truly a treasure that will tug at your heart forever. So be sure to add this to your collection today.

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is available now on DVD and Digital HD.

I also recently listened to the audiobook of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. The audiobook is narrated by Fisher and her daughter, Billie Lourd. In the second half of the novel, Lourd narrates her mother’s journal entries, which Carrie wrote during her affair with Harrison Ford. Her entries are poetic and beautiful and touch every single part of my heart. I think it’s safe to say that these entries are indeed my favorite part of the book. And in case you didn’t know, Carrie Fisher is one of my favorite poets and if you need to see why, her words here will show you. Lourd’s narration of these entries is absolutely fantastic. Be sure to get your hands on all of Fisher’s published work, details on her latest are below.

Some of my favorite passages from Carrie’s journal:

Why am I in such a hurry to find out what people think of me? I even have gone through the trouble of playing myself broadly in order to hurry up their decision. I give them one of many varieties of brief or not so brief summaries from which they can draw a conclusion. It depends on how much time and energy I’ve got and then I give away portions of myself according to that. I mustn’t allow myself to get sucked into thinking that it’s romantic to be neurotic. That being neurotic means one has to be complicated and somewhat intellectual. Deep. Proud of the fact that you can sink to the depths of despair. A neurotic, complicated, somewhat intellectual deep gal, who’s also wacky, zany, and madcap. A must at a wake. I must be who I am and people adjust to it. Don’t try to rush or influence their decision. Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are.

This is fairly new. Incurable optimist that I am, I am bravely inclined to believe that it’s temporary. The hundred dollar question. What do we mean to one another? Afraid the answers won’t support each other. And all this talking around the issue but what is it? Let’s defined our relationship, you bastard. 

I am always disappointed with someone who loves me. How perfect can he be if he can’t see through me?

I wish I could go away somewhere but the only problem with that is that I’d have to go too.

Book Details
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Blue Rider Press / Penguin Audio
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0399173592
Audiobook Running Time: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Source: Received Audiobook From Publisher
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The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher is available now.