Five Meaningful Messages from The Movie ‘A Star Is Born’
The very first A Star is Born film was released in 1937, followed by remakes in 1954, 1976, and now 2018. Each version has its own unique features, but the general plot is about a male star who falls in love and helps launch the career of a female who has given up on ever making it big. Most — if not all of us– can relate to the struggle and pain laced throughout the film, and there are meaningful messages and valuable lessons we should take away from the movie ‘A Star Is Born’.
Great movies, like ‘A Star Is Born’, often compel us to entertain life’s bigger philosophical questions.
They can help us think, feel and move through our own lives with greater awareness and depth. Bradley Cooper’s cinematically grand reimagining of the classic A Star Is Born, does just that. Indeed, Bradley Cooper, who co-wrote, produced, directed, acted and sang, offers sensitive meditations on many subjects throughout the 135-minute movie, including the nature of addiction, childhood trauma, destructive beauty standards, the loneliness of celebrity, and authentic versus commercial art. It may sound over-stuffed, but he pulls it off masterfully.
Everyone’s got talent. Everyone’s talented at something in their lives. It’s not the talent that matters, it’s what you do with it.
I’m pretty sure you see this over and over. There are entrepreneurs and writers out there who dream about starting a business or a blog but never do. They think they’re not enough: that they haven’t prepared enough, learned enough, experienced enough. But the only thing they lack is self-belief.
Whether you’ve seen ‘A Star Is Born’ or not, these meaningful messages might just resonate with you, too.
It is not often that a movie can teach you some valuable lessons — let alone a romantic musical. The story is raw, the performances are stellar, and the messages throughout the film are paramount. Yet, as I sat watching ‘A Star Is Born’, I couldn’t help but wonder how the messages from the movie resonates so well with life betterment, and even just having such a positive outlook on life.
A Star Is Born Lessons #1: Never Change Who You Are
While Jackson’s main struggle is with addiction, Ally’s is with insecurity. After being told countless times she is talented but not pretty enough to make it as an artist, Ally almost gives up on her dream all together. It’s Jackson who saves her and gives her the confidence she needs. He constantly reminds her not only how beautiful she is but also how special her gift of spreading messages through songs is.
All you’ve got is you and what you have to say to people.
Jackson Maine reiterates this statement to Ally multiple times in the film. From the very beginning to the pinnacle of Ally’s success, Jack wants her to be who she is deep inside. In fact, it’s not Ally’s stardom that Jackson grows to resent, it’s the fact that she’s not staying true to herself. Your voice, especially in today’s world, is one of the most important things you have to give. You should never be silenced, never be scared to contribute to the conversation, and never be intimidated to stay true to yourself. You will always be too much of something for one person and not enough for someone else.
Afterwards, Ally’s spirit is indomitable — nothing crushes her soul.
She knows her worth — even when the world tries to put her down — from workplace harassment, to being rejected by the music industry because of her “nose” — she perseveres and continues to write songs, and perform at drag clubs to keep the musician in her alive. Keep up the spirit, and continue to work hard towards your goals because if YOU don’t give up on your dreams, sooner or later, the universe has to conspire to give you what you want!
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection.
That sums up Jack’s view, but when Ally’s star begins to rise, she gets pulled into an entirely new direction by a major music executive — orange hair, mounds of make-up and hyper-sexualized lyrics and dance moves — that prompt Jack to say, cruel and cutting, during one brutal fight: “You’re ugly.” While it’s hard as a feminist to hear those words hurled at a woman by a man — and to watch two men in a tug of war to define her — Jack’s overriding point (even if unfair and misguided) is that she’s not being true to herself — and that to not be yourself is to be ugly.
Seeking validation from others is a surefire way to prevent yourself from living your best life.
If you happen to overthink everything, you probably carefully calculate every move and word you say to appease others so you don’t have to deal with the feeling of rejection. Even though rejection is a hard pill to swallow, nothing is more exhausting than cherry-picking everything you do. Remember: no matter what you do or say, you’re not going to be able to please every single person in the world. Playing it safe won’t allow you to chase after your dreams or make yourself be comfortable in your own skin. It’s best to let go of the notion that it’s your responsibility to make everyone else comfortable when the only thing you should be responsible for is your own happiness.
A Star Is Born Lessons #2: Trust Your Guts
Jackson Maine says to Ally multiple times in the film, “All you gotta do is trust me“. The story is all about trusting your gut, going with what feels right, and not overthinking every little thing. From Ally quitting her job to walking on stage with Jackson, she’s following her instinct, even when she’s terrified. Sometimes, the risk is just allowing yourself to put trust in someone else. Sometimes, your gut is what allows you to trust that person in the first place.
Either way, life is about taking risks and some of the greatest rewards come from throwing away everything that feels safe.
The central focus around ‘A Star is Born’ is watching Ally turn into a successful artist in the music industry. In the beginning, Ally is not confident in her musical abilities because people within the industry didn’t care for her appearance. When she meets Jackson, he shares with her that having a message and finding a way for others to listen to her expression surpasses talent. However, she has to leave what is comfortable in order to do so. Later, he encourages her to take risks by bringing her to his concert to sing with him. After this, she becomes noticed and her career takes off.
By taking risks, you give yourself permission to try things out, to learn, to fail, to grow and to explore.
You get to test your limits and go beyond what you believed was possible. You can to go after the things in life you really want! By doing this, you naturally build up your self-confidence, growing as a person and opening up a whole new world for yourself. Taking risks opens up new opportunities that you may not have thought possible for yourself. What would happen if we never took risks? Life would become monotonous and boring. Nobody wants a boring life, yet it’s such an easy option to resort to, in order to stay safe and in our comfort zones. Not taking risks means we fail by default
Your brain will try to convince you to play it safe. It will tell you that you can’t succeed or that you shouldn’t bother trying something new.
Whether you are afraid to take a big leap with your career, or you’re terrified to take a small social risk like inviting an acquaintance out for coffee, learning to take healthy risks can open new doors and improve your life. Sometimes, you need to take risks, challenge yourself, and try harder at things, if you want to grow stronger and become better. Doing things that scare you helps you learn to tolerate uncertainty and anxiety. It also provides you with a chance to sharpen your skills and learn from your mistakes. With practice, you can get better at calculating risk. And as you improve, your chances of success will skyrocket.
Sheer persistence and patience are surely the secrets to the fulfillment of goals. To achieve big, you need to constantly chase your dream and work deliberately.
One of the most vital elements in the roadmap of success is taking risks in life. Without risk, all other elements which you focus on may become ineffective. This is since, without risk, you cannot go further in the path of success. Dread is what influences an individual to not take the risks. Even the success stories of entrepreneurs, tech giants, and other successful bodies reveal their risk-taking approaches. Taking risks in life is a vital component for success. Risk-taking ability brings you close to your destination.
A Star Is Born Lessons #3: Mental Illness Is Real
Every version of ‘A Star is Born’ follows a similar story: the famous rockstar boosts the career of a girl he falls for, only to see his own life spiral down into darkness as he battles his addiction. Is this where the fine line between fiction and reality comes into play? This is the third remake of ‘A Star is Born’ and maybe it’s because we’re all still trying to figure out how to avoid the endless cycle of self-sabotage from addiction and the daily struggle of mental illness.
Addiction does not randomly occur. Oftentimes, people drown the pain with alcohol giving birth to an addiction.
Our society needs to increase the conversation about mental illness. Also, it is imperative that we don’t treat those with substance abuse, or mental illnesses, as a burden. We need to view those with a substance abuse disorder as sick individuals, but not the evil individuals that the media often portrays. In A Star is Born, Jackson was a loving person that needed help. Educating our society on effectively treating and dealing with mentally ill and addicted individuals will ultimately result in healthier individuals and a productive society.
Addiction is a disease. This is a controversial topic, but it needs to be addressed.
A key theme in ‘A Star is Born’ is how addiction destroys not only the lives of its victims but also the lives of their loved ones. There is a scene where Jackson apologizes to Ally for something he did while he was drunk. He is ashamed and knows he hurt and embarrassed her. She looks at him and tells him he has a disease, and it was not his fault. Alcohol and Opioid addictions are caused by oneself, which often turns people away from feeling sympathy toward their victims. What we often do not realize is while the repercussions of alcohol and drug abuse are known before one takes a drink or takes the drug (making it self-inflicted); once it progresses to a certain point, the person no longer has control over themselves. They need to seek proper treatment in order to recover.
While it seems surprising, some people undermine their own good intentions and long-term goals. Self-sabotage occurs when people hinder their own success.
When people take these destructive steps, their harmful behavior can negatively impact nearly every part of their lives including their relationships and career. When you shoot for something big, like becoming a top salesperson where you work, a giant goal can feel overwhelming. To prevent acts of self-sabotage, don’t get hung up on minutiae. Those who self-sabotage sometimes waste lots of time on unimportant details. Make small incremental changes and act on them slowly. This way, you might prevent your sabotaging mind from putting on the brakes. Take more bite-sized actions that won’t derail you.
The on-going pain of Bradley Cooper’s character was excruciating to watch. It was painful to see those around him accepting and enabling his addiction.
And the worst part of it all is that it’s happening all around us in the real world. This is something that needs to continue in storylines. Talking about addiction and mental illness shouldn’t be taboo. Getting help should never be seen as a weakness. It takes strength to look in the mirror and know that help is needed. It also takes strength to offer help to those that need it most. We all play a role in the world of addiction and mental illness, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Like Ally said to Jackson, ‘I don’t care who you are or what you do, there are some battles that cannot be fought alone’.
A Star Is Born Lessons #4: Fame Is Not The Key to Happiness
Jackson Maine is a talented and famous musician. He is also an alcoholic and drug addict with a tragic past and hearing condition. The film opens with him taking pills as he walks on stage for a show. Throughout the rest of the film, we see his constant battle with both drugs and alcohol. Ally becomes the light in his life, but the joy she brings him eventually leads to his demise. Despite his love for her and for his music, there are few moments where Jackson seems truly happy and at peace with his life.
Fame and money don’t buy happiness.
Even though this statement is arguably a cliché, there is good evidence it’s true. While money buys happiness up to a point, the positive effects of money on happiness level off once individuals have obtained enough wealth to live a comfortable life. One reason given for why wealth doesn’t buy individuals any more happiness after a certain point is that money becomes both a reason and means to distance ourselves from others. They are a lot more precious than anything this world can give to you. And if you treasure yourself, your soul and your life, you will never give up on who you are and what you stand for just because the world expects you to.
Experiences really are much more important than material goods.
Things such as trips, concerts, movie, adventures really start giving you happiness the minute you plan it, not only when you are actually experiencing it. We have always thought that experiences were the foundation of our happiness which is why we started the “Live It List.” That is a list of experiences you want to encounter while you are living your life to the fullest and with true happiness. Money can’t buy happiness simply because happiness is an emotional state that we get in to by doing certain things, thinking about situations and even feel in ways that trigger our happiness.
Popular culture is wrong about happiness. That’s because there’s a disconnect between what many of us think will make us happy and what actually makes us happy.
When we’re young, popular culture leads us to believe that happiness can be found in gaining riches, having fame, or working hard. However, none of these activities led to happiness. The world is filled with stories of unhappy rich people, tortured celebrities, and lonely workaholics. So what makes us happier and healthier? According to Robert Waldinger who heads the Harvard Study of Adult Development, our happiness and well-being are rooted in our social connections and experiences, not in any accolades or material possessions.
Society curses us with the desire for fortune, fame, attention.
In slick and subtle ways, the world around us makes us feel like we’re not good enough unless we give up our freedom for the sake of these desires. But research shows the quest for money never ends — the rich are always worried about increasing their wealth. Click on any celeb news site, and you’ll see how fame messes people up. Free spirits are already rich in one currency: time. When your time is not controlled by a boss, customers, friends, when you’re not trying to keep up with the Joneses, you control your schedule. You control your life. Choose the right partners, both personal and professional. Once you have your value system sorted out, it will be harder for anyone to control you or manipulate you.
A Star Is Born Lessons #5: Be charitable, Be Kind
There will always be people who believe in you and your talent. Even when Ally had her moments of self-doubt, her mentor Jack always had her back, pushing her to break the barriers of self-doubt and to stay true to her talent; even providing her his platform to get that much-eluded exposure. True talent will be noticed, no doubt. However, even the most talented individuals need the right platform to shine.
There’s a couple of ways we can go about making a positive impact and one of the powerful ways is through kindness.
You see, genuine kindness is what lifts us up, it inspires us, motivates us and pushes us to do more both for ourselves and for others. This is because kindness is the key to finding and fulfilling our purpose and our purpose is the doorway to happiness and success! So it is important to always have in mind that although we’re all looking to be truly happy and successful, we’re constantly involved in relationships. In fact, the whole progress of humanity depends on our connection, how we treat one another, the way we communicate and what we do for each other.
Not to mention, kindness can have a huge positive effect on our mental and physical health.
By practicing it and being kind to ourselves and bodies we learn to appreciate everything we do and achieve and all that we are. Plus, just as being kind towards ourselves can completely change the way we perceive ourselves and our lives, being kind towards someone else might just shake up their whole world, clean them up, restore their faith and inspire them to change their life! And knowing that something as little as an act of kindness from our part is able to change someone’s life for the better is a huge success which immediately brings enormous joy and happiness into our hearts!
Being kind gives us a chance to show someone that they mean something to us.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your partner, an acquaintance or your UBER driver: no matter how shallow or deep your relationship, being kind deepens it further. And research shows that having strong relationships and a solid support system may be the key to happiness. Additionally, research shows that being kind to others activates our posterior superior temporal cortex, the part of the brain associated with empathy. By exercising our “understanding” muscle, we are better able to see the world from other people’s perspective and listen to friends and family with kindness and compassion.
Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, each human being faces some sort of stress factor each day, it might even start with sitting in the traffic on your way to work in the morning. To be able to cope and overcome stressful situations, an act of being kind to others reduces the stress factor by far. This is because it allows you to pay less attention to yourself and your problems. The moment you focus on doing good to others, enables you to get a break from your own problems. The added bonus is the appreciation shown by the person receiving the act of kindness. It also enables you to cope better with stressful situations, providing for improved emotional functioning.
In case you’re wondering, A Star is Born lived up to the hype. I fell hard for the beautiful, yet tragic, love story and I still have the soundtrack on repeat. The whirlwind of two lives coming together in a passionate rollercoaster is what Hollywood movie dreams are made of. If you have not seen ‘A Star is Born’, I highly recommend you do so (but bring tissues). The story will leave your mind reflecting and your heart aching. The songs will leave your jaw dropped and lungs breathless.
A Star Is Born is most interested not in the machinations of celebrity, but in the way relationships between successful, creative people can both spawn and hamper that creativity.
That distinction feels natural and authentic in 2018, perhaps because stardom feels less mysterious in a world of Instagram influencers and YouTube stars than it did in the past. The bigger question has become whether and how people who attain fame can remain grounded. ‘A Star Is Born’ is a film that believes in the power of a song to connect with its listener in a way that can change their lives. And it will be a beloved piece of work for those who believe in it too.
Ultimately, ‘A Star is Born’ inspires people to discover and realize the power of their voice while remaining true to themselves.
Once an individual has this revelation and leaves their comfort zone, the hidden star within begins to shine fervently for the world to see. The world is the same for everybody. Musicians have the same twelve notes in an octave. Writers have the same alphabet, the same words, the same books to read. It’s how an artist sees these notes or words, that matters.
If you don’t dig deep into your fucking soul, you won’t have legs…
I knew ‘A Star is Born’ was going to be filled with a lot of emotion, but I wasn’t expecting it to leave the impact on me that it did. I think it’s Oscar-worthy in so many ways. If you’ve seen it already, what did you think?! What did you take away from the story and how did it all make you feel? If you’ve seen the previous versions of ‘A Star is Born’, how did this one compare? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.