Ok, so, what do you think? Is this thing going to happen or not? We can develop possible scenarios of “when” and “how”, but we need to firstly determine the numbers: how many of you is certain that it is inevitable, and how many think that there is no way for this thing to be real? No matter the outcome, this is an important, hot topic and you are expected to voice your opinion.
I am talking, of course, about the love – or should I say “love” – story of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. This goes for their on-screen romance in “A Star Is Born”, but also for the ongoing, perhaps unintended one that they are lodged in, following the great cinematic success of the feature film. This may also be the one we secretly hope will be soon re-categorized from fiction to documentary genre. There is, however, little doubt that the show is on as we speak.
For the uninformed few who managed to dodge the worldwide news, here is a brief summary. Hollywood powerhouse, actor Bradley Cooper decided to venture into directing picking up and old script written in 1937 by late Robert Carson, who already won the Academy Award for best screenplay in 1938. The well-tested scenario served as a baseline for two other musicals in the past, in 1954 and 1976.
Bradley Cooper designated himself to be the male lead, while the female lead role was offered to another global star – Lady Gaga. The entire soundtrack was written and produced for the movie by a handful of amazing, but musically diverse artists selected by Cooper and Lady Gaga themselves, creating 18 original scores with “Shallow” and “Always Remember Us This Way” charting on all the major top hit lists around the world.
Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a seasoned country musician who falls for Ally – a young singer on a path to give up her music career. With a bit of persuasion and support, Jackson helps Ally to become the star – and within this arc we follow the tumultuous romance.
Objectively speaking, this is a story that has already been told numerous times. What launched this movie into one of the most popular cinematic releases of last year are great performances of leading actors, an amazing soundtrack and particularly memorable scenes of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performing the songs that build up the emotional bond between their characters.
This is precisely where the plot thickens. At the beginning of February 2019, news that Lady Gaga called off the engagement with Christian Carino started circulating. Further on, in March, at the most coveted award ceremony in Los Angeles – the infamous Oscars – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed the awarded song Shallow; doing this in the most cinematic of ways – like they did on screen, enamored and dewy eyed – except this was live, with millions watching.
And then, the drama ensues. It makes perfect sense for news outlets and traditional media, including tabloids, to start the rumor mill. However, this time, the story fully and truly exploded on social media. The main discussion was not about the event, but about taking sides in a heated debate on who fell in love for whom and what happens next. All of those who have taken part in the discussion, but haven’t seen the movie – went straight to cinemas to watch it. This was not necessary out of pure interest in the film, but more of a need to determine for themselves and see with their own eyes the glances exchanged, touches shared and gather enough information to stay part of the narrative.
The reason why this story has become so heated on social media lies in the fact that reality and fiction became so beautifully intertwined and that in both dimensions main characters are the same. What happened is exactly the scenario we increasingly live on a daily basis – publishing snippets of our lives as if they are more fiction than reality, showcasing only content that will create an image of how we wish to be seen. We carefully nurture this image online and on screen, and it becomes harder to distinguish from the real, the physical, blurring the lines between a real-life person and online character. This is particularly troublesome, as the character on screen is not only visible to a larger audience, but is loved and praised by more people than the one hiding behind the screen.
Psychologists would make a finer job of explaining the nuances, because they know that in every situation one only sees what it wishes to see. So, if Lady Gaga is looking at Bradley with loving eyes in the movie, we take that this norm transcends the role of Ally and Jackson and settles into reality.
This is why we so eagerly identified with the story. After all, isn’t it true that in time of Facebook, Instagram and Tinder love truly starts on screen? Bradley and Gaga have not unveiled what was not known before. We felt so good and proud to think we got them! When in fact they actually got us.