By the age of ten, my dad had my sister and I watch every Star Wars film. I looked up to Princess Leia for her strength, bravery and “no-bullshit” attitude. Around this time, there was a small movie on Disney Channel called Halloweentown that was destined to be a classic. I wanted Aggie to be my Grandma and whisk me off to explore Halloweentown, just like every other kid.
As I grew older and deeper in my love of film, I saw Singin’ in the Rain which solidified my adoration for Debbie Reynolds, or Grandma Aggie. Carrie Fischer, or Princess Leia, went on to become a writer, producer, playwright and humorist. The fact that they were mother and daughter, made me love them even more.
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fischer and Debbie Reynolds began production in 2015 and gives an intimate look into the lives of Hollywood’s royalty. This film also dives into the highs and lows of their unique mother-daughter relationship.
Reynolds shot to fame at sixteen after she was discovered in a beauty pageant. She later signed with MGM and the rest is history. Reynolds went on to start in films like The Unsinkable Molly Brown and The Singing Nun, making her America’s sweetheart. She married the famous singer Eddie Fischer and they had two children together, Carrie and Todd, before he left her for Elizabeth Taylor, creating the Hollywood scandal of the century.
Carrie grew up in the spot-light, being known as “Debbie Reynolds daughter” till a little movie called Star Wars came out and the roles were reversed. Carrie struggled with mental health issues, drugs and alcohol, going to rehab several times which caused strain on her relationship with her mother. After some years of no contact, they rekindled their relationship and became inseparable.
This documentary pulls back the curtain on their crazy lives in front of and behind the cameras. I adored both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fischer and was saddened by their passings, just a day apart. Bright Lights is their final bow and America is their audience. Watch it now on HBO.