Saturday, July 12, 2008

People Hear what they See

ABOVE: Watch a clip of Beyond the Sea with Kevin Spacey performing the title song as Bobby Darin.  After that you can compare him to the real thing with Bobby Darin's performance of Mack the Knife.

I've been taking advantage of the free movies at the local library which means I pick out movies to watch that I might not watch if I had to pay for them.

One such movie is the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea starring Kevin Spacey.  Now, when I watch movies, I like to look for little "messages" in them, i.e., a reason for them being in existence, so to speak.  A movie can be entertaining, or not, but chances are I won't remember it unless it has something that speaks to me.  

Basically, the movie goes through the stages of Bobby's life-- from his childhood in The Bronx to writing a hit song (Splish Splash), to falling in love with and marrying actress Sandra Dee.  We see the singer soar, playing major venues with his trademark swagger, and then we watch as he dries up.  It's all fluff and only semi-true, but there's a scene that happens in the last twenty minutes or so which redeemed the film for me.

After a couple of years with no hits, Bobby reinvents himself as a hippy type, playing political folk songs.  He isn't very popular, and fans boo him from the stage.  The Ah-Ha moment happens when he's crying on his wife's shoulder and she says, "I know... People only hear what they see."  

After that, he performs one last show in Vegas, but walks out as the old Bobby Darin-- the one that knows how to croon, with a nod to his Emmy-winning Mack the Knife days.  But, instead of singing his old standards, he sings the political ballad that got him booed off the stage.  This time, however, he has pizzazz and he brings the crowds to their feet in applause.

You see, he gives the people what they want-- the successful, swinging Bobby Darin, and they give him their ears and hearts.  My friend, Michaela, once told another friend, "Listen, Sunday, you just tell people that you're amazing, and they'll believe it."  I've also heard the expression "Fake it 'til you make it."  I think all of these sentiments are useful when we think about what it takes to be successful.  

That's pretty much my two cents, but that expression is sticking with me.  I'm feeling the need to reinvent myself-- leave Norma Jean behind, if you will.

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