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Does A Star Is Born Look Too Cheesy to Be Actually Good?

Photo: Warner Bros

Have you seen the trailer for A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga? If not, watch it now. The movie, which tells the story of a famous musician who falls for an unknown singer, is a remake of a remake of a remake — there have been three other A Star Is Borns, including a 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand. The latest, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, will be released on October 5, but the trailer came out earlier this summer. Will this film be good, bad, or bad-good? We decided to chat it out.

Allison P. Davis: Can I get a quick, single word consensus from everyone before we dive in? Based off of the trailer … do you think it’s going to be a good or bad movie?

Ruth Spencer: Bad! It’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever seen! Maybe it’s just the clips they’ve chosen, but this whole trailer is just scene after scene of Bradley Cooper (who also wrote and directed this movie) loving himself. Every time he looks at Gaga or Gaga looks at him I want to barf.

Kelly Conaboy: Bad, but I’m willing to believe the movie could be good-bad. Bad enough that its seriousness is enjoyably silly, good enough that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time and want to die. Generally, I prefer to see good-bad movies. Good movies are often a little too successful in sucking their own d’s.

Katie Heaney: BAD. The fact that there is OSCAR BUZZ astounds me. From the moment Bradley opens his mouth in the trailer and that little croak comes out to Lady Gaga telling him people don’t like the way she looks and he responds, “Well, I think you’re pretty”, how can you not laugh??

Lisa Ryan: Katie, you need to wake up!!!! The movie is (reportedly) (rumored to be) GOOD and everyone knows it. It’s set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week, so we’ll know more soon, but at least one critic accidentally broke embargo and prematurely published (and then deleted) his review, calling it basically one of the greatest movies of all time. I assume I will agree with him.

Allison: Guys! A Star Is Born is supposed to be campy! It’s in its DNA. Babs wouldn’t approve a remake of the movie if it wasn’t full-on full-voiced belting and emotions big and dramatic enough to fill a soundtrack full of overwrought songs.

Ruth: But shouldn’t a campy movie be fun? This is incredibly self-serious. I feel like I’m watching a guy I have a crush on sing acoustic Aerosmith on open mic night and I can’t look because it’s so embarrassing. I’m embarrassed!

Lisa: I understand that it looks over the top, but isn’t that something that can make a movie amazing, if done right? Consider Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. An absolutely insane, campy, extreme movie; and yet, perfect. Real life is just so fucking awful all the time — having these big, absurd, fantastical movies is the escapism we need (even though this one will definitely be dark).

Allison: Whenever a woman “uggs” up for a role, it’s like a cinch for a nomination. I realize this might sound offensive, but this is Hollywood, baby. Historically, if an actress who is known for being “so glam” simply removes their makeup or adds a prosthetic for a serious role everyone’s like “Gasp! They are serious actresses now, because I’ve forgotten how pretty they are!” and rewards them with an award. It worked for Nicole Kidman in The Hours, Charlize Theron in Monster, and now Gaga is “taking off her rouge” per Bradley Cooper’s instruction. It’s law.

Allison: Lisa, do you think this movie is Oscar-buzz-worthy? I think I do!

Lisa: I do, too!

Lisa: What’s fascinating to me is that Bradley Cooper was desperate to get Beyoncé in the role that went to Lady Gaga.

Katie: Beyoncé was like … no thanks.

Allison: Oh if Beyoncé was in this movie, we’d all be in rapture, no doubt.

Kelly: He should’ve gotten Cher, that would have been a good reveal. Pan up to the stage and it’s Cher.

Katie: You know who I’d have watched it with? Kesha. That would be interesting.

Allison: What was the moment in the trailer that made you decide “Good movie I will see!” or “Bad movie I will mock forever”?

Lisa: I really like in the trailer when Lady Gaga’s voice crescendos as she sings “Ahhhhhhhhhh” and then breaks into the song because I’m like, oh wow, how heartwarming, this person who had low self-esteem is on stage killing it through song. And there’s so much ominous foreshadowing in the trailer! I love it.

Kelly: I decided immediately upon hearing Bradley Cooper sing. The actor we all know — Bradley Cooper — singing like he’s some country guy. Hahah.

Katie: Mine is the moment when he’s in a car and says to her: “I just want to get another look at you,” and she looks back and gives him an affectionate little head tilt, like, “Oh, you!”

Allison: I really liked the quick cuts of all the dramatic moments to the beat of Lady Gaga singing her big song. Beat: SHIRT RIPS OFF. Beat: BRADLEY SEEMS DRUNK. Beat: ON A PRIVATE JET. BABS, I’M IN.

Kelly: I think this will definitely be bad but I think it could potentially be good-bad, like I described earlier, like the movie Country Strong, which is a movie I love, NOT just because Gwyneth Paltrow’s name is Kelly in it, though that doesn’t hurt. It’s crazy to me that there is Oscar buzz but I guess if I were in charge of the Oscars I would have given one to Country Strong, so.

Ruth: That moment when she breaks into song … Is it just me or does it also kind of sound off key? And Bradley’s little squirrel face looking at her like she’s a tenderloin he just cooked to perfection. It’s just the cheesiest thing! But … I think maybe though what I’m realizing is that I love the cheese? Talking about this is making me happy, not sad?

Allison: LOL.

Ruth: I think this movie looks “bad” … but I wanna see it?

Kelly: Definitely.

Katie: Ruth, you traitor.

Lisa: What if Bradley Cooper gets nominated for Best Director from this? I just realized we might live in a world where that happens.

Does A Star Is Born Look Too Cheesy to Be Actually Good?