When Carrie Fisher passed away unexpectedly late last year, at that time knowing nothing about the health of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, only her age - 84 - I thought to myself, this kind of a shock could do a person in at that age. And the next day it did.
This documentary shows these two as much more than just mother and daughter, but fast friends. It is a great tribute to both ladies. It talks a little bit about Debbie's past problems - being abandoned by her husband with two small children, then marrying a guy she thought would bring her family some stability and security, but it didn't - he in fact bankrupted them with his compulsive gambling. And she faced all of this with dignity and was a fighter.
Debbie doesn't do that much talking for or about herself. In fact through most of the documentary it is mentioned how she is feeling just awful, but you'd never guess it. She is always dressed to the nines and smiling - something Carrie said she learned as a recruit in the old studio system at MGM. And then, feeling awful, Debbie books a Las Vegas show and brings her children into the act because she simply can't do the whole show. She just couldn't retire outright because she loved entertaining and loved the audiences.
Carrie does most of the talking. Like mom, she is a fighter, and also has quite a sense of humor. She fought her way back from a childhood in which she was abandoned by her dad, Eddie Fisher, in every way possible. It's like he just left them behind like they were part of a past life - until Carrie had some success and he came back asking for money. She fought her way back from drug addiction and her failed marriage to Paul Simon, who was much older than she, and during the documentary she is quite open about her battle with her weight as she tries to get the pounds off with the help of a trainer in preparation for the Star Wars film, "Episode 7". The trainer keeps trying to take her sodas away from her - which she keeps replenishing.
Carrie has a visit from old childhood chum Griffin Dunne, and they easily talk about their youth. After all of the awful stuff you have just learned about her dad, Eddie Fisher, and his parental negligence, Carrie goes to visit him, and he does look like death warmed over at this point, and Carrie tells him that she loves him and she seems to really mean it. It is revealed during the documentary that Eddie Fisher was a drug addict too, and I think having that common experience with her dad has made it easier for her to forgive him. What a classy lady. Eddie Fisher passed away in 2010, so obviously this part of the documentary was shot much earlier.
Todd, Carrie's younger brother, is in the documentary too, but he doesn't have much to say.
The documentary is not in "this is your life" style. It is more just following Debbie and Carrie around and showing the deep relationship and love they had for one another. Dance on in the afterlife classy ladies, you'll both be terribly missed. I miss you already.
Obviously, highly recommended.