“Amy, What You Gonna Do?”

After a second viewing of “Amy” I now feel my original comments below were way too harsh. I saw in the film’s second time around, beautiful aerial shots of London and NYC, well placed footage evoking the emotion of the moment, and an instrumental score both poignant and deep. Still, I think the first third could have been pared down, but I was greatly moved by a repeat experience.

Original review:

For the first third of the documentary “Amy” directed by Asif Kapadia I wondered where the meandering, bad video and photos were going.

Was the music throughout fantastic? YES! So if the visuals and storytelling lacked in the beginning, so be it. Akin to a car ride in Lowell, Massachusetts where I visited recently, even depressing vistas can be warmed by great tunes (in my trip’s case The Wood Brothers), but I digress.

From a woman with a Masters in Counseling’s perspective, I must say that repeating how IN LOVE she was with bad boy boyfriend-turned-husband-turned-money grubber is a real disservice to any other woman or man who is co-dependent in an unhealthy relationship. It’s not love, honey; it’s an attempt to right a wrong from the past, in Amy’s case the rejection by her father and the wimpy role modeling from her mom.

The last part of the movie was fantastic, my favorite scene being her singing with Tony Bennett which was set up nicely right before she won the Grammy (which Tony B announced) when she called out, “Dad, Tony Bennett!” proving how she idolized his great talent well in advance of the opportunity to work with him.

As a woman who dabbles in stand up comedy, let me say how I cringed at Jay Leno’s and other comic’s using her as an opening monologue one liner. I will never joke about someone’s affliction, it’s just wrong.

Last, if you are going to be a parent, you MUST be able to lay down the law, be the army sergeant who says, “N-O spells no.” Most of Amy’s troubles stem from two bonehead parents who let her raise herself. Giving your child limits (bed time, computer time, chore time, food, etc) show love, DO IT!

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