I dare you - absolutely dare you - to leave "Bright Lights: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds" without a big, ole goofy smile on your face and a passel of golden-oldie songs in your heart.
The documentary, which occasionally has the feel of a reality show along the lines of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians (except that it feels utterly authentic and features players who have real achievements to their credit), offers in real time fragments of the lives of its showbiz daughter and mother of the title.
Immediately, the viewer is drawn in, desiring to be a member of this wonderful and wonderfully flawed family. For my part, this writer wants to live with Carrie and Debbie. Such is the pull of the energy in this delightful, poignant, funny and candid snapshot.
From Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, "Bright Lights: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds" has its 54th New York Film Festivalpremiere this evening. (It premieres on HBO next year.)
Also on the bill at NYFF54 this evening is a film that is part of the Bertrand Tavernier retrospective. Henry Hathaway's "Fourteen Hours" is a 1951 film based on a true story about a man who jumps to his death from the 17th floor of what is now New York City's Peninsula Hotel. At the time it was the Gotham Hotel.
Today, the film is also noteworthy for some of the minor characters and extras who would come into fame, including John Cassavetesand Grace Kelly.
Visit http://www.filmlinc.com to learn more about the 54th New York Film Festival, including showtimes and venues.