Get ready to dust off those karaoke microphones and pluck some tissues because Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, "A Star is Born," is finally out in theatres.
The musical-romance-drama is the fourth reiteration of the 1937 original starting Janet Gaynor and Fredric March -- Judy Garland and James Mason starred in the 1954 musical version and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starred in the 1976 rock musical version -- with Lady Gaga playing the female lead opposite Cooper's charming, alcoholic country star, Jackson Main.
The main plot of the originals remains in tact, with Cooper's character falling in love with Gaga's character of talented but undiscovered waitress Ally, who lives with her dad and waits tables, and seemingly plucking her out of obscurity and thrashing her into stardom thanks to his millions of fans and connections in the music industry.
And although chemistry between Gaga and Cooper is off the charts, the plot does feature some toxic masculinity in it.
For instance, when Ally and Jackson first meet, she is performing a rendition of "La Vie En Rose" in makeup and his male gaze is quite evident. And all throughout that night and next day, he keeps hounding her, wanting to get to know her more. He even sends his driver to stalk her until she agrees to go to one of his shows. His actions, his saying he "just wants to get one more look at her" and his constant staring at her and obsession over her would probably be a lot creeper if Cooper weren't a tall drink of water with the charisma to boot.
Jackson Main is also quite controlling of Ally's actions and appearance, not wanting her to dance, sing or look a certain way that detracts from what he believes to be her most beautiful self.
In one harrowing scene, a drunk Jackson tells Ally she's "ugly" while she's naked and vulnerable in the bathtub after she dyes her hair a technicolor orange to appease her manager.
Every choice he makes is either selfish or controlling, and watching the relationship between himself and Ally unfold is both beautiful and terrifying. It's obvious the two are electrified by each other and are true soulmates. But there was something itching at the back of my mind the whole time, bothering me, like if Jackson were an ugly and awkward guy, he wouldn't have gotten away with most everything he did in the movie.
Although the two were never really physically abusive with each other, they argued just as much as they made love it seems.
The unhealthy relationship between Jackson and Ally also highlights other important issues like alcoholism, drug abuse and mental health.
And of course, their love story is set to a backdrop of gorgeous, original music written and performed by Cooper and Gaga themselves. Both Cooper and Gaga also knock it out of the park with their acting performances, with Gaga presenting a stripped-down, raw version of herself that people will be fascinated to see.
Now, whether you are a fan of the past versions of "A Star is Born" or a fan of Gaga or Cooper, this film was masterfully done, and I'd bet $100 million that both Gaga and Cooper are going to get Oscar nominations for their acting performances; Sam Elliot, who plays Cooper's older brother in the film, will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor; "Shallow" will be nominated for Best Original Song; and Cooper will be nominated for Best Director.
So, for any straight females out there, get ready to half fall in love with Bradley Cooper and half want to throw your shoe at him during the duration of this truly breathtaking film -- because although Gaga is the "star," with Cooper, it's clear that a director has been "born."