After reading the latest book release by Lauren Weisberger, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, I had a lot of questions popping on my head related to the struggle for fame and the so desired ShowBiz. Here is my opinion about this enjoyable novel.
Lauren Weisberger built for herself a book signature when she debuted The Devil Wears Prada. Her novels have women in the leading roles, they have a strong relationship with New York City, the narrative does a great job making an insight in the characters mind and life, details are everything for the construction of scenes and all the people involved and pop culture have the final touch to make lots of people connect with the situations shown. Oh, let’s not forget all the romantic drama.
With that in mind, I can move on and secure to say that I really like Mrs. Weisberger’s books. They are entertaining masterpieces, and yes they are easy to read, that does what it intends to do: simply entertain. It’s a different purpose than books like The Lord of the Rings, The Life of Pi or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I like to bold this so I can explain that this is a comparison-free environment.
So, the novel tells the story of a woman married with a singer that is looking for his spot in the music industry. Eventually they see the singer’s career rocket-launch and their nightmare as a couple start. They don’t know how to manage their relationship from distance, both pass through lots of changes during the fame period, and although everything should be perfect because of the amazing opportunity the singer is having, and consequently his wife. It turns out that they have to work on that together and learn how to be a successful couple along with successful public personalities.
So what is intriguing in this story? That all the things happening throughout the book can be true for someone, actually lots of people for the matter of fact. And worse, people go after this with in their unstoppable search for fame. There are so many extremely ambitious people looking for their spot under the lights, risking their relationship with their loved ones and losing themselves in the middle of fancy clothes, drugs, alcohol, recognition and money, lots of money.
Of course this by itself is not that bad (except for the drugs and alcohol), and I think it’s healthy for people to always try something better for themselves, no matter in which way, as long as they don’t put their life in risk or other’s. The problem is that everything when is too much turns out to be dangerous, and in the ShowBiz the sentence Too Much seems to make no sense. It’s never too much when the life of a celebrity is on discussion. On the backstage it’s expected for famous people to give up on their families, friends, relationships, small things, privacy and, in some cases, peace.
The book helps the readers understand that all the glitter and glamour expressed in parties, awards ceremonies, performances, fashion shows or whatever falls in this celeb-category, requires real people to do. People that suffer to be there and have to go through really bad moments, despite the happiness of being famous. Dealing with the public life and private life not losing itself and avoiding risking all the things that really matters is one of the messages Last Night at Chateau Marmont gives, and in my opinion is the best given our current society.
For those who think that this whole story of fame life being hard doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect the whole World’s population, think again. How many common people get involved in trouble because of the pursuit of fame? Most of them don’t even get close to be famous, but they invest their life on it. And this is a lot of people. For them is good to know a little bit more about it to make sure that this is the life they desire. Now, people who doesn’t even get involved directly in this business I recommend the reading anyway for one simples reason: all of us are involved on this business. Everyday we face famous faces, famous voices and famous bodies. We may try to avoid it, but we can’t. They are everywhere. And being human-beings we will discuss about it. We’ll think about the bad looking people, the good actor, the awful player. We’ll judge them. And when we read this novel, is easier to realize that all those famous we talked about are actually people, not only figures.
I do think that this is quite something to think about. Maybe not talk about, because we’re too jealous for not being there. And we all know it’s not good to put it out, right? “Why would someone want to be famous? That’s ridiculous! I have better things in my life…” With this line most of the people will keep thinking the same things and pretending that they don’t care. They will be mean and feed vicious magazines. They will put their hate out on the internet, post funny things on Facebook and judge the mistakes of celebrities as if it would make any difference in their life.
What I mean with this is read the book without prejudice of futile things as some people would say. Think out of the box. Enjoy this novel and get something from it. Think about all those famous and untouchable people and how many of them go through similar things than those in the book. Picture yourself in their place and imagine how hard it would be. I promise this won’t hurt you, and it’ll make you a better person with the understanding that no matter the social status, people have the same vulnerable points. Or at least similar.
Even though I’m not one, here it go: Celebrity Trick 101, Famous or not famous people still go to the bathroom the same way, make sex fairly the same way, and can get hurt because of other people the same way. But more than anything, everyone is important for someone. Famous or not famous.
I have to say the truth: I wasn’t expecting too much from this date. Now I have to say a more important truth: I loved it!
The SuperBowl is simply the most watched event on TV in the United States. And basically is the end of the National Football League (NFL). But all that is pretty clear for everyone, even those like me who comes from a culture where the word football would actually mean soccer.
Anyway, the thing here is so important that it doesn’t matter if your team is playing or not. The Final Game Night is inside the roots of the american society in a way that only experiencing it is possible to feel. Nearly everyone goes to the Walmart the day before to buy snacks and treats for the game, and they get together with friends or families to have so much fun. It works almost like finals of a World Cup for us, Brazilians.
For me being part of that was a complete experience of the life here in the US. I was really happy watching the game, cheering for a team (in this case the Ravens, because if the 49ers won, they would be tied with the Steelers in number of SuperBowls and my American Mentor Family wouldn’t be really happy about it) and most of all, understanding the joy of it all. This helps to get clear on my mind the importance and the role of a big sport in a nation, and how close as human-beings we are, no matter what country we come from.
But I can go further and not only address it to football, but the whole complex relations of sports and a good and healthy life. Sports are amazing for every individual’s development and I’m sad that, as a child, I wasn’t very into it as I’m starting to get right now. Maybe that’s because soccer is the main thing in Brazil, and I’m really not very good at it. Anyhow, living here for 6 months I was able to go to several different sports matches and competitions, like soccer, basketball and swimming. This is an important item in the American’s life and they are completely right. Their children grow faster and healthier generation after generation and with skills developed for the rest of their lives.
As a Young Citizen I know that the future is in my hands, and I’ll make everything possible to take this example further to my country and apply it to my Godson, son, neighborhood, city, state and country.
I truly believe in this and I’m thankful for the United States (and its people) for helping me with my own development. I’m learning and extracting the most of the American culture everyday. By the way, for the first time I got the feeling that I’m understanding the rule of football.
Orlando Braga Jr.
PS: The Halftime concert with Beyonce was just amazing by itself. But there is nothing less to expecting coming from this great artist. =)