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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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So Many Nights, I Sit By My Window ...
2004-08-12 10:02
by Jon Weisman

Flipping channels while trying to stay awake during a 4 a.m. feeding today, my wife and I came upon the finish to the 1977 movie that brought Debby Boone's famous song to cinematic life, You Light Up My Life.

This was the movie that tried to convince the world that gulpy-voiced Didi "Beauty School Dropout" Cohn could sing like Pat Boone's daughter, and even as a child seeing the movie in the theaters when it came out, I was aware of the dissonance. Encountering it now for the first time since, I was struck even more by the fact that the movie was, well, psychotic.

You Light Up My Life reaches its climax with a scene of interminable psychodrama in which Cohn's character, Laurie Robinson, has a near-clinical meltdown, complete with flashbacks, while performing a ventriloquist act before a group of children. Laurie then dashes in tears backstage, where her father, Sy, who in Gypsy-like fashion apparently pressured her into ventriloquism in the first place, tells her not to worry and that she'll do just fine next time. "It was your timing," Sy says. "Your timing was off."

In another scene of remarkable length, Laurie desperately tries to convince her father that it's not about her timing, that maybe, just maybe, there might be something more for her in life than ventriloquism. She might as well have been trying to convince Sy that Vaudeville was dead, so astonished was he. After all, it was only 1977.

Watching Laurie trying to make her case, I couldn't help wondering, is this how Paul DePodesta feels?

Eventually, the scene ends, with Laurie having received her father's reluctant approval to take the lucrative singing contract that has been offered to her. About 60 seconds later, Laurie has driven to New York, her performance of You Light Up My Life has risen to the top of the Billboard charts, and the film ends. Roll credits.

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