An Irish friend who is unaccountably fond of English music and English cars (haven’t the English in Ireland mostly been unwanted immigrants and/or oppressors/exploiters?) took me to see Rocketman. The subject is portrayed as lovelorn and alone in bed, partly due to others’ disapproval of his heavy use of drugs and alcohol and having had sex with a prodigious number of partners. Who would forgive this behavior? Not Elton John’s parents or friends, we learn.
Similar scenes were included in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Why wouldn’t the managers/handlers for these rock stars have set them up with loyal dogs as soon as their popularity began to soar? A golden retriever wouldn’t complain about a pop star’s need to ingest drugs or indulge in Roman Emperor-style sexual exploits. Perhaps a Bernese Mountain Dog on tour would reduce a pop star’s need to rely on groupies for companionship (or at least reduce the groupie count slightly by taking up space in the bed).
Enya has essentially complete control over her life and has organized it around companion animals, though not dogs (The Sun).
How was the movie? Friend’s review: “It glorified cocaine use. His only worry was if he would still be just as good when he came off it. It also glorified therapy. One trip to rehab and he was cured. That’s bullshit. They were always breaking out in song, like a 1950s movie.” He preferred Bohemian Rhapsody. (Wikipedia suggests that the movie was essentially based on the subject’s own perspective: “Elton John and husband David Furnish had tried to produce a film based on his life for almost two decades.”)
I thought the “have ordinary folks break out in song” elements were creative and interesting. I noticed that the discredited practice of heterosexuality was written out of the lyrics. “I miss my wife” in the “Rocket Man” song turns into “I miss my life” in the movie version. (Doesn’t make sense unless sung by a dead astronaut?) Also, as in Gillette’s toxic masculinity video, wisdom in the film comes primarily from the non-white-males, e.g., some African-American musicians helping Elton John realize his true potential as a flamboyant gay singer and a black therapist who turns him sober through the miracle of talking about his childhood (just as victimhood is being celebrated worldwide, we learn that Elton John was a major victim of emotionally abusive parents, at least according to Elton John (the parents are dead so can’t defend themselves); Elton John now describes himself as a “survivor”).
[Elton John was born in 1947 to parents who were both 22 years old at the time (the father in the movie, though, is given an elderly appearance). The standard of parenting back in the 1950s was much less exacting. The movie shows the father completely indifferent to the son’s spectacular success (a fact check), which does not ring true. Mom is passionate about having sex with a neighbor, reminiscent of the Specsavers Golf Course ad]
The dialog is anachronistic. For example, Elton John admits to the group therapy session that he is a “sex addict.” A pop star drenched in naked groupies was not considered an “addict” back in the 1970s, I don’t think.
Readers: Who has seen Rocketman? What did you think? And should every young rising rock star have a companion dog to keep him or her steady?