When I was given the opportunity to see Billie Eilish in person, I was surprised by the size of the venue and the fact that everyone in attendance seemed to be related. She was on a “presenters only” basis at the Sarah Lawrence College, a small institution in Bronx, New York. However, if I had to guess I would say that Billie was not on a speaking tour, but was in attendance to promote a film.
The film in question is what I call a “Straight Up Movie.” A straight up movie means that it takes place in some sort of realistic setting that contains all of the elements you expect from the genre – there are shops, people, and specific types of foods (although you wouldn’t necessarily think so).
This one has a fairytale type setting, but not in the way that you might think. The film is set in Harlem, New York, but then the title character must travel from there to Baltimore, Maryland in order to attend college. Of course, at no point does the film break out of Harlem to travel anywhere, which is why it was deemed necessary to use “presenters only” at the Sarah Lawrence College, although if anyone asks, it may have been Ms. Eilish herself.
Ms. Eilish’s role in the film is to help an aspiring writer get back on track after being thrust into an upcoming event. It was her turn in line because she once performed as a guest star on a TV show. Unfortunately, she had a major headache, and it was only through the help of her dog “Ackie” that she was able to continue on with the episode. Ackie is a gift for the people in the film because he can get Ms. Eilish through moments of agony like this.
Ms. Eilish is good at what she does and gets a lot of the comedy going for the film. The rest of the cast is rather forgettable, but that doesn’t detract from the end result. I guess that’s not saying much because there are plenty of such comedies that do not work.
Remember “Dirty Work?” Ms. Eilish co-starred with Andrew Dice Clay, and he made it look like a piece of cake. And why shouldn’t he? Billie Eilish and Andrew Dice Clay, together as “the Pretty One”the Pretty Two Shoes,” were the best thing about “Dirty Work.”
On a side note, I’ve heard that it will be interesting to see what the response to the film is like in this setting. This type of setting lends itself to natural comedies where the writers can let their hair down and have a blast, whereas the same scenes could have been pulled off in any other setting. At least that’s what I hope.
Still, Billie Eilish is not on a speaking tour, and the world premiere of “Straight Up Movie” will take place in Harlem as well, so she’ll have plenty of opportunities to make her mark and make people remember her. Good to know.