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April 06, 1988 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily Wednesday, April 6, 1988 Page7

*Novel ge
Lights' o
By Lisa Pollak
See Michael J. Fox snort coke
See Michael J. Fox mourn his bro-
ken marriage. See Michael J. Fo
snort more coke. See Michael J. Fo
mourn his dead mother. See Michae
J. Fox snort more coke.
That is what the story of Brigh
Lights, Big City looks like o
screen, in the movie directed by
James Bridges, based on the book by
Jay McInerney, which looks muck
the same but feels very different.
The story is this: Jamie Conway
an aspiring novelist and "fac
checker" for the pseudo-New Yorker
prestigious Gotham magazine, live
a fast-track yuppie existence that al
ternates between drug-induced stupor,
mischievous play, and the desperate
realization that his life is out of con-


lost in


f the big
f tSee Michael J. Fox snort coke.
See Michael J. Fox give long, an-
guished looks at the camera. See
. Michael J. Fox snort more coke. See
Michael J. Fox give long, anguished
x looks at his ex-wife. See Michael J.
x Fox snort more coke.
McInerney - who also wrote the
screenplay - made his book fast-
t paced, so readers would be able to
n feel the frustration of Conway's fre-
y netic, unfulfilling lifestyle. He told
y the story in Conway's voice, so the
h character's emotions would be clear
and sincere. He filtered in background
, information subtly, so readers
t wouldn't be hit over the head with
r message and morals so hard they
s couldn't sympathize with the protag-
- onist.

See Michael J. Fox snort more coke.
See Michael J. Fox lose his mother.
See Michael J. Fox snort more coke.
See Michael J. Fox lose his job. See
Michael J. Fox snort more coke.
Bright Lights, Big City, the
movie, does none of these things.
And perhaps it shouldn't. Novels are
not motion pictures; words touch the
brain differently than sounds and im-
ages. But somewhat surprisingly,
McInerney's story did not success-
fully convey Conway's feelings of
loss and self-destruction. The New
York night life, the stodgy Gotham
magazine editors, even Conway's
hedonistic friend Tad Allagash (Kiefer
Sutherland) and his shallow, gor-
geous wife Amanda (Pheobe Cates)
are all perfectly cast mirror images of
McInerney's novel. But just because
the lights are bright on screen doesn't
mean you can really see the story -
and here it gets lost in a city too big.

See Michael
See Michael J.

J. Fox snort coke.
Fox lose his wife.

The characters of Jay McInerney's novel 'Bright Lights, Big City' are perfectly cast in the newly
released movie, but even a look in the mirror can't convey Jamie's (Michael J. Fox) feelings of
loss and self-destruction.


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