The remakes all follow a template, too: the female lead is played by a singer-performer who has a lot to prove to the public, while the leading male role is dumped on some poor schmuck forced to accept that he will be very much the second fiddle here. Often described as a Pygmalion story, A Star Is Born is more like Cinderella, with the leading man playing not just the fairy godmother who gives the woman a makeover, but the prince who marries her and finally the wicked stepmother who needs to be destroyed so the woman can live happily ever after. In all of them, a happy ending of sorts is achieved when, at the end, she introduces herself to her fans by her married name. And yet the whole message of A Star Is Born is that anyone can be famous, if they just happen to meet a celebrity in a bar. Their relationship is a gender reversal of the one in the movie: she gave him his Hollywood break, and he then had to look after her. By coincidence, or maybe not, Garland, Streisand and Gaga are all gay icons whose gay fans played an enormous part in their success, but only the movie acknowledges this, or even that gay people exist in the entertainment business at all.
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