Lessons to be learned (or reviewed) from Funny Girl

Move over Queen Bey! We’re talking a different Queen B and her name is Barbara Streisand. I am a firm believer in the magic and power of Barbara Streisand.  She’s won two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors award, a Peabody Award, and is one of the few entertainers who’s won an Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award. According to the RIAA, she has released 51 Gold albums, 30 Platinum albums, and 13 Multi-Platinum albums in the United States. I’ve read something that said she’s the most important and influential person in the music industry over the course the last 50 years. I respect that. I admire that.  I love that. I love her. I love Barbara Streisand so much that, she doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to sing at my wedding and be the fairy god mother to at least one of my children. I also love Barbara Streisand movies. I’m working on watching every single one of them at least once and from then I’ll move on to listening to every single one of her songs. So… let’s talk about the first Barbara Streisand movie I watched and , now, my favorite movie in the whole world staring the one and only Barbara Streisand- Funny Girl.

I love Funny Girl (I am fact singing “People” as I write this. Loudly, proudly, and yes, a little off- key). Ever since I first found out about the movie- not too long ago- I’ve seen that movie like twenty times. Every girl should watch Funny Girl at least once in her life. Besides the fact that Barbara Streisand is in it, which should be reason enough to watch this movie, there are lessons to be learned (or reviewed) from the movie.

Lesson No. 1: Believe in yourself.

Now I know you may have heard this before, from your parents, your friends, or from a Disney Channel movie, but it’s so important to be reminded of that. Fannie Brice in the beginning shows us what it means to believe in herself. She decides that she wants to be where she belongs- on center stage. She doesn’t let other people explain to her that she can’t make it because she’s not blonde, has skinny legs, and a slightly longer schnoz in comparison to the other girls in show business. She does whatever it takes to get on the stage and she doesn’t seem to comprehend the word “no.” That pays off because eventually she gets a job, the great Florenz Ziegfeld hears of her,  then she becomes not just a Ziegfeld girl, but the Ziegfeld girl. It’s her name in lights when people go to see a Ziegfeld show.

Lesson No. 2: Don’t let anyone, especially a guy, stand in the way of your dreams…

… even if he’s as charming as a Mr. Nicky Arnstein.

Fanny Brice eventually falls in love… with Nicky Arnstein. (Why does there always have to be a guy in the movies?)  And then they get married. At the time he and Fannie got married, she was an upcoming star and he was a professional gambler. He later discovers that he can’t deal with her spotlight. The fact that her light shined brighter than his and the fact that her light shined on him and everyone seemed to know his financial woes made him sort of resentful towards her and eventually he decides he wants to move on. So after he’s released from jail, he meets up with Fannie at the theater she headlines at and he still wants to separate. Anyway, before then, there’s a point in the movie where Fanny decides that she wants to be with Nicky on this boat and not board a train to the next stop for the Ziegfeld Follies show. She was willing to risk being fired and losing her dream job, to be with the guy that she wanted. That’s all very cute but… you should never give up your dreams for anyone. She probably would have done it again, if Nicky decided he still wanted to be with her, but only if she gave up her career as a singer/comedienne. See, that’s a problem because Fanny Brice had more talent in her pinky finger than Nicky did in his entire body. And the fact that she was willing to give up her career to be with him, shows she had more heart too. In the movie we lose Fanny Brice believing in herself. She loses sight of herself and what she wants because she stops believing in Fanny Brice, the comedienne actress and singer. She’s baffled that some guy actually wants her, despite the fact that she’s talented and beautiful in her own way. So she was willing to give her dreams up for some guy who didn’t even really love her because if he really loved her he would’ve stayed with her. If he couldn’t make it as a professional gambler because everyone knew his business, he would’ve found a job so he could maintain his wife and children. In the end, in real life, Nicky not only removed himself from her life (before they got married), but their two childrens’ as well. So overall…


Lesson No. 3:

Believe in the magic and the power of Ms. Barbara Streisand.

Thank you!

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