Is The Film "Springsteen And I" THE SHIT Or Just Shit?



I honestly don't know how else to put it, except to say that when I received my advance screener of "Springsteen and I", a documentary that eschews the more entertaining subject of Bruce Springsteen to focus instead on the more delusional and narcissistic members of his fan base, I was filled with a sense of dread.

For such a film to succeed, it must be entertaining to fans and non-fans alike.  Regardless of how you might feel about Springsteen's music, producer Ridley Scott is counting on director Baillie Walsh's ability to make us care about those most moved by his music.

In that sense, the film is a complete failure, taking a "squeaky wheel" approach to deciding which fans to focus its attention upon.  Indeed, the film's recurring theme seems to be the "ME, ME, ME" attitude of Springsteen's most diehard fans and how those unlucky enough to be watching this doc will surely end up feeling that most of these folks wear their love of Springsteen like a Coach purse or Ed Hardy t-shirt.  In other words, their supposed love of Springsteen is no more than a prop used to gain entry into a certain social sect, like getting an entire sleeve of tattoos in order to fit in at the next bike rally.

One such fan goes so far as to declare that Bruce Springsteen taught him how to be a man, as if Bruce one day took him aside and patiently explained to him all about the birds and bees. Or, perhaps more accurately, he took one listen to "Born To Run" and decided the best way to handle even the slightest conflict was to turn tail and run.

For all of his blue-collar ideals, Springsteen sure does attract a very affluent bunch of fans who think nothing of paying hundreds of dollars for a premium seat, which, again, serves only to taint the man's music, unless, of course, watching The Boss sing about being broke and feeling trapped in a nowhere town to a bunch of folks who paid a valet $50 to fetch their Escalades rather than park in the free lot a mere fifty feet away.

I watched the film, hoping against hope for even just one likable person whose love for the Boss and his music wasn't irrationally based upon some self-centered belief that they are anything more than one drop of water in a sea of commerce.  It is certainly a credit to Springsteen's talents as a songwriter and tireless showman that he is capable of making so many people care so much, but that doesn't mean focusing on his audience is an interesting endeavor to anyone but those involved.

VERDICT:  Please don't make me watch this film again.

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