Documentary

The Go-Go’s

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The Go-Go’s deserve a movie, and now they have one!

There has never been a movie documentary on the all-girl music group The Go-Go’s until now. A hit from the Sundance Film Festival, the movie is on Showtime, and should be able to resonate with fans, young and old.

You know and love their classic hits like “We Got the Beat,” “Beauty and the Beat,” and “Vacation.” But you must also know about the group’s strengths and weaknesses, and the impact they’ve had on the different generations of listeners.

The members consist of the lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey, the lead singer Belinda Carlisle, the drummer Gina Schock, the bass guitarist Kathy Valentine, and the rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin. Past members include Margot Olavarria, Elissa Bello, and Paula Jean Brown. And their original manager was Ginger Canzoneri.

The doc is about how they transcend from one music genre to the next, and this is one of those cases when you know that has fresh results.

The reason they started off crappy is because they originally intended to be a punk rock band. They wanted to be just as good as the men, until Charlotte Caffey wrote “We Got The Beat,” which would lead the girls to become a pop group. That song changed their tune for the better.

As their tours commence, they deal with fans and haters and the joys and turmoil within their group. Allow me to be distinctive on the Glass-Half-Empty-Glass-Half-Full topics. 

  • Despite their hit singles winning music lovers over, they’ve been rejected by various music labels, because they were girls. Wow! How sexist! (Ouch)
  • A past member named Margot  was so committed to being a punk rocker, that the Go-Go’s had to let her go. She despised them ever since. (Ouch)
  • Another past member Gina was diagnosed with a heart problem, but she was able to cheat death. (That’s a plus)
  • Charlotte has become distant from the other girls, and she resorted to drugs, which eventually lead her to having writer’s block. (Ouch)
  • They were discovered by Miles Copeland of I.R.S. Records, and they were able to become opening acts for The Police. (That’s a plus)
  • They had some fun, including a moment in England, when they wear clown noses and call themselves “The Clown Family.” (Thats a plus)
  • And Jane quit the band to start her own solo career. (Ouch)

Despite their downfalls, they weren’t going to let the world tell them what to do. They had to put all their effort into their music in order to sing their hearts out, and prove to everyone they have the guts and glory as musicians.

Director Alison Ellwood gives the documentary an upbeat and passionate look. These women have been through a lot, the highs and lows, and you’re to acknowledge them. I didn’t get every detail out of it, but I was able to see their true colors (wrong singer, but I still just wanted to do that pun), and learn about where they went and how they lived.

Obviously, musicians resort to drugs and break-ups, depending on how their fame changes them, but no matter what, you still see these girls as human beings. The Go-Go’s voices deserve to be heard, and now, we’re really listening to them.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Available on Showtime.

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