There are many things to be gleaned in and from the new Demi Lovato doc. And fans will likely be gleaning and re-gleaning the meaning of those things for quite some time. Critics will too. Though they'll be more inclined to seek the shock and the awe of it all. But both fans and critics alike must certainly concur that the moral of this story is Life -- in all its crazy, messy glory.
In other words: pounce.
Tracings of Her
We first caught wind of Demi Lovato's recovery after her relapse. That was back in June 2018. And while the world roared with the news we were more inclined to side with our pals at the Schnellenberger Family Foundation, who were all about silver linings. Like them, we were also especially struck by the pop star's heartbreaking song "Sober." This is an artist who knows highest highs and lowest lows, thought we. More importantly, she's courageous enough to be completely candid about both. That she did so with such stunning and moving beauty was a testament to her incredible talent. It was also proof positive that this songstress was quite likely to transcend. In fact, she deserved it.
Then came overdose. It was a terrible scare for fans, critics and bystanders alike. It was also cause for folks to rally 'round Lovato. Us and our friends included. We cited her in a piece about relapse not meaning an end to recovery. Then Healing Properties cited her in a piece about Narcan since the drug saved her life. HP also cited her in a piece about Keith Urban's inspiring sobriety. See, the long-sober Urban had helped fellow country crooner Brantley Gilbert find real recovery. And the American-Aussie superstar also had some moving and encouraging advice for Lovato.
At the time however it's unlikely Lovato could've even heard Urban's advice, let alone heeded it. Why? Because her overdose was far more serious than initially reported. As everyone now knows, it nearly took Lovato's life. And she'd spend a subsequent two weeks in the hospital. Lovato would then go on to both rehab and a sober living facility. Sure signs that the singer was double-plus serious about this new sobriety.
In fact, Lovato was so serious that she even took advantage of the downtime offered by the pandemic and fully concentrated on doing everything necessary for a full recovery.
Dancing with the Devil
The new Demi Lovato doc is a large part of that everything necessary. You could even say it's what truly highlights her earnestness.
And when we say Demi Lovato doc we mean the Demi Lovato doc as it now stands. See Lovato had been shooting a tour documentary before the crazy hit the fan, but even she admits it was superficial at best.
"In that documentary, I was only allowing the cameras to see the tip of the iceberg," quotes E Online. "I wasn't showing them what I was doing behind closed doors."
But "I've had so much I've wanted to say over the last two years," Lovato continues, "of wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened."
So Lovato called upon her pal Michael D. Ratner and got to work. But not before telling him "I am just going to say it all and if we don't want to use it we can take it out."
Ratner, who previously executed a couple compelling YouTube Originals with Justin Bieber, seems to have been just the right man for the job. Because Dancing with the Devil comes out as the kind of warts-and-all storytelling many a storyteller boasts about but few really deliver. Maybe it's because the director was adept at coaxing his subject. Or maybe it's because his subject was so intent on being coased. We're thinkin' it's a good bit of both -- and then some. We're also thinkin' both director and subject came through with something both can be proud of in perpetuity.
The two also delivered a heaping, helping slice of compelling storytelling. It's the kind of narrative that will grab you, regardless of where you stand on the pop culture spectrum. Perhaps more importantly, it'll lift up those who are watching from the side of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), whether or not they're in recovery. And at the end of the day we suspect that represents much of Lovato's goal. That is, to tell the Truth, so earnestly and openly, that others can't fail to see its promise.
The Demi Lovato Doc
Recovery Boot Camp congratulates Demi Lovato on her renewed sobriety, as well as on Dancing with the Devil. Both are tremendous achievements. And both quite likely go hand-in-hand. We especially salute Lovato's capacity to trust herself, as well as the truth. And the courage to let the proverbial chips fall where they may. From where we stand, those chips will fall triumphantly, especially since they're falling without either worry or regret.
What about you? Are you trying to right yourself after hitting a bump or two? Are you ready to let those chips fall where they may? Help is out there. In fact, it's everywhere. So it's most certainly wherever you need it to be. All you've got to do is call.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)