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Laurie has been in show business since she was a child. Her dream is to be a singer, songwriter and actress. Her father wants her to be a comedian like him and Laurie only tries because it pleases her father. But she is a lousy comedian. She auditions for everything and is engaged to Ken, but Ken does not understand her needs. She has a one night stand with Chris, only to later find that he is a director. She has many emotions that have not yet been addressed and she must face them before she can get on with her life. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
All songs sung by Didi Conn in the movie were lip-synched. The actual singer on the soundtrack album was Kacey Cisyk (often misspelled as 'Cassie Cisyk') , who also appears in the film as a bridesmaid. Debby Boone covered the title track, and her version spent 10 weeks at #1 on the U.S. pop music charts in 1977. See more »
Laurie Robinson/Didi Conn:
I learned something today, Pop. It was really painful, but I learned something. I learned that I have to depend on myself. I can't depend on anybody else and that's ok. You know why? Because I'm a really good person to depend on. Maybe I don't have someone that I thought I loved a lot really, but that's ok because I've got me. And I've got my work. And I've got my music. And I love that - more than anything else on this earth.
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Had "You Light Up My Life" been promoted for what it was, a low-budget growing-up film with a quirky and effective performance by Didi Conn, it would be better regarded today. Rather than the minimalist promotion and distribution this type of film normally receives, for some reason the distributors decided that this little film had the potential to make big money.
So they threw more money into marketing than had gone into production, they pre-sold the film with a hit recording of the title song (sung by Debby Boone although Kacey Cisyk actually does the singing in the film) released concurrently with the film, and they utilized a saturation booking technique normally reserved for their weaker blockbusters. This technique involves a lot of pre-release publicity and then opening it simultaneously in many theatres, with the goal of generating quick profits before bad reviews and word of mouth kill attendance (although a common practice today this was done less often in the 1970's).
The result was a lot of viewers who rightly felt that the film did not live up to its blockbuster billing, and a failure to appreciate the good points of the film. And there are some good points. Conn's earnest portrayal of a reluctant juvenile comedienne and good daughter trying to work out her adult identity rings true. You feel a protectiveness toward her that makes you more tolerant of the cornball elements. The child star vs stage-father stuff with Joe Silver seems genuine and the surreal television commercial material has some good comic qualities.
Kacey Cisyk (a session singer who was opera trained) recorded the song for the film but initially declined to record it for commercial release. She may have felt that it had no potential or maybe she just didn't wanted to be closely associated with a pop standard. So they recruited Debby Boone and her version went to the radio stations and record stores. Cisyk actually appears in the film as one of the bridesmaids.
Ironically, although the song works fine within the film, it hurts the film's reputation. People incorrectly believe that the film was just a lame attempt to exploit a hit record and that Boone was unwilling to allow her own version to be used in the production.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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