Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated – Documentary Film Review
Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated – Documentary Film Review
News media outlets are nationally reporting that singer and actress Demi Lovato has been hospitalized with a drug overdose. News outlets were initially reporting that the drug was heroine but this story has since been retracted. Currently, what exactly the drug to cause Demi Lovato’s overdose was is unknown to the public. So many US national television shows including Extra and Access Hollywood have addressed the subject of Demi Lovato’s drug overdose. I was seeing this appear on the television just last night. Currently, the media is very much fixated on it and people with their televisions on at home are being inundated with the information about it. Many other celebrities have sent well wishes to Demi and her family, via social media. As her life and career to this point have been recently discussed at length in the media, there has been much mention of a documentary film that she participated in called Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated. I decided to take a look at that documentary film, called Demi Lovato - Simply Complicated on YouTube. The running time of the film is around an hour and 25 minutes.
Insightful documentary film
Currently, at the time of the writing of this hub on HubPages, Demi Lovato is 25 years old. The documentary film Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated was filmed just last year in 2017. Over her years in the entertainment industry, I have always thought of her as older than she actually is. She has a mature presence when she is interviewed as well as a mature tone in her famous singing voice. In this film documentary, Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated, Demi is forthcoming and transparent as she discusses many things. This can resonate with her fans who always want to hear a relatable story, anybody does really. The interview occurring with Demi Lovato in the documentary film offered a lot of insight into the way her life was from the time that she was a little child.
Demi’s biological father left the family when she was very young. A stepfather subsequently joined her family and she spoke of him in a positive way like she considered him to be her father while she had a biological father that she did not have a relationship with. (Not discussed in this documentary film, Demi Lovato’s biological father passed away and they were estranged at the time of his death. She set up a charitable program in his name.)
Demi Lovato's appearances on Barney and Friends and Camp Rock
Demi Lovato mentions in the film documentary that she always loved singing so much. She took to the stage in talent shows at a very young age. She even performed at shopping malls and was encouraged and supported by her mother, sisters and voice coach for example. She started going to auditions for performing on a higher/ more visible level and after many tries at auditioning, she landed a role on the well known show Barney and Friends. She was among the children cast to sing with and interact with the large friendly costumed purple dinosaur.
Performing on Barney and Friends at this young age catapulted Demi Lovato into being more well known and recognized as a child star. She also took on many parts on television commercials and other roles.
She was a self-proclaimed perfectionist, eager to try her best and eager to succeed. A role in Camp Rock, later on as a teenager caused Demi Lovato to become even more recognizable in the entertainment industry.
Demi Lovato was given the opportunity to sing and dance on the shows that she acted on and soon her singing career began to flourish. Her schedule of performances and jet-setting from place to place on airplanes for concert performances was said to be a lot to take on for someone her age. There were times when she was moody and outright combative with the other people that she had to work with.
In one infamous instance, she punched one of her back up dancers in the face after they had both had boarded an airplane for a flight! In the Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated film documentary, Demi Lovato prefaces this story by saying that she and others had an out of control party at a hotel where they trashed the place and had to be apologetic about it. The reason that she became so angry with that particular back up dancer is because she revealed that Demi was taking Adderall and they had also taken other things including weed at the party. The back up dancer informed many people including members of Demi Lovato’s management staff and her stepfather.
Music career, height of fame and stumbles along the way
It was this incident of assaulting her back up dancer that led Demi Lovato to her first stint in rehab, as she reported while being interviewed for the Demi Lovato- Simply Complicated film documentary. This occurred around 19 years old for Demi Lovato. In the Demi Lovato- Simply Complicated film documentary, Demi Lovato also discusses that she first tried cocaine at just 17 years old! She and a childhood friend experimented with the drug cocaine. Demi asked her friend how she knew so many people and how she was so popular and her friend said that she “parties”, asking Demi, “Do you party?”
Demi Lovato states in the documentary film that she always had a curiosity about the drugs and alcohol because her biological father seemed to find using drugs and alcohol to be fulfilling and he chose that over his family.
She states that when she first tried cocaine, she “loved it”.
Demi Lovato also spoke about being bullied around the age of 12. Her sister, Dallas was also interviewed about this. The girls that bullied Demi were particularly “evil” and cruel because they were saying that Demi should kill herself and even went as far as to pass around a “suicide petition” at school that many kids signed! Demi reports that as the day she called her Mom and said “I’m done.” She wanted to be homeschooled until high school. She discusses this being the time that she also developed the eating disorder bulimia.
While I haven’t followed her whole career and information about her life, I found the Demi Lovato- Simply Complicated film documentary to be informative and interesting. I know that I enjoyed listening to her songs
- Give Your Heart Break &
- Heart Attack,
but I was not familiar with her other songs. I also had not watched the shows that she was in.
Demi Lovato’s talk in the film documentary, Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated covers discussion of many, many things including her break up with another celebrity that she was in a long term relationship with for six years.
She discusses the loneliness that she experienced after that and how she started binge eating again when she had previously gone three years without doing it.
She discusses starting to date again and the excitement of texting and getting to know someone new. In the documentary film, she does however say that casual sex is “fun”. She might change her ideas about this as she becomes older, more mature, more steadily sober. Even if she does feel that way, it was a bit alarming to hear her saying it in the documentary film because she is undoubtedly a very influential person for her younger fans. Between her saying that she “loved” cocaine and casual sex is “fun”, I do hope that young people watching the documentary would not want to follow such a path. Film viewers might feel concerned for her as they hear her say this in the film and hope that she is looking out for her health in this arena (of women’s health, reproductive health, sexually transmitted disease [STD] prevention) in addition to her health as it is affected by drug use, alcohol and eating disorder. That’s a whole lot.
For the most part, the documentary film does show that Demi was in fact being self-destructive. The documentary shows her working hard at her singing in the studio but at the same time, it is discussed that
- she sometimes slept 18 hours a day,
- appeared at some of her performances hungover,
- was sneaking cocaine when others did not know about it (sneaking cocaine in bathrooms, on to planes and more).
- It was discussed that her management team gave her ultimatums about leaving her in order to get her to seek treatment to get sober.
- Interestingly, they also wanted to confiscate her cell phone for a time, because it was through the cell phone that she was having access to the drug dealers.
This documentary film about Demi Lovato was indeed insightful. No one wants to be scrutinized in their private lives but celebrities often are as public figures.
It is therefore very forthcoming when they participate in documentary films where they can let the public know what they want them to know, on their own terms without being victims of as much gossip and hearsay. It is generous when celebrities offer these windows into their lives when so many fans that admire them want to know more about them.
© 2018 Nyesha Pagnou MPH