Life is But a Dream: Getting Up Close And Personal With Beyoncé

I settled in to watch Life is But a Dream, aka the Beyoncé documentary, aka my private Beyoncé concert, with high expectations and tons of questions. And I was not disappointed. Guys. Beyoncé is FUNNY. And honest. And serious. And kind of a goof. And, pretty darn sensual. The documentary began with a home movie of baby B (and Solange!), setting the tone that her home life and family are big influences in her life. So whip up a Beyoncé sandwich and let’s talk about it.

Beyoncé (middle) at home in Houston. I’m digging the cowboy boots.

This documentary promised an inside look at Beyoncé’s private life. Though she has kept a lot to herself, after seeing Life is But a Dream, I realized we DO know a lot about Beyoncé. We’ve known how she was feeling all along. The documentary perfectly weaves performances into her story, and we see her life unfold through her music: from her relationship with Jay-Z to professional struggles with her father to the pain of a miscarriage. SHE’S THE TAYLOR SWIFT OF LIFE EVENTS THAT ARE ACTUALLY SERIOUS. Probably because B is incredibly good at reflecting. Life is But a Dream is one big collection of her reflections. She thinks decisions through, to make sure they’re the right ones. She allows herself to feel things, good and bad and outrageous and confusing and heartbreaking. She listens to those feelings, and trusts them.

Sidebar: hey, Brittany from Glee. I see you on stage, girl. You look good.

Beyoncé spoke a few times about women. She wants us to know that we have to stick together. She didn’t specifically mention how cruel we tend to be to each other, but she got us thinking about it. Rather, she reminded us that we need each other. That we’re insecure about the same things, worry about the same things, deal with the same pressures. And it’s okay to need each other; it’s encouraged.

“It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do. … We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead and reach as high as humanly possible. That’s what I’m going to do.”

And then, there’s Jay-Z. Or was there? 15 minutes in, I was still waiting for him to show up. 20 minutes in, I was just hoping for a mention. (He eventually made multiple appearances). By the end, I realized it’s clear that B doesn’t rely on Jay or need him or go running to him when something goes wrong; she knows she is responsible for herself. But it’s also clear how much she loves him. She kept referring to him first as her best friend, and then as her husband. And he seems like the most supportive husband in the world. “I love me some Jay-Z,” she said on stage to the crowd. They’re adorable. It’s too much.

Jay & Bey. Stop it, you guys.

With Jay comes Blue Ivy. Though she rarely shows the baby to the public, Beyoncé put her on camera a few times during the documentary. We see Bey react to the rumors surrounding her pregnancy: surrogate! Faking it! But she calls them “stupid” and “ridiculous” and “crazy”. So that’s the end of that – plus, she included shots of her ultrasound, baby bump and the moments before she gave birth. If you haven’t learned by now, Beyoncé doesn’t need other people to do things for her! And that includes having a baby.

Jay-Z’s mini-me, aka Blue Ivy.

Beyoncé, can we be best friends? I’m sure you get that a lot. If not, I will settle for those male twin dancers, or being Blue Ivy’s nanny. No? Fine. Thank you for getting personal with us; it’s only made us love you more, which I didn’t think was possible. One more question: how do you look SO fabulous without makeup on?

Images screengrabbed from HBO GO

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