The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
It’s a shock to see this raven-haired go-getter so full of life, so full of possibilities and so full of herself at such an early age. There she is in grainy home-video footage with her female chums with a smattering of adolescent acne on her fresh face, innocently sucking on a lollipop and throatily belting out the sing-song refrain of “Happy Birthday” as if she were possessed by the spirit of an ancient R&B diva.
This is the Amy Winehouse few of us ever got to witness, radiating cheeky self-confidence and finding joy in sharing her considerable gifts. The one who existed before the brutally invasive flash-flash-flash of the paparazzi’s omnipresent cameras eventually snuffed out the very flame that once burned so bright inside of her.
What most of us do know of Winehouse, a throwback to the great jazz songstresses of yore who was also informed by hip-hop, reggae, girl-group pop and soul, is that this North London-born chanteuse burst onto the scene like a supernova and burned up the charts with her 2006 breakthrough album “Back to Black,” selling over 20 million copies and winning five Grammys. For a time, her catchy signature tune, the all-too-appropriate “Rehab,” was inescapable and helped shape her coquettish bad-girl persona.
And, almost as quickly, she succumbed to the ultimate showbiz cliché, dying from accidental alcohol poisoning in 2011. Thus, Winehouse became a charter member of the “27 Club,” which refers to the age of such music legends as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison when they reached their own much-too-early expiration dates.