Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story

Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story ★★★

I didn’t know who Jackie Collins was until she was invoked in a recent book I read and then thanked in the acknowledgements. I think this documentary gives a sufficient biographical overview of her life. As someone who hasn’t read her books (but will soon!) this was an entertaining introduction. I can imagine fans of her work, particularly those who were growing up as her books were released, may be left wanting for more. 

It’s clear she had a beautiful network of friends and family who wouldn’t & couldn’t miss a chance to share how much she meant to them. I would’ve liked one of the interviewees to be a current author who was inspired by Jackie Collins and/or a cultural critic. This documentary doesn’t really delve into the nuances of her fiction on past/present feminism. I think that angle is lacking and sorely needed to balance out the facts of her life. 

The archival footage is great. The b-roll is kinda gaudy, which could be a deliberate choice to match her personal aesthetic. The song choice has no rhyme or reason. The staging of all the interviews is so beautifully curated for the person in the scene. I have major desk and decor envy. 

Two quotes I loved: 

- Barbara Davis: “I used to bring a baked potato everywhere I went so I would have something plain on the side.” SHE PUT BAKED POTATOES IN HER DELICATE HANDBAGS. I’m sorry I didn’t realize this was a life option. Note taken.
- Jackie Collins: “And I’m not claiming to be a great literary genius; I’m claiming to be a terrific storyteller. And I would say the people who criticize me the most are the people who have never read me.”

Italo Calvino wrote that, “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” It’s clear Jackie’s legacy lives on in so many of the books I enjoy reading now, even though people did not feel that would be the case when the books were released. I feel this documentary ultimately does a disservice to Jackie’s legacy by not further examining the enduring impact of her work on society and culture.