Up Close And Personal Essay, Research Paper
“Up Close and Personal”
The “Movie Up Close and Personal,” is a modern-day story about a young reporter, Tally Atwater (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is determined to make a place for herself in the broadcasting field as a news reporter. At a Miami, Florida based station, where she is given her first chance at making it, Atwater meets Warren Justice (Robert Redford), a well known reporter who has irritated some important people in his career. Justice shows Atwater the ropes of becoming a successful news reporter and in the process, they fall in love. As the story progresses, the viewer is taken on a journey which consists of Tally Atwater’s rise in the field as well as the budding romance between herself and her mentor, Warren Justice.
Although “Up Close and Personal,” is a Romantic Comedy, it has an underlying theme, truth in the media. Not only does this movie emphasize the importance of the media uncovering the real story, but also it effectively portrays how truthful/exceptional journalism can still win success and fame. Tally Atwater’s success is based solely on her ability to discover and present the truth to the public. She reveals the secrets of dealing with the cutthroat actions of such a competitive field. By reporting the truth, rather than what the network thinks the public wants to hear, Atwater maintains her journalistic integrity.
In today’s society there are many stereotypes of women in the media and what they are supposed to represent. This movie effectively portrays what women have to go through to be remembered for their story rather than their face. As a young reporter, Tally Atwater walks into the Miami station ready to do whatever is asked of her. Because her dream is to become a news anchor, Tally is willing to do anything. Although she is hired as a page for the producer, she finagles her way to becoming a weather woman. Through her hard work and persistence, she persuades Justice to give her a chance on the other side of the camera. Although Tally has the talent of a successful news reporter, Justice feels she needs to look more polished. After a makeover and a new wardrobe, Tally Atwater is ready to report to the world. She proves herself as an exceptional reporter however, Tally becomes too concerned with her image. For example, Justice allows Atwater to cover a live on the scene report. However, in the middle of preparation, Atwater pulls out a tube of lipstick and asks if she looks all right. Justice replies with the question of whether or not Atwater is reporting to look good or to get the story? Tally’s reaction is a great example of how women are portrayed in the media. Although the networks want the story to be told, the pressure to look good is extremely prevalent.
Although Atwater proves to be a strong woman in the end, she falls victim to corporate socialization. Because she proves her broadcasting skills, Tally is promoted to be a weekend anchorwoman at a prestigious Philadelphia news station. When she arrives, her co-workers do not accept Tally. Although Justice polishes her look, Atwater does not fit the standards of “Philadelphia Society.” A tough news anchor whose goal is to get the real story, is not what the board thought would appeal to the Philadelphia public. She is directed to “ice the story with frosting,” so the public will remain calm and at ease. Although she is given yet another makeover and directed to mimic one of her colleagues, Atwater is able to overcome the pressures of the network. She proves herself as a reporter rather than an object of desire.
Warren Justice is a huge part of Tally Atwater’s career. Not only does he give her the opportunity to make something of herself, but also he is an exceptional mentor. Because he is a successful journalist himself, Justice knows what has to be done to make a dent in the broadcasting field. He teaches Atwater about the importance of maintaining journalistic integrity. With his guidance, Tally makes a great name for herself because she is always willing to go out on a line to get the truth.
Homesboro is the stepping stone in Tally Atwater’s career. Homesboro is a prison that Atwater visits in an attempt to do a follow up on a previous story. While she is reporting inside the prison, a jailbreak occurs. There is complete chaos, bullets are flying, and people are dying left and right. Throughout this whole incident, Tally is constantly trying to get the story. Although her life is in danger, she never fails to be right in the middle of the action. Not only does she get the story, Tally proves that she is no longer worried about every hair being in place or having her lipstick on straight. All that she is concerned with is presenting a story that will successfully inform the public.
Not only does “Up Close and Personal” effectively illustrate the importance of keeping journalistic integrity, but also, it portrays real life and real life issues. To be successful in most fields it is mandatory to fall victim to corporate socialization. Until one can prove him/herself a success, being politically conscious is the one sure stepping stone. However, if a person is exceptionally talented, like Tally Atwater, he/she will be able to surpass the political aspect of being successful. Atwater makes it to the top by what she knows, not whom she knows. Although she is lucky to come upon Warren Justice, Atwater makes herself a star. She knows when and what has to be done and lets very little come between her and a story.
“Up Close and Personal” effectively portrays how exceptional journalism can still win success and fame. Not only does Tally Atwater prove that it is not about what you look like or whom you know, but what you are able to produce. If a person has the talent and integrity to work towards their goal, they will be successful. Tally teaches the viewer the importance of telling the true story regardless of societies reaction. Whether or not the public agrees with the story at hand, the truth is meant to be heard. In journalism, in the real world, society should expect the same moral conscious as Tally Atwater showed in her search for the real story.