Demi Lovato has been in the public eye since she was a kid – and much like her life and career, her struggle with mental health, bulimia, and drug addiction have been public. She’s been an outspoken advocate for mental health after being diagnosed bipolar at 18. She’s spoken out about her struggles with cocaine, depression and the effects childhood bullying has had on her life. We’ve all read second-hand accounts of what she’s been through, everyone has seen and read interviews, but her documentary Simply Complicated is a frank and open glimpse at how her career and relationships were affected by her addiction and deteriorating mental health as well as how her experience paved the way for her most personal studio album Tell Me You Love Me.
Simply Complicated takes us on a familiar journey recounting Lovato’s rise to fame – something her friends, family and manager’s agree she was not emotionally equipped to handle at such a young age. We are given a look at how Lovato has healed with the help of her family, her team, her fans, and her music. The film shows us her progression not only as a person but as an artist as her crisp close ups are contrasted with home movies, childhood photos, and her sitting in the studio belting out the same notes over and over trying to reach perfection. She reveals that her perfection is in part responsible for her drive and her inability to be satisfied, which is in part a symptom of her past traumas.
It’s raw and emotional with moments of hilarity and reflection. It also becomes apparent that this star is human, still grappling with her demons. We see her disappointment when she relapses by purging because of stress and loneliness. When I asked Demi if she was careful about the way she portrayed her struggles her response was “I think what you have to do is you can’t romanticize it – you have to be just honest and let your story out there. If people take that in a different way then that’s unfortunate. What I did was I just I showed the struggle of it rather than glamorizing it.”
She also addresses her much buzzed about bi-sexuality by saying “I’m open to human connection – male and female.” It’s a footnote in her story, as it should be, fawning over a celebs sexuality shouldn’t even be a thing anymore. Let her live!
Simply Complicated serves as another Hollywood cautionary tale – but Lovato has made it clear that although the past is set in stone her future is still being written.
Demi Lovato already has 3 billion video views on YouTube alone. Simply Complicated will premiere exclusively on YouTube on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.