A long time ago I walked by the television and saw a bit of a movie that caught my eye. It was a mockumentary, done by Griffin Dunne (I always think of him as the actor that ruined After Hours) about a struggling wannabe actress named Lisa Picard. The film was Lisa Picard is Famous and I always wanted to see the rest of it.
Today it came around in my Netflix little read envelope. I wasn’t in the mood for a lighthearted romp, but I didn’t have anything else to do so I watched it.
It has its interesting points – mostly concerning the Helsenberg Uncertainty Prinicple and how it relates to documentary film-making – also how uncomfortable and awkward famous actors can look when walking through poorly-thought-out cameo appearances. Don’t ask to borrow Sandra Bullock‘s cell phone when you’re at the post office, by the way.
I did like Lisa Picard’s first big break – a starring role in a controversial racy Wheat Chex commercial. This brought out the usual Pornographic Cereal protesters and a lot of welcome publicity but in the end, the only result was a rash of unofficial websites with her head poorly photoshopped onto naked bodies and an unfortunately narrow typecasting into sexy breakfast scenes.
Most of the film was a series of embarrassing failures while her gay friend reached a comparative level of success with his excruciatingly earnest off-off-broadway one-man tighty-whitey show.
I guess what I’m saying is that the film as a whole did not have the charm of the random little snippet. I suppose that is true for a lot of one-joke mockumentary films – it’s hard to maintain the attitude for the whole shebang. Especially if the amps don’t go up to eleven.
I’m also getting a little exhausted with films proclaiming how difficult the life of an actor is. Try being a chemist sometime. Your margin for error is a lot lower and you don’t get to go to any parties.
All in all though, it wasn’t a total loss. Watching the end credits, I discovered the key grip was named Radium Cheung – what a great name! I have to write that one down and use it on a character sometime.