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Joe and Mary have been living together in Manhattan for six years. Joe is an actor, who has no agent and no thesping credits, but whose ambitions are very high. He works as a waiter at a cafe. Mary works as a make-up stylist for hot fashion photographer Blair, and she pays most of the pair's bills. Joe finally lowers his standards and accepts a degrading bit in a Madonna video, while his friend and co-waiter Bob gets a high-paying job on a soap opera opposite siren Kelly. Written by
Tom DiCillo is a wonderful director who should be seen more often. As he has demonstrated with his previous films, he is a man that brings a great dimension to the subjects he selects for his movies. Mr. DiCillo's strength lies in the magnificent performances he gets from his casts by making them underplay their roles and the irony behind his plots.
"The Real Blonde" was Mr. DiCillo's third film and he shows a firm hand in moving all the characters in so many interesting ways as they go about their lives in this complex city of New York. The film deals with the way young people are trying to cope with careers and relationships in this complicated city.
At the center of the action we find Joe, a good guy who works as a waiter in order to pursue his ambition of becoming an actor. Joe seems to be a bit confused about what he wants to do and doesn't have his feet planted on the ground. He doesn't have anyone pushing for him, no experience to speak of, yet he perceives himself into doing roles such as Biff in "The Death of a Salesman". Talk about reality!
Joe is living with a down to earth woman, Mary, who is a makeup artist and knows her way around the city and the people she has to deal with. Bob, who is Joe's best friend, and fellow waiter, lands himself in a soap opera that nets him a lot of money. Joe, the idealist, believes Bob is selling out, going too commercial.
Mr. DiCillo brings together the different worlds in which these characters are living into perspective with great style in a fun movie that is a lot of fun, at the same time.
Catherine Keener, who has worked with Mr. Dicillo in several films, comes out the best in her role of Mary. Ms. Keener is one of the best actresses working in films today and has a natural charm that graces everything she does. Matthew Modine gives a good performance as Joe. Daryl Hannah, Maxwell Caulfield, Elizabeth Berkley, Marlo Thomas, Bridgette Wilson, Buck Henry, Christopher Lloyd, Katheleen Turner and Denis Leary, are seen in supporting roles.
A charming film by one of America's best kept secret director: Tom DiCillo!
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