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Andrew W. Walker,
A sports photographer in rural Canada sends a picture of a high school athlete, Tina Menzhal, to a Montréal fashion agency. This starts Tina on a career taking her from Canada to Paris to Montréal again, to Manhattan, to the world, and then home, through two boyfriends, two husbands, and innumerable TV interviews, either with nasty smiling scandalmongers or with gushing witless twits. In nearly every case, Tina never gets to finish a sentence. She has a suave agent, paparazzi are everywhere ("What the celebs forget, there's always a camera," says one), and a documentary filmmaker is on hand as well. What is it that Tina thinks, feels, and wants: will we ever find out? Written by
Virtually every shot of Jessica Pare is a broadcast or reflected image: she is seen in video clips, on the monitor of cameras, reflected in mirrors, glimpsed through glass, or in still photos, but never directly. See more »
During Tina's first fashion show, the "Victoria's Secret" lettering can be seen against the back drop of the curtain as the models begin to walk towards the stage. See more »
I was very surprised by this movie. I knew nothing about it except for Monsieur Arcand, and his oeuvre, so, needless to say, I was surprised at this "effort".
In an movie with nods to "Waiting for Guffman" (and movies of that ilk, which I love) but without the humour. The characterizations where over-the-top and annoying, the characters were mostly (including the lead, who was indeed gorgeous) cardboard, two-dimensional characters; completely unsympathetic and without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. So much of this movie felt so cliché, and I realize Arcand was probably going for a sort of over-the-top spoof of the fashion world, lampooning everyone involved in the business and that whole universe, wrought with superficiality and glossiness, but his strokes were too broad; the characters too transparent. Not to mention that we've seen it all before. Think of Altman's Ready To Wear. It just seems like an easy target. If you're not going to say anything new or enlightening about a subject, why say anything at all? For a movie to succeed, at the heart of it there needs to beat a soul, and this movie seemed to have none, whatsoever. Even a movie with a broad, exaggerated form of humour needs to have, deep in its core, a heart that beats real blood; something the audience can identify with and understand.
This is a surprising turn for Arcand, who has made a career making movies that are so full of human truths and insights. I found myself longing for "Le Declin de L'Empire Americain" or "Jesus de Montreal", in which the characters were authentic and sympathetic, and the stories fascinating.
Spoofs are fine. Broad comedies are fine. But as movies such as "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show" will attest to; you need to care about the characters on screen, even if things they do are ridiculous.
Just because the universe of fashion reeks of superficiality, doesn't mean a movie spoofing it should be just as if not more superficial than the world it's attacking.
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