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Lisa Picard Is Famous (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 22 August 2001 (USA)
A documentarian decides to follow the career of New York actress Lisa Picard, believing she is on the brink of fame. Instead, he bears witness to Lisa's continued, humorous, struggles as an... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lisa Picard
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Tate Kelly
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Andrew
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Boyfriend
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...
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Buck Henry
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Penelope Ann Miller
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Fisher Stevens
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Mira Sorvino
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Commercial Stud
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Female TV Reporter
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Storyline

A documentarian decides to follow the career of New York actress Lisa Picard, believing she is on the brink of fame. Instead, he bears witness to Lisa's continued, humorous, struggles as an actress, as well as the conflict that arises when Lisa's best friend Tate hits it big with an off-Broadway one-man show. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 August 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Famous  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,517 (USA) (24 August 2001)

Gross:

$112,521 (USA) (19 October 2001)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lisa Picard's name is a 'Star Trek' in-joke based on the actress playing her, Laura Kirk. Captains Picard and Kirk are the most well recognized commanders of the Starship Enterprise. See more »

Connections

References Good Morning America (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Bloody Life
Written by Coati Mundi (as Coati Mundi Hernandez)
Produced by Coati Mundi (as Coati Mundi Hernandez)
Performed by The ManicPhonic Mob
See more »

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User Reviews

Almost famous
15 November 2001 | by (CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Historically, Hollywood has done a lousy job of capturing what really goes on behind the scenes in its own industry. The "dream factory" that thrives on creating glossy visions of idealized lives has never been very good at examining its own underbelly.

The sole exception to this rule is Robert Altman's "The Player," a film that satirically nails Hollywood's shallow desperation with pitch-perfect accuracy. "The Player" finally has its bookend companion piece in "Lisa Picard is Famous," a "mockumentary" about an aspiring actress.

It comes as no surprise that this very funny and painfully true-to-life film was created by actors. Produced by actress Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite") and directed by actor/director Griffin Dunne ("After Hours"), the movie was written by and stars unknown actors Lisa Kirk and Nat DeWolf.

Kirk plays Lisa Picard, a fiercely determined New York actress who, after a series of minor parts and commercials, is poised for her major breakthrough "in a small but pivotal role" in a tv movie starring Melissa Gilbert.

DeWolf plays Lisa's gay friend and fellow actor Tate Kelly whose major credit is an ill-fated gig as an extra on "Days of Our Lives." He's set to debut in his autobiographical Off Off Off Broadway one man show that "deals with issues of gay bashing and homophobia" (although he's had no first hand experience with either).

The gloriously deadpan film is told through the eyes and lens of a documentary film maker (played by Dunne) who's trying to capture the esssence of fame by following Lisa. Tossing her beret into the air a la Mary Richards, she appears to be on the brink of stardom.

Although it borrows the mockumentary style of "This is Spinal Tap" and "Waiting for Guffman," the film ultimately goes beyond mere satire. By scrutinizing the lives of these desperately hungry actors (in squirmingly painful detail), it sheds much more meaningful light on the subject of fame than Woody Allen's "Celebrity," which focused on the lives of the shallow and famous.

While Hollywood typically depicts actresses as vain divas (see Catherine Zeta Jones in "America's Sweethearts"), Kirk's performance beautifully captures more fundamental elements of an actor's pathology including a self-absorption that runs so deep that she doesn't even know it's there.

She experiences a callback audition for an Advil commercial as a desperate matter of life and death. In analyzing her character's motivation in the Japanese horror flick "A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell," she's careful not to give away the film's ending, "in case it's ever released."

The underlying joke of "Lisa Picard is Famous" is that by chronicling the unknown actress' every move, the documentary itself elevates her to a kind of unwarranted fame, while plaguing her daily life with fame's intrusiveness.

Contributing additional irony, humor and depth are sly interviews with the likes of Carrie Fisher and Buck Henry. A handful of cameo performances aid in the illusion of documentary reality, including Sandra Bullock, Charlie Sheen, Penelope Ann Miller and Spike Lee.

While some of the gags push the limits of deadpan reality (like Lisa's erotic Wheat Chex commercial), most of the film's humor is dead on. Tate's hilariously banal gay monologue is sure to strike a chord with those who've seen one too many self-revelatory one man shows.


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