6.5/10
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4 user 8 critic

Hollywood, je t'aime (2009)

A gay Parisian shows up in Hollywood at Christmastime, ready for his close-up.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eric Debets ...
Jérôme Beaunez
...
Ross
Jonathan Blanc ...
Gilles
...
Kaleesha
...
Norma Desire
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oscar Alvarez ...
Himself
...
Trish
Cesar Arambula ...
Trick from Spotlight Bar
...
Steve Jaspers
Barbie-Q ...
Kaleesha's Girlfriend
...
Commercial Casting Assistant
...
Immigration Officer
...
Grip / Production Assistant
...
Diner
...
Amber Sparks
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Storyline

Recently broken up and barely enduring a dreary winter, gay Parisian Jérôme Beaunez impulsively books a solo Christmas vacation to Los Angeles. While there he meets some colorful locals and pursues a dormant desire to become a movie star - but never can quite put the past behind him. In this meditation on love and narcissism across continents, Jérôme goes far in the sun-drenched City of Angels but ultimately arrives at an old Hollywood maxim: there's no place like home. Written by anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

21 June 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Norma Desire: Hollywood wants its faggots behind the camera, not in front.
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Soundtracks

Breathe
Written by Casey Clark
Performed by 3 PM
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User Reviews

 
Supporting Cast Steals Show from Well-Built Lead
5 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Hollywood je t'aime" is a lot like its star, Eric Debets: pleasant to look at, but not very engaging. Essentially a movie about a gay Frenchman, Jerome (Debets), wandering around L.A. for a few weeks, "Hollywood je t'aime" has the flimsy premise that's supported many a comedy. But flimsy premises usually support a larger, if not necessarily more complex, story. When Jerome meets up with an easy-going hair stylist-turned-pot dealer (Chad Allen), "Hollywood" seems poised to become a gentle romantic comedy. But when Allen reveals he's HIV-positive and Debets meets a trannie hooker Kaleesha (Diarra Kilpatrick) and her aging drag queen benefactor Norma Desire (Michael Airington), "Hollywood" makes an abrupt turn, becoming a story about friendship and self-acceptance. Along the way Jerome has his share of misadventures (an unpleasant stay in a hostel, a misunderstanding about tipping, a painful audition), but he's also pretty lucky, getting a place to stay AND an acting job within days of arriving in La La Land. Plus, he's got an adorable pot dealer eager to get in his jeans. Yet Jerome can't seem to quit the swishy ex he left behind in Paris, the one who won't return his texts.

As several reviewers have noted, Debets is, put charitably, a low- key performer. His Jerome meets life's hardships with the sigh and shrug of someone accustomed to getting the dirty end of the stick. When something good happens (the aforementioned Chad Allen, the place to stay, the acting gig) he manages a partial smile and his step becomes a tad springy, but otherwise he's fairly indifferent to these joyful moments. Debets makes his strongest impressions during his nude scenes, including a full-frontal flash. He's perfectly suited for nude modeling; as the lead actor in a light comedy, not so much. Luckily, the supporting cast can handle the heavy lifting required of them. Kilpatrick is a bubbly presence, her Kaleesha exhibiting far more optimism than one might expect from a person turning tricks in front of a taco stand, though the actress does let some of the pain show through the cracks. Airington, who sort of resembles Bette Midler if she hadn't become a star and if she was, you know, a man, thoroughly inhabits the role of mother hen Norma, providing nuance for what could have been – and often is – the Bitter Drag Queen role. But most of the movie's energy comes from Allen, whose performance makes you wish "Hollywood" stayed on the romantic comedy path it started on. Allen makes it so easy to fall in love with him it's mind-boggling that Jerome doesn't. Perhaps this is why writer-director Jason Bushman includes a scene that has Allen rejecting the French tourist's gender-bending pals. By showing Allen's character to be a snobby a-hole, all of a sudden, we'll have an easier time swallowing Jerome's resistance to romance (or at least a roll in the hay). Otherwise, we'd have to consider Jerome is put off by Allen's HIV status. But the scene rings false, and the movie takes a bruising because of it.

To be portrayed by a man with a killer bod, it's interesting to note that Jerome, despite several offers, never gets laid – not even in a bathhouse. That kind of sums of "Hollywood je t'aime" as a whole: it's very attractive, but it never quite goes all the way.


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