6.5/10
1,647
41 user 17 critic

Born Rich (2003)

A documentary on children of the insanely rich. Directed by one of their own, Johnson & Johnson heir, Jamie Johnson.

Director:

Jamie Johnson
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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ivanka Trump ... Herself - Real-Estate Heiress
Georgina Bloomberg Georgina Bloomberg ... Herself - Media Heiress
Si Newhouse IV ... Himself - Publishing Heir (as S.I. Newhouse IV)
Luke Weil Luke Weil ... Himself - Gaming Industry Heir
Cody Franchetti Cody Franchetti ... Himself - Textile Heir
Stephanie Ercklentz Stephanie Ercklentz ... Herself - Finance Heiress
Josiah Hornblower Josiah Hornblower ... Himself - Vanderbilt / Whitney Heir
Carlo von Zeitschel Carlo von Zeitschel ... Himself - European Royalty
Christina Floyd Christina Floyd ... Herself - Professional Sports Heiress
Juliet Hartford ... Herself - A&P Supermarket Heiress
Peter L. Skolnik Peter L. Skolnik ... Himself - Attorney (as Peter Skolnik)
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Storyline

A documentary on children of the insanely rich. Directed by one of their own, Johnson & Johnson heir, Jamie Johnson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Luke Weil claimed he was tricked into appearing on camera and filed a lawsuit in 2002 trying to prevent this film from seeking distribution, but a New York state Supreme Court justice ruled in favor of director Jamie Johnson. See more »

Quotes

Luke Weil: Did you ever have an encounter that rubs you the wrong way? It's whoever pisses you off. And I'm up at boarding school. And this kid's from like some shit town in Connecticut. You know, I don't know. I can just say, fuck you, I'm from New York. I can buy your family, piss off. And this is petty, and this is weak. And this is very underhanded, but it's so easy, you know.
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User Reviews

 
Utterly fascinating...
28 October 2003 | by causegrrrlSee all my reviews

Born Rich is a documentary. Having said that, I'm not quite sure how to approach describing this film. I had such a strong reaction to it that it's hard for me to even write this review. Try to view it as I did, with open ears and an open mind, and one may feel a reaction that I myself was surprised to feel- sympathy. "Right..." you're thinking. "Sympathy for those little devils born rich."

No, really. I felt a bit of sympathy and a bit of disgust (just listen to Luke Weil yakking about "little bitch[es]" who won't sign pre-nups) but my true reaction was one of, "Oh... So that's how they live, that's how it is, and if I were one of them, the so-called elite, I'd probably end up a drugged up, boozed-up mess." Why would that life be so bad? The main theme I found running throughout the film was one of despair, especially from the thoughtful and determined filmmaker himself, Jaime Johnson, heir to the the Johnson & Johnson throne. This kid is so honest in his searching, he even gets himself into a bit of legal trouble in the end (I won't ruin the rest of that tidbit for you). One thing that a viewer of modest income will be shocked to learn is that talking about one's wealth, among the fellow wealthy, at least, is taboo. Many of these kids learnt of their parents fortune through the outside world, and not from their parents themselves. I could even understand why some of these kids felt betrayed by this. What I think is disconcerting to most of these kids is that, coming into that knowledge of their own wealth, and whether they realize it or not, they were born without a certain something that every non-rich human on the planet has... that tension of survival, that struggle of having to work to survive, that struggle of knowing that all of our youth and most of our lives are literally wasted on working hard to gain money. The scary thing I thought of while watching this, is that not only is money power, but money is also freedom- and ultimately too much freedom can bring disaster.

The kids in this film are all interesting enough to listen to- they're talking about their "fabulous" lives after all. Most are shallow, mentioning how they have to have that Gucci purse, or those $600 shoes. But a few are thoughtful (Johnson, Ivanka Trump, and Josiah Hornblower, especially) and some downright angry (S.I. IV Newhouse). All said and done, this film is a good look into how these kids function, how they think, and how regardless of wealth, what kind of people they actually are. It goes without saying at the end of the day, if you can't live with yourself, then your life is utterly hopeless.


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