Its 9:47 pm
The cheetah and I were still talking about the last film we reviewed and I suggested we watch something much lighter today,maybe something from from our last Dollar Tree sale and he was down for that. In fact he picked out a film we both have been looking forward to watching and that was “Pretty Bad Actress”. We knew nothing about the film only that the talented Heather McComb was the star and for us,that was enough…..
Gloria Green (Heather McComb) was a famous child star who had a huge show called “Trudie” which had a very catchy song called “Trudie Cutie”. Keeping in line with the fate of several child/teen stars,Gloria hasn’t able to translate that fame into a grown-up film career and seemingly started on that road to self-destruction…pills,booze,bad films,bad relationships with every mishap being shown to the public.
But Gloria has a superfan in high school student Dawnee (Stephanie Hodes) who is also a social misfit at her school. Dawnee knows everything about Trudie and manages to bring her into every class assignment much to her teacher’s befuddlement. We see that Dawnee’s room is covered with pictures of “Trudie” and of Gloria.
Gloria is on her way out of a audition and calls her agent Al (Danny Woodburn) and she is clearly upset about results of the audition,she has been typecast to hell and back and can’t get any job because she is so ingrained as “Trudie”.
After a short and nasty encounter with a pair of fans,Gloria is attempting to take some meds when she is suddenly kidnapped by a dude who looks like Freddie Mercury. As the kidnapper is loading Gloria,Dawnee stumbles across the scene and is kidnapped as well.
When Gloria’s personal assistant Cheryl (Jillian Bell) figures out something is terribly wrong,she tries to tell the cops who don’t take her seriously.
Meanwhile Gloria and Dawnee both wake up and find themselves tied up. Gloria is in a foul mood and isn’t in a good mood naturally. Dawnee is clearly happy to be so close to her favorite star. After the two of meet their kidnapper and send him on a errand (girl issues),they manage to free themselves but because Gloria is trying to get some of her pills,the kidnapper returns and Dawnee is yanked out of the basement and smacked around. The two find themselves tied by to back and they begin to bond….
Cheryl,playing detective,discovers Gloria has been kidnapped by instead of calling the cops,Al decides to take advantage of the situation and milk a movie deal out of it.
The kidnapper returns and yanks Dawnee upstairs and what up to now has been a simple kidnapping takes a dark turn and will alter lives forever…..
So here I was expecting a silly little comedy and ended up watching a pretty dark comedy-drama. While it had plenty of satire in how the agent was milking his client in his big pitch meeting and used a pair of cops as comedy relief,the heart of writer-director Nick Scown’s first feature is not a light and fluffy tale.
Watching Gloria getting used up and then discarded by Hollywood is a all too common theme we have seen more as of late. So many actors who can’t break out of a kids role and do more serious roles only to crash and burn with many killing themselves.
But to see the very same fans who say they worship those actors but aren’t above using their idols for their own 15 seconds of fame,truly sad and somewhat scary….
Heather McComb does a strong turn as Gloria,she looks beautiful but at the same time,you can see how the toll of her life is really starting to push her past the point of no return. Her scenes with Dawnee ring really true,she just wants a chance to be Gloria and put Trudie behind her.
Hodes is something to see,she has been paying attention to the abuse and heartache in her own life and Trudie is her only peace in this world and when that taken away,Dawnee shows that she may have been watching or reading about topics besides her Hollywood hero. Hodes is a very interesting actor and I would like to see more of her work but she has been quiet since 2015 which is too bad.
The only complaint I had was the satire and slapstick felt a little out of place,it sort of messed up the flow of the story a little too much. I wish we had stayed a little longer with Gloria and Dawnee as well.
“Pretty Bad Actress”is unrated but should be considered a “PG-13”,it had a brisk run time of 80 minutes and no special features other then some trailers.
The cheetah and I gave “Pretty Bad Actress” a thumb and a paw straight up…..
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