Projections - Movie Reviews

Everybody Famous

Everybody's Famous!

Because of the charming film that it's presented as, Everybody's Famous! spiritedly relates a sweet, yet fatuous comedy about a father who is determined to bring a just reward of fame to his daughter.  This superficial Belgian satire on the entertainment industry was nominated as Best foreign-language film; for some it doesn't bear comparison to the likes of Amores Perros or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The subject matter director and writer Dominique Deruddere has too much, been there, done that, but an Oscar nomination and a suggestive campaign can stir up some art house revenue for Miramax Films.  Yet Everybody's Famous! can't hide the fact that the characters are rote and manufactured to advance the increasingly incredulous story.

One of the caricatures, if admirable considering its protagonist, is Josse De Pauw's Jean Vereecken, a blue-collar bottle plant laborer who uses his down time to write the songs that he knows will help pop star wannabe daughter Marva (Eva van der Gucht) get noticed.

The pudgy karaoke competitor doesn't make for much of a stage presence, let alone vocal talent and the future doesn't look bright for her as she warbles Material Girl.  Marva is disrespectful to her father for his strong belief in her ability which underlines her insecurity and his fanaticism.

Deruddere churns his flaccid droll confection with Jena's sudden layoff from the factory and an urgency to act on his adulation of a blue-wigged pop megastar, a Flemish Brittany Spears, named Debbie (Thekla Reuten), whose concerts he's seen often on TV.

After working off the outline of The King of Comedy in which Jerry Lewis' TV host was taken hostage by Robert DeNiro, Deruddere doesn't have any intentions of using irony or caustic wit as Everybody's Famous! goes for fun and laughs instead of stoking the fiery passions surrounding the dreams of stardom.  Even the garish Josie and the Pussycats at least had ditzy pop-culture stabs as loopy and ridiculous as that comic creation was to inspire the disintegration of punk to mainstream bands.

Everybody's Famous!

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