By Christopher Null
Nothing could better use a solid send-up than the beyond egomaniacal fashion model "industry," a self-obsessed, navel-gazing enterprise of nonsensical characters if ever there has been one. French Canadian director Denys Arcand (best known for Jesus of Montreal) has created some biting social commentaries in the past, but Stardom is far from a masterpiece.
Stardom tells the story of an unknown female hockey player named Tina (Jessica Paré) who finds celebrity in the modeling biz when a happenstance candid photo of her on the ice becomes all the rage. Soon enough she's an up-and-comer in Montreal, jetting off to Europe for photo shoots and parties, and indulging in the usual trappings of the supermodel race.
She also quickly catches on to the duplicity game, turning older (and richer) men into pawns for her career. Whether it's a snooty photographer or a fat restaurateur (as played by Dan Aykroyd, yech!) or Frank Langella (ditto!), Tina sleeps her way to the top and squashes those who give her a lift.
Too bad Arcand has little to comment upon. Tina's obviously in the wrong and he doesn't defend or censure her. Her actions stand on their own, and since she's a trite and stereotypical amalgam of Cindy, Claudia, and Shalom, the character isn't even interesting enough to merit much more than a raised eyebrow.
Arcand also makes the iffy choice of telling the whole story from a kind of public eye-perspective. The film is almost wholly shot as if we are watching a newscast, commercial, telethon, music video, or talk show -- as if we're just watching TV and these are the events taking place around us. Yeah, Denys, we get the social comment. I just hate to tell you, even bad TV is a whole lot more interesting.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 13th October 2000
Distributed by: Lions Gate Releasing
Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 13
Cast & Crew