Hollywood North Movie Review
Any cinephile knows that Canada's government will gladly fund the production of just about anything a Canadian wants to produce, no matter how bad the script. All it takes is a Canadian cast, crew, and shooting in the country.
In the tradition of The Player and Living in Oblivion, Hollywood North chronicles the creation of a film in which all manner of things go awry. It starts with a beloved Canadian sitting-room novel reinvented as an action story. The leading man decides to do his own stunts, landing flat on his face after a leap from a balcony. The sexy leading lady has sex with his replacement. Money runs out... it turns out one of the crew is shooting her own film on the sly and using the production funds to buy film stock and process the development.
As cliche as Hollywood North is, it's also utterly absurd and surprisingly enjoyable for long stretches (largely thanks to Alan Bates as an eccentric star and John Neville (Baron Munchausen to you) as the director of the film-within-a-film. Leading man Matthew Modine is forgettable -- though his sideburns are ridiculous -- and Deborah Unger (playing the sneak) relies on her charm to carry her part of the film -- which actually drives the bulk of the story.
Of course, North ends up as so utterly dumb you can't help but care little about how its satire ends up, which is predictably in utter chaos. While Oblivion had a sense of nudge-nudge style and finesse, North is so obsessed with the Canadian insider scene and telling corny, '80s-infused jokes that you ultimately can't help but feel a little sorry for this movie.