The Real Blonde Movie Review
The subjects of this film are the intertwined worlds of modeling, soap operas, and music videos in New York City, and given the nature of these industries, it is obvious from the beginning that the film's director (Tom DiCillo of Living in Oblivion fame) is setting us up for another stale commentary about the superficiality of these image industries with little actual plot to revolve around.
In contrast to Living in Oblivion, wherein DiCillo focused on the humor surrounding the mishaps of a low-budget film production, The Real Blonde is centered primarily around the dramatic and moral issues that those involved with these image-oriented industries undergo. Sadly, the humor is lost, despite the presence within the film of such talented comic artists as Christopher Lloyd, Buck Henry, and Dave Chappelle.
Despite this limitation, the film does contain some interesting elements. At a certain point in the movie, we begin to realize that The Real Blonde is not only criticizing the three industries mentioned above for their obsession with sex objects and artifice, but it is self-reflexively criticizing itself for focusing on the same artificial reality. Additionally, the startling intrusions of the intermittent dream sequences are also pleasantly appealing.
Ultimately, despite solid performances by Matthew Modine as Joe, a struggling serious actor who takes on background work in a Madonna video to get his foot in the door, newcomer Maxwell Caulfield who is convincingly creepy as Joe's former best friend turned soap star, and Elizabeth Berkeley, continuing her slow post-Showgirls return to the living with a solid performance as a Madonna body-double, the film fails to follow through with any true substance.
The Real Blonde is as artificial as the world that it portrays.