Social satires are tricky vehicles because you need the correct edge to convey its message. In director-writer Deruddere's well-intentioned but misguided satire Everybody's Famous!, there's a routine angle about the Everyman trying to buck the conventions of an otherwise lackluster existence. The problem is that Deruddere (Love Is a Dog From Hell) tries to tackle too many frantic points in a hokey comedy that's so perfunctory and meandering. This Belgian product scored an Academy Award nomination in last year's Best Foreign Film category. With that being said, someone must have mistaken this unfocused farce for that of a frothy, insightful comedy. Stagey and recklessly excitable for its own good, Everybody's Famous! reaches for routine laughs in an all-too-familiar venue of ordinary folks trying to do too many things in the name of well-meaning desperation.
The story features a flustered father named Jean Vereecken (Josse De Pauw) who has a crazy vision of grandeur when he contemplates the notion of turning his talent-challenged, plump daughter Marva (Eva van der Gucht) into a glorified, moneymaking pop star. The poor gal is so earnest in her attempt to please her weary middle-aged father that she subjects herself to constant humiliation. This includes entering karaoke contests in which laryngitis-inflicted patients have a better chance at winning than the put-upon diva wannabe. But despite the obvious void in Marva's singing ability, Jean still stubbornly pens songs for his little gal to vocalize, with uneven results.
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