Image Courtesy Anchor Bay Entertainment
Writer/Dir: Keith Bearden - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Kim Cattrall, Dustin Ingram, Brian Dennehy, Keith David, Jee Young Han, Jamie Tisdale, Daniel Yelsky
Reason to see: Unconventional friendships often win me over
I'll admit I had a few hesitation going into Meet Monica Velour, which follows an former adult star who has ends up meeting one of her adoring and rather young fan. The premise alone has an air of creep to it, but there was something interesting that kept drawing me to the film - it could have been the fantastic Kim Cattrall or the quirkiness of the idea or most likely the unlikely friendship that made me take the chance. And I'm certainly glad I did take a chance, because it turned out to be one hell of a fun and touching film.
Meet Monica Velour is a fantastic film showcasing life, expectations and the complexity of where those two things meet. We follow high school Tobe (Dustin Ingram) who is a die hard fan of Monica Velour, who now lives a less than glamorous life and just trying to make ends meet. Her life is rough, but Tobe can’t help but naively see her in the most ideal light and sweetly treats her with the utmost care and honour at every turn.
It's amazing how many times I thought the film could go creepy, but it doesn't. Tobe has a beautiful innocence to him which seems strange given that he surrounds himself with Monica-paraphernalia of posters and videos, but it also gives him a way to channel this awe of Monica. Kim Cattrall is fantastic as the seen-and-done-it-all Monica, who barely could give a care about this gangly kid who optimistically keeps turning up to see her, without having a clue about her rough and tumble life. There is a great balance between a sweet shyness and stark realism in the film, how it can show turning a blind eye to things we don’t want to see just as easily as a truth that you don’t want to believe but know to be true. And it’s all done with sense of honesty and often fair dose of beautiful awkwardness. Both Dustin Ingram and Kim Cattrall do a great job of showing a strong emotional range in their characters that makes them easy to relate to and cheer for. The film also has a great supporting cast including Keith David as Claude, who serves as the wise man of advice and stability.
I loved the gentle awkwardness that is present in almost every moment of the film, and I loved how funny it was. Not over the top or ridiculous, although it can be with some of the fun period early-Monica-days, but just in how it shows the truth of human nature and brings these characters to life. It was wild to see that juxtaposition of innocence and knowingness, and how they could still learn and grow from each other. Truly delightful and hilarious to boot.
- Audio Commentary with writer/director Keith Bearden and actress Kim Cattrall, really nice conversational commentary chatting about the overall story, the characters of Tobe and Monica and the inspiration behind the character of Monica and putting the costumes and look for her together, the art direction & props, how the film is not a morality tale, changes that happened along the way, challenges of a first time filmmaking including casting some of the extras and funny stories from filming.
- Deleted Scenes (4 scenes, 7 minutes) combination of extended and deleted scenes including a faux old Monica movie and pretty funny fantasy sequence, and scenes that insights into Tobe's life and prospects.
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again/buy it
I strongly recommend to fans of quirky comedies and films with unconventional relationships
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© Shannon Ridler, 2011