Lisa Picard Is Famous

A mockumentary shot on digital video that confirms everything you ever thought about silly, self-centered actors. Filmmaker Andrew (actor-turned-director Griffin Dunne) has the brilliant idea to make a documentary about an actor on the brink of fame, documenting the struggle and its eventual reward: fame. Andrew's money is on the relentlessly determined...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A mockumentary shot on digital video that confirms everything you ever thought about silly, self-centered actors. Filmmaker Andrew (actor-turned-director Griffin Dunne) has the brilliant idea to make a documentary about an actor on the brink of fame, documenting the struggle and its eventual reward: fame. Andrew's money is on the relentlessly determined Lisa Picard (Laura Kirk, whose startling resemblance to Mary-Louise Parker is worked into the plot). Lisa's credits are spotty: children's theater (she was a starfish — is that perfect or what?), a part as a mute, underdressed cave girl in an unreleased monster movie and a notoriously sexy Wheat Chex commercial. But it looks as though she's on the verge of a breakthrough, having won the part of Melissa Gilbert's younger sister in "A Call for Help," a soon-to-air TV movie. Sure, she only has one scene, but it's the first scene and her desperate phone call sets the plot in motion. Andrew follows Lisa on auditions and errands, interviews her boyfriend and acquaintances, and charts her tempestuous relationship with her very best friend in the whole wide world, fellow actor Tate Kelly (Nat DeWolf). Tate's career to date is even less impressive than Lisa's, and at the moment he's mired in a personal funk: His boyfriend Paul (Mark Mortimer), a soap opera star, recently dumped him, and Tate thinks it's because Paul feared career consequences if word got out that he was gay. He's pouring his pain into a self-indulgent one-man-show called "Hate Crimes & Broken Hearts," in which he manages to conflate his personal heartache with institutionalized homophobia and intolerance. Interspersed with Tate and Lisa's stories are interviews with real-life celebrities like Carrie Fisher, Buck Henry and Fisher Stevens, who muse about their experiences with fame. The cast is littered with boldface personalities playing themselves, including Spike Lee, Charlie Sheen, Penelope Ann Miller, Sandra Bullock and Mira Sorvino (one of the film's producers), and writer-director L.M. Kit Carson reprises his role as aspiring filmmaker David Holzman from the pioneering navel-gazing mockumentary DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY (1968). Adding to the air of dizzying self-referentiality, stars Kirk and DeWolf, themselves aspiring actors, are also the screenwriters, and Lisa and Tate's experiences are frankly based on their own. The result is often quite funny, without ever managing to say anything especially new or perceptive about fame and the culture of celebrity.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A mockumentary shot on digital video that confirms everything you ever thought about silly, self-centered actors. Filmmaker Andrew (actor-turned-director Griffin Dunne) has the brilliant idea to make a documentary about an actor on the brink of fame, docum… (more)

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