Call Me: The Rise And Fall Of Heidi Fleiss

  • 2004
  • 1 HR 24 MIN
  • NR
  • Biography, Drama, Erotic

This titillating USA Network biopic cashes in on the high-profile madam's notoriety; rather than approaching the Heidi Fleiss debacle as a drama or a black comedy, the filmmakers treat her travails with a jokey attitude Spoiled by her doting papa, Dr. Paul Fleiss (Saul Rubinek), Heidi Fleiss (Jamie-Lynn DiScala) grows up with a knack for business and a deep-rooted...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This titillating USA Network biopic cashes in on the high-profile madam's notoriety; rather than approaching the Heidi Fleiss debacle as a drama or a black comedy, the filmmakers treat her travails with a jokey attitude Spoiled by her doting papa, Dr. Paul Fleiss (Saul Rubinek), Heidi Fleiss (Jamie-Lynn DiScala) grows up with a knack for business and a deep-rooted need for a father figure. Bright and vivacious, Heidi could have succeeded in retail or real estate. Instead, she falls for has-been TV director Ivan (Robert Davi). Not averse to easy money, Heidi only makes a cursory fuss when her boyfriend/procurer leads her into the world's oldest profession. Under the tutelage of long-time Hollywood madam Alex (Brenda Fricker), Heidi is a natural. Neither her impulse-shopping nor her coke habit impairs Heidi's business flair. When the LAPD busts Alex for pandering, Heidi fills-in for her. With Alex languishing in the hoosegow and Ivan pressuring her to be all she can be, Heidi steals Alex's business. Dispensing largesse, Heidi refuses to peddle gossip to the tabloids or to gain protection from the cops by dropping the dime on customers. Not everyone is so honorable. When the cops take down Heidi, Ivan saves his own skin. Although Heidi can flap her gums about the occasional actor or rock star, she learns there are consequences to exposing politicians, movie moguls or tycoons. Threatened, Heidi clams up and serves her time; a coda states she went on to become a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Although DiScala tries hard, she's too squeaky-clean to play someone who's been around the block so many times. Enhanced by the over-the-top acting of Fricker and Davi in particular, this spotty production actually explains, in its own oddball way, how the sexist deck is stacked against women in any business.

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