Movie Magazine International

The Real Blonde

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Monica Sullivan

An hour and 47 minutes into Tom DiCillo's "The Real Blonde", I noted with gratitude that it was over and I could go home. To be grateful to leave a film by the writer/director of the indie classics "Living In Oblivion" and "Box of Moonlight" is indeed a sad realization, but the grim fact is that there isn't a whole lot going on in "The Real Blonde." Joe and Mary have been living together for six years and are experiencing lukewarm relationship problems

Bob and bottle blonde Sahara started out as a one night stand, but he wants to be with a real blonde, if he can ever find her, and she wants to get married. Kelly IS a real blonde, alright, but that's about it. Dr. Leuter, not-so-secretly lusting after Mary, diagnoses her problem as 'hostility towards men' and recommends a self defense class. Blair is a fashion photographer who likes male models with chunky abdominal muscles. Ernest is an old school gay who trains his all male staff to be scrupulously correct waiters,. Dee Dee is a hard-as-nails agent, straight out of a cookie cutter. And Tina (not a real blonde) is a Madonna double who just wants to be loved.

Even if these stereotypical characters were funny (and they aren't), none of the situations in which they find themselves are worth watching for as long as it takes to sit through four or five situation comedies on television. "The Real Blonde" is a major studio release (namely, Paramount) that feels like (a) the script was sitting in Tom DiCillo's closet for several years, (b) it's been through too many story conferences or (c) both of the above. It stars all the folks you'd expect to turn up in an indie these days (Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Maxwell Caulfield, Bridgette Wilson, Daryl Hannah, Buck Henry, Marlo Thomas, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner & Elizabeth Berkley), but all their best efforts can't breathe life into this movie.

Steve Buscemi puts in a cameo as a director (duh!) of a music video. He's so self-assured & confident here, he looks like he's slumming & he is. The best indies aren't just studio wannabes. They're infused with a free spirit & a fresh way of looking at life. Alas, the only free, fresh thing about "The Real Blonde" is the exit.

© 1998 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 3/18/98

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