Thursday, August 13, 2009


Now, let's get to the bottom of things: Childstar was actually a film that I was glad to discover because it made fun of many Hollywood executives who clearly like to insult people's intelligence. Besides, I never thought that Don McKellar was beyond many North American humorists' league. However, any praises for the film should stop there.

Taylor Brandon Burns (Mark Rendall), an American childstar, is sent to Canada to shoot a Hollywood blockbuster called The First Son, a film in which the president is saved from terrorists by his son (played by Taylor, of course). Besides, once there, Taylor learns that the production crew had designated Rick (Don McKellar), an indie film director, as his chauffeur. Although Rick detests Taylor's behaviour, which is comparable to that of a prima donna, he enjoys one aspect of his job: banging Taylor's single mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) when he's not working.

However, when Taylor is unaccounted for after a night in a bar of Toronto, The First Son's production crew along with the studio executives freak out. When he learns about that, Rick and Taylor's mother strive to find Taylor so that the production of The First Son can wrap up.

After Stardom, here comes another film that laugh about Hollywood or the mainstream movie industry to be more precise. As a humorous film, Childstar certainly hits the nail right on the head by pointing out some elements of many North Americans' (the public as well as Hollywood executives) sordid appreciation of childstars (and many of the mediocre films and TV series they star in). Moreover, the film might make some say "touché" after seeing how the portrayal of the mainstream movie industry is willingly exaggerated by scriptwriters Don McKellar and Michael Goldbach.

However, while Childstar brings a good element of debate to see how dumb the Hollywood machine can be, the movie is fuelled by caricatures of people working in the industry. For that matter, we can think about movie executives who don't care about how lame most of their films are or a childstar (i.e. Taylor) who just can't mentally grow up. Furthermore, as if that wasn't enough, the list goes on. However, although the characters are evidently caricatures, the cast did a good job with an enthusiasm that can easily be discerned.

Finally, Childstar is not the best comedy out there, but it sure is funny. Of course, even though I thought that the film could have been better, this doesn't mean that I won't explore other films directed by Don McKellar.

Rating: 2.5/5

Origin:Canada (2005)
Length:100 minutes
Screenplay:Don McKellar and Michael Goldbach
Director:Don McKellar
Starring:Mark Rendall, Don McKellar, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristin Adams, Gil Bellows, Brendan Fehr, Dave Foley, Noam Jenkins and Peter Paige

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