In the tradition of Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, and inspired by today’s obsession with reality TV and social media stars, writer-director Steven Jay Bernheim’s clever mockumentary fixes on a Paris Hilton-esque heiress named “London” (newcomer Julia Faye West) who is struggling to regain fame after being pushed out of the limelight by three Kardashian-type sisters named “The Kims.” London’s life is a self-indulgent maelstrom of product endorsements, talent managers, pet psychics, private jets, fashion shows, yachts, and a celebrity posse. Despite her wackiness, she ultimately makes it back to the top of the heap. This parody of America’s infatuation with fame raises the question: are these celebs-for-no-reason marketing geniuses, or are they just the accidental beneficiaries of the American public’s stupidity?
This tongue in cheek look at reality celebrity is hilarious. I mean, laugh out loud funny. The cast is incredible. A mockumentary in full effect, it’s like one long Comedy Central episode. They take aim at everyone: The Kardashians, boy bands, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, their eccentric entourages, and all the people who exploit them. But in truth, Reality Queen exposes just how highly produced “reality” shows and stars are. Does watching “reality” television make us feel better about ourselves? Probably. Do we follow these people because we idolize their ability to make money when they have exactly zero real skills? I don’t know if I can answer that. Reality Queen certainly lets us feel like we’re above it all, even if we are guilty of clicking a hair gummies ad or betting on who will receive the final rose.
Denise Richards plays an Angelina Jolie lookalike and she is everything. Julia Faye West as our main subject, London Logo, is a giant bobblehead. The commitment to this over the top caricature is awesome. Kate Orsini plays BBS journalist Diana Smelt-Marlin. She is the best part of this film. She gives us permission to laugh and roll our eyes at a worldwide culture that is pretty gross but definitely entertaining. I would watch an entire series that she hosts. From Twitter battles to terrible celebrity products, Reality Queen would be even greater as a series. There is so much fodder to explore.