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The Real Blonde Movie Review

tom dicillo kathleen henry

An hour and 45 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 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 marry 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 man 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 feels like (a) the script was sitting in Tom DiCillo's closet for several years, (b) it's been seen by too many script doctors, 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, Denis Leary, and 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 and confident here; he looks like he's slumming and he is. The best indies aren't just studio wannabes. They're infused with a free spirit and a fresh way of looking at life. Alas, the only free, fresh thing about The Real Blonde is the exit.

1997 (R) 105m/C Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Daryl Hannah, Maxwell Caulfield, Elizabeth Berkley, Marlo Thomas, Buck Henry, Bridgette Wilson, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner, Denis Leary; Cameos: Steve Buscemi; D: Tom DiCillo; W: Tom DiCillo; C: Frank Prinzi; M: Jim Farmer. VHS, Closed Caption, DVD

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