Monday, March 28, 2011

Just About Famous (March 31st and April 1st at the Cleveland International Film Festival)

[JUST ABOUT FAMOUS screens Thursday March 31st at 12pm and Friday April 1st at 4:45pm as part of the Independent Shorts Program 10 at the Cleveland International Film Festival.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

We're all familiar with the idea of Elvis impersonators, but apparently celebrity lookalikes of all kinds are big business. JUST ABOUT FAMOUS is a short documentary that interviews several people in the impersonation industry as they gather at a convention for their unusual profession. Yes, there is an Elvis, but there's also Oprah, Clinton and Bush, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, and even a Dame Edna impersonator (I'll be honest, I had to look that last one up).

The film is funny, but not because it makes fun of its subjects. These aren't a bunch of nutjobs for us to gawk at; rather, for the most part these folks turn out to be genuinely witty and well adjusted. Which I suppose shouldn't be as surprising as it is. After all, they are entertainers, even if it's not the sort of career path most aspiring performers envision for themselves.

At only 15 minutes, there's not much time to really explore what motivates these people to become someone else beyond the obvious physical similarites. Nor is there any attempt to explain why anyone would pay good money to see counterfeit celebrities. I don't know if co-directors Jason Kovacsev and Matt Mamula have plans to expand this into a feature, but there”s certainly more to this subject that would be worth exploring. In the meantime, though, JUST ABOUT FAMOUS provides an intriguing and entertaining glimpse into this twilight world of quasi-stardom. 3 out of 4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I used to work as a personal assistant for the Elvis Impersonator Charlie Franks shown in this film short...& I must say it was all I could do to keep a straight face around him...he was very funny all the time on stage & off & people just loved that about him! He never failed to entertain the masses in so many ways! It was one of the best times of my life, that I will never forget! Celia T. DeLia-Ross

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