THE REAL BLONDE
Starring: Matthew Modine, Catherine
Keener, Daryl Hannah, Maxwell
Caulfield, Elizabeth Berkeley,
& Marlo Thomas
Runtime: 110 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Tom DiCillo
Producer: Marcus Viscidi & Tom Rosenberg
Writer: Tom DiCillo
Address Comments To:John Goldwyn
President, Paramount Motion Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
In THE REAL BLONDE, Joe (Matthew Modine) is an aspiring actor in New York City who refuses any acting roles that he sees as beneath him. He lives with Mary (Catherine Keener), whose resentment of her live-in boyfriend’s low-wage waiter job causes her to feel increasing hostility toward him. At the exclusive catering company where he waits tables, Joe befriends another would-be actor-waiter, Bob (Maxwell Caulfield), a sex addict obsessed with consummating a relationship with a natural blonde woman. The story of Joe and Bob’s romantic philandering meanders through various romantic interludes, but totally lacks resolution.
As it turns out, Joe finally agrees to work on a humiliating Madonna video and meets a physically captivating blonde who plays Madonna’s body-double in the video. Because he doesn’t have a round-enough rear-end, the Assistant Director orders him to the back row in a dance sequence, then fires him when he concocts a smart-aleck racist joke to rebut the Assistant Director’s anti-Semitism. Desperate, he puts passion in his audition before casting agent Dee Dee Taylor (Kathleen Turner) and lands an important role in a feature film, to Mary’s delight.
Bob, on the other hand, lands a job playing an arrogant rake on a popular daytime soap opera, PASSION CREST, and lends such a sense of proud aloofness to his role that the show’s ratings rise dramatically. Regrettably, the attitude of the philandering rake he plays on TV spews over into his private life, where he visits porn shops and fornicates with his blonde co-star, Kelly(Darryl Hannah). Later, Bob and Kelly argue and separate, alienated one from the other. Because of his selfish hatred for her, he demands and receives creative control from the obsequious Assistant Director on the soap opera, who permits him to get rid of Kelly by staging her character’s suicide by gunshot.
As he did in BOX OF MOONLIGHT, writer/director DiCillo seems to attach one scene to another in THE REAL BLONDE with no rhyme or reason and has to resort to date labels five or six times during the movie to indicate the passage of time because he wasn't able to depict it in the dialogue or mise en scene. Also, Matthew Modine’s delivery is wooden. He seems to hesitate before mouthing his lines as if he had just heard last-minute directions from the director before speaking and is trying to comply. Moreover, the ending sequence has nothing to do with the main characters or their conflicts. Nor does the real blonde resolve the conflicts which arise within the story. Thus, the movie is as inferior artistically as it is morally.
What Joe and Bob need is redemption, not more women to sate their passionate sexual desires. The Bible instructs Christians to avoid sexual immorality and to learn to control their own bodies in a way that is holy and honorable and not to carouse in passionate lust like the pagans who do not know God (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5). People are tired of films which depict worldly lifestyles with no way out. Hence, because there is not an inkling of a real spirituality emanating from either its premise or its resolution, THE REAL BLONDE bombs.
The story of Joe and Bob’s romantic philandering meanders through various romantic interludes, but totally lacks resolution. What Joe and Bob need is redemption, not more women to sate their passionate sexual desires. The Bible instructs Christians to avoid sexual immorality and to learn to control their own bodies in a way that is holy and honorable, and not to carouse in passionate lust like the pagans who do not know God (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5). As inferior artistically as it is morally, THE REAL BLONDE bombs.