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Laramie Movie Scope: Somewhere

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 25, 2010 -- Soffia Coppola, producer, director, writer, actress, and daughter of award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola, grew up in the entertainment business. She seems to be sticking with what she knows in this, her latest film. It is an inside look at what it is like to live the life of a movie star. It turns out to be not exciting at all. Rather, it is empty, lonely and depressing.

The movie star depicted is Johnny Marco (played by Stephen Dorff of Oliver Stone's “World Trade Center”). He lives a life of luxurious oblivion in a posh hotel. A number of women throw themselves at him, but he has become so jaded to sex he falls asleep in the middle of the act. He even falls asleep during an alluring pole dancing act in his bedroom by twins Cindy and Bambi (Karissa and Kristina Shannon). The girls have portable pole kits that they set up for a very sexy call girl act. Johnny falls asleep the first time the girls do their act, but stays awake the next time, but gets the twins mixed up and gets scolded.

Johnny's 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (played by Elle Fanning of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) shows up for a visit. Johnny's ex-wife calls and says she is going away for a while and he is in charge of her care until he gets her to summer camp in a few days. Johnny takes Cleo figure skating. Johnny says he didn't know that Cleo could skate so well. Cleo informs him she has been taking lessons for three years. Johnny takes Cleo with him to a movie premiere in Italy, where another one of Johnny's girlfriends shows up unexpectedly. Cleo is not pleased.

Back in the states, Johnny takes Cleo to summer camp. In the car, Cleo starts crying. She doesn't know if her mother is ever coming back, neither does Johnny. Johnny rents a helicopter to take them from the airport to a place closer to the camp. When Cleo gets in the taxi Johnny says “I'm sorry I haven't been around” to see his daughter grow up. His words are lost in the noise of the helicopter. Disconsolate, Johnny reaches out for help, but there isn't any. He just wants to get away from it all.

The pace of this film is slow. There are a lot of scenes without dialogue and a lot of scenes where nothing much is going on. Aside from promotional appearances, the only scenes in the movie which actually have to do with making movies are those in the makeup department where a cast is made of Johnny's head for a makeup mask which makes Johnny look decades older. Other actors ask Johnny if he has studied method acting (he hasn't) and a reporter asks him how he keeps in shape (he is evasive). Much of the film is shot in Johnny's hotel room. This adds to the feeling that Johnny, despite being a very public figure, is very isolated from the world. It also adds to the feeling that every day is pretty much the same in Johnny's world. It seems the only time he gets out of bed and gets out of his room is when his publicist has a task for him to perform.

The fact is, being a movie star is just about the easiest way there is to make a whole lot of money in a hurry. The trick is becoming a movie star. That is pretty much a one in a million shot. According to this movie, being a movie star is not all it is cracked up to be. It can be a lonely life of desperate isolation, superficial adulation and empty personal relationships. The pain of this empty, meaningless life is palpable in this movie. At least nobody commits suicide. Given that Sofia Coppola, a real Hollywood insider, wrote and directed this film, I believe that there is more than a little truth in this unique depiction of Hollywood stardom. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2010 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)