Thursday, February 19, 2015

MY WAY: Vanity, thy name is Rebekah Starr, abetted by Vinny Sisson & Dominique Mollee

"Everyone told me this was a stupid idea," notes Rebekah Starr, the producer and star of MY WAY, which, though 2015 be young, wins the up-to-now unnecessary vanity production of the year. "Everyone," it turns out, can sometimes be right. The 'stupid idea' of Ms Starr's that the movie tracks is the road trip from a small Pennsylvania town to Los Angeles, where the lady is bent on making a "kick-ass" video featuring one of her band's songs, which turns out to be the titular "My Way" -- as though the singer/songwriter has no idea that title had already been used, and rather well, by a certain Frank Sinatra, about whom perhaps our heroine knows very little.

Suffice it to say that Ms Starr's "way" doesn't hold a candle to the well-known song penned by France's Claude Francois (aka Cloclo) and made most famous by Mr. Sinatra. But Starr's offering (the performer is shown at right) is indeed the song we hear the most throughout this tiresome movie, by the end of which you're ready to throw up your hands and scream, "Please, not again!" The problem here, to get right to the point, would seem to be that Starr has a huge need to recognized and famous but not, perhaps, any real talent to underpin that need.

So instead we get a terribly slipshod, slapshot little movie that tosses in everyone from Ron Jeremy (above) -- who is identified as a "Sunset Strip aficionado" (with that last word misspelled, above) rather than the famous porn star that he is -- to Rikki Rocket (below), who informs us that "the world needs a kick-ass girl band." Maybe. But I'm not at all sure that it needs this one.

Along the way, Starr, who narrates and is almost always center stage, tells us of her family history and its coal mining business, and her own work experience at same. Here, she tosses in some ersatz feminism (it's actually narcissism passing as feminism), giving us conclusions but almost no details that might help us agree with those conclusions.

We meet her husband (above, and now ex-), who smartly wants no part of this trip, and we meet and spend time with her women friends/band members: Temea, below, who can't accompany Rebekah on her trip, and Annika, shown further below -- who does, and ends up becoming the most interesting of the women we meet, and who for a time, at least, puts up with Rebekah's shenanigans a lot better than would I.

Overall and over time Starr impresses most as the kind of self-absorbed, narcissistic woman who, as we later learn, will spend money having her hair cut and colored but doesn't have the funds for Annika to do the same. Is this unfair, she wonders? (She also might have invested in a proof-reader who could spell Albuquerque, which appears as Albequerque, on the map showing our heroine's progress across country.)

Once in L.A., the pair hooks up with friend and drummer Holly, below, who definitely seems to be the most grounded of the women we meet.

At no time does this band appear to be particularly original or witty or intelligent or talented. Rebekah rarely allows us to see them in performance, and then, when we do, it's very brief. Later, we supposedly watch her go surfing. Except that, again, we don't really see her surf. The defining word here is shallow.

On (and on and on) it goes, one dumb cliche after another, until the movie begins to seem like a mockumentary. Suddenly tempers flare: "I just want to get through with this video and be done with her!" When the girls do finally perform at a the Sunset Strip club, they do the song 'My Way.' And then do it and do it until we're blue in the face.

Finally we discover what our Ms Starr has learned from all this. "The world proved to me that the world wasn't worth pleasing." Not to worry, dear: You haven't come close.

According to the IMDB, My Way originally ran 120 minutes. It has now thankfully been cut down to only 92 and opens this Friday, February 20, at the Arena Cinema in Los Angeles and a week later on February 27 here in New York City at the Quad Cinema.

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