Friday, February 21, 2014

Movie Idea: Down Slope of Fame

Have we had a good "fame: the destroyer" flick recently? Hollywood probably does not want one of those films since they need to sell every kid on the idea that they can be famous and should seek fame and adoration from as wide an audience as possible. "A Star is Born" has been made multiple times and "Cabaret" had at its heart a woman who will sacrifice everything for her freedom to sing at a Wiemar jazz joint that slowly loses its identity, letting in the Nazis they once tossed out. HBO had a run where their television series seemed all Hollywood focused with "Curb Your Enthusiasm", the Lisa Kudrow vehicle, the Ricky Gervais thing that did not take off (side note: Ricky Gervais does only one thing well), so self parody is present, but it's never dark. "That Thing You Do" was an underrated film, but I want dark. Maybe we do not need a dramatic version of this tale because US Weekly and People document the decline of stars big and small for everyone to witness. I'd still love to see a movie about a small star's decline.

"Long Way Down"

Let's take a female pop product with a #1 song. One hit wonder. Good thing about Hollywood is they can find actresses 28 who look 18, like Gabrielle Union 15 years ago or Ashley Greene and Anna Kendrick today, so they can age with the film's storyline. The movie could start with those E! or Entertainment Tonight C bloc reports about her hit tearing up the charts. Stage shows are lackluster with fans only reacting to the one hit. Bumping coke or adderall after performances to numb the shitty fan reactions. We need declining venues with the Allegheny County Fair rejecting her asking price for an appearance. The hit runs out, which her agent tries to solve with a sham marriage to a gay rapper as a beard. More coke or adderall. Then there's the divorce and sexy relaunch with a sex tape or crotch shots. Partying gets out of hand. Arrest for drugs that is brushed off as accidental misunderstanding. New single flops.

Nothing works. Time passes. She still has devoted random fans. Money is a problem. Agent then offers her new work. She goes into the sexual black market playing on her fame. Let's get a first move with a handsome, older producer who dug her legs or whatever and has pull but more importantly, coke/adderall for the night and as a parting gift. She gets paid but no role, surprising her. Agent sets up more dates like this, and the quality declines as the quantity rises. Agent slowly loses physical presence as more roughs enter her life shuttling her around California (Russkis, Armenians, etc.). Have to hit rock bottom with some "Requiem for a Dream" A2A type scene (or just BDSM looking at 50 Shades' popularity) for some Silicon Valley rich nerd who obsessed over her years ago and plays her #1 hit the entire time she's "performing". Go really dark. Maybe have her crumpled up addicted in a decent apartment going to whatever with her agent now only a voice that calls her, eventually just a name next to texts.

Because viewers often have a hard tie with dark movies that just slide into ever depressing moments (like "Requiem"), how about twist the ending with her agent offering her a big payoff gig that will set her up, but she'll need to clean up. She accepts, maybe she's on heroin by this time. Violent break in at her place is really her agent's stooges bringing her to a rehab facility. Signs papers with one more single recording slipped in there. She cleans up. Meets guy. Goes through sober, marriage, pregnancy and new, mature album release. Makes diddly squat and is shell of former self with a good husband who treats her like an ASPCA rescued dog. Album pops and drops. Interviews are clean living. Agent stops contacting her. She's used up. Turns 30 at the end but look and feel 50. maybe we don't need these movies because we see it in the tabloids often enough, but I'd love to see a dark drama that fleshed out the things tucked in dark corners.

Liz Phair wouldn't sue right?


peterike said...

That actually does seem like a good film idea, though for some reason it's reminding me of something that I can't quite place. Oh well.

The male version may have been "Control," the film about Joy Division's Ian Curtis. And quite a good film it is, too. But then, Joy Division were never huge or anything.

And hey, Liz Phair is hot! Why the reference to her? Has she hit the skids or something? And was she ever much more than a cult artist and critic's darling?

Hal said...

The only recent movie this reminds me of is The Bling Ring, which was based on a true story about a bunch of celeb-obsessed LA teens who start breaking into famous stars' houses to steal designer clothes and handbags. It's not quite a fall-from-grace story, but it's a pretty good depiction of people having their minds totally warped by lust for fame and glamour, and getting in way over their heads as a result (with a lot of darkly humorous digs at the wider culture that encourages such behavior). One chilling scene really sticks in my mind where an airheaded girl finds a small handgun in the bedside table of a celeb's home, and starts playfully pointing it at one of her friends while he struggles to grab it away. They're both so stupid and irresponsible that there's a palpable risk that they really are going to accidentally kill themselves, and it's a great microcosm of the movie as a whole.

Son of Brock Landers said...

@peterike - Liz Phair was neighborhood girl who went to college and got dirty in a sophisticated way. Loved "Exile in Guyville". But like, look at her career arc. Kind of like above.

@Hal - I heard of the real Bling Ring. Idiots. Modern bonnie and clydes because the original B&C were idiots too.

Take The Red Pill said...

This description sounds somewhat like the life of a beautiful star of the 60's, Joey Heatherton (a crush of my early teens). She was very popular into the early 70's, then slowly petered out. I found out in the late 70s about her drug use, eating disorders, and failed marriage; so very sad. She has not aged gracefully (the later rough years of her career especially show in her face), and I think she is a prime example of what can happen to a young woman of beauty and talent in the Janus-like entertainment industry that exists.

peterike said...

Joey Heatherton! What a hot tamale she was. For a while, maybe the hottest woman in the world. Feast your eyes, boys.

That also spurs memories of that other 70s hottie, Barbie Benton. A Jewish Playboy model who didn't look Jewish at all. Also, for a while, the hottest chick in the world.