Dreams of success in Hollywood are as common as films about them. Since the birth of films, the idea of people striving to be the next big star has been there, you can see it in A Star is Born, in The Artist, even up to last year’s darling La La Land, the idea that Hollywood is a land where dreams can become real is always there. This notion is here at the back of Walf of Fame, a film about a call centre worker (Scott Eastwood) who is studying to become a lawyer and decides to join an acting course so he can have sex with a woman he had a chance encounter with (Laura Ashley Samuels) and by chance encounter I mean a random man sexually assaults her in the street and then two police officers try to arrest his friend purely because he’s black. There’s a reason I’ve been remiss to actually call this a comedy.
Normally this would be the point in the review where I’d start with the positives but for this situation, I’m going to call them more accurately, less outwardly offensive bits. Eastwood, while not a patch on his old man, is a solid enough lead, he isn’t required to do any of the comedic heavy-lifting, lucky in that the direction for his attempts at playing the straight man are more-or-less based on the principle of look at everything with general disbelief and disdain which isn’t exactly conducive to comedy but at least his performance feels somewhat natural. Malcolm McDowell, while not exactly stretching his abilities, does at least seem to be making a mild attempt to not just sleepwak through his scenes which is something no one would blame him for doing regardless.
The main issue with the film is a lack of comedic or plot focus. All of it is building towards a big end-of-course show which appears to be a fantasy-style play of some kind but at a certain point during the film, it becomes clear that McDowell’s character is scamming people out of their money/being nice to any of the attractive females yet none of the potential plot-points of this is ever developed as instead it’s decided that a bigger focus is actually the half-cooked romantic triangle central to the story. Also, its sense of humour tends towards the nasty as it seems to think ‘ironic’ racism, homophobia, references to paedophilia and occasional lapses into exaggerated cartoon logic are hilarious with one running joke being that a waitress keeps assuming a black character would like clichéd things like fried chicken and watermelon.
Ultimately, you’ve probably worked out from the single star at the top of the page that there was little chance that this was going to be a positive review. The one thing I will say about this film is even if it’s quite mean spirited, it rarely feels truly unpleasant. That said, I see very few reasons I’d recommend actually watching it. I would say it’s unlikely this is a film destined to get it’s star on the eponymous walk. And I didn’t even get a chance to tell you about the bizarre subplot of the bully who’s pretending to be Italian…
Dir: Jesse Thomas
Scr: Jesse Thomas
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Laura Ashley Samuels, Cory Hardrict, Malcolm McDowell, Christ Kattan, Jamie Kennedy, Jack Guzman, Sonia Rockwell, Allison Weissman, Eddie George, Jesse Thoma
Prd: Jesse Thomas, Roland Z
DOP: Phillip Roy
Music: Jonah Johnson, Jeremy Soule
Run time: 82 minutes
Walk of Fame is available on DHD from 20th November