Reality Queen! is as much as a movie as it is a thesis about celebrity in the modern world. Before I write any further, let’s take a quick trip through history. I firmly recall that back in the ’90s not many people got famous for merely existing. Fame and infamy were once hard-earned. History is replete with surgeons, generals, and even oil tycoons whose hard work, ruthlessness, or dedication to a craft made them notorious. There weren’t many people who became famous by mastering the mundane. Even the sultry Marilyn Monroe was an exceptional on-stage performer.
Today, however, there are many people famous for simply existing. Reality Queen! dissects this modern-day phenomenon. Filmmaker Steven Jay Bernheim does a great job holding up a mirror to this aspect of new celebrity. The film is shot like a docu-series on E! Before I go any further, I should mention the benefit of keeping people who have mastered the mundane from ever becoming famous. Life is short. Time can be spent however you want it, but by society embracing these distractions, we simply create more distractions as the world’s literal zombies set out on fetch quests to become famous too before they die.
How will they become famous? I imagine by mastering the mundane. Since most people are not going to ever become famous athletes or musicians, I believe they clamor for the people they can most closely relate too. Yes, that would be the people who have mastered the mundane. The people that do not create any sort of challenge to emulate beyond the superficial.
That is the joy of Reality Queen! Because the movie clearly knows it’s subject well. The casting of Julia Faye West in the lead role of London Logo does the movie justice. Her character is an heiress whose mere act of promoting a consumerist lifestyle, and her personal life have made her the “it” girl of the moment. Her fans clamor to copy her every moment. They like fans of “it” girls today desire to live vicariously through infamous individuals. There is a part in the movie when I cringed at London Logo’s half convicted statement that she “doesn’t know why she’s famous” and that she “never asked anyone to buy anything”. That statement resonates today as tastemakers and influencers brand themselves like NASCAR’s and that in turn fuels their followers to clamor and copy their every taste whether it be in food, fashion, or lifestyle.
But what else does Reality Queen! have to offer? For one, it has a great cameo by the late John Witherspoon. Another has to be the man who is partly responsible for London Logo’s fame. Who you might ask? Mike Tyson. Yes, the tiger raising former heavyweight champion of the world himself. Are you a fan of watching movies that tug on the loose thread of a frayed and damaged society? Or would you just like a good laugh when you see Pops from Ice Cube’s Friday franchise do a good bit about a mini puppy flushed down a toilet? If any of those apply to you, Reality Queen! is a gem you’ll enjoy.
FINAL GRADE: B-
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