Famous is a movie with very heavy subject matter, but it still demands a watch, if only to be a voice for those who have gone through what the characters have.
The interesting thing about Famous is that it is a play, a stage show, that was filmed and brought to life as a movie. While it is filmed on a movie set, it captures the feel of live theater, but in film form, which is rare and unique. The story, for those who don’t know, is intriguing from the start, even though it is clear that things are going to get dark. Parts of it can be hard to watch for any member of the audience, but particularly those who have been abused. There are triggers, so be warned, however the message is a powerful one, and something that everyone should keep with them.
The best thing about this film is the cast. This is the same cast from the stage show, and that becomes very clear, very quickly. Not only do they have an unmatched chemistry, but it is obvious how deeply they become these characters. They know them inside and out, and certainly the characters mean a lot to them, even if they are different from them in real life.
There are a lot of powerful messages here about standing up for what is right, saying no — and that no means no. Famous also dives deeply into what the effects of trauma can be on individuals, whether it be drug use, or craving that attention from anyone and everyone. Both of which, certainly aren’t the right way to deal with it.
The movie itself truly gives the audience the impression that they are watching a live performance. This is a testament not only to the incredible cast, who clearly know these characters inside and out, but to the cinematography and the editing.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who have gone through something like this, whether it was in order to get ahead in the Entertainment industry or not. Famous is just one way to get their stories out there. It is one hundred percent a difficult watch, but I promise you, you will come out the other side of it better off.
Viewers are going to be sucked in almost immediately, and find themselves unable to look away as the story goes on. By the end, if you aren’t in tears, you didn’t watch it close enough.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Driven by a devastating need to expose the truth, A-list celebrity Jason Mast pushes the boundaries of friendship to reveal the true cost of fame. What appears to be a night of celebration turns out to be an intricate plan to confront his past.
Written and directed by Michael Leoni, FAMOUS stars CJ Valleroy, Brooke Butler, Josh Pafchek, and Chris Kattan. The film was produced by Erica R. Katzin, Michelle Kaufer, and Michael Leoni, and Executive Produced by Martine Melloul, Howard Barish, Dawn Dunning, and Inbal B. Lessner.
“I am honored to be a part of the Famous team and to help get this film the exposure it deserves. Speaking out about the abuse of power in the entertainment industry is something that I strongly believe in. We don’t often talk about the abuse of young men, but it’s time that we do,” said Executive Producer Dawn Dunning, a former actress who testified against Harvey Weinstein.
“The fact that film has the capacity to entertain and also provide commentary on an important social issue is why we do what we do. FAMOUS takes us back to Young Hollywood in the 90’s and not only melds the mediums of theatre and film, it also speaks to the abuse of power in the entertainment industry from a perspective that’s rarely discussed,” said Erica R. Katzin, Michelle Kaufer, and Michael Leoni in a joint statement.
“I have a deep love and respect for independent films when they’re done right. FAMOUS is definitely one of those films and it’s also so timely both in style and content. Michael Leoni has done it once again and I’m extremely proud to be working with him,” said Howard Barish of Kandoo Films.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.