Meet Monica Velour Keith Bearden

Meet Monica Velour Keith Bearden
Keith Bearden's directorial debut is a clumsy, dark comedy with a light flair that runs hot and cold on account of newcomer David Dustin Ingram's quirky demeanour and Kim Cattrall's cliché, one-line comebacks. The film follows Tobe (Ingram) and his strange relationship with ex-porn star Monica Velour, played by the well-cast Cattrall (Sex & the City). Toby is an awkward teenager who drives to Indiana to meet his muse, the aged Monica Velour. Cattrall is convincing as an alcoholic single mother whose ex has slapped her with a restraining order and her divorce a destructive life. Fate and circumstance come together, as they usually do, and Tobe earns a rose-coloured ticket into Velour's disenchanted life. His attempts to woo Velour are met with varying degrees of success in often-absurd situations. The relationship between them flits back and forth between semi-incestuous and possibly functional. Bearden eventually transforms this romantic comedy of sorts into a charming coming-of-age story. This isn't a groundbreaking role for Cattrall, due to a lack of variance from her usual character, but the hilariously painful-to-watch striptease performance in her establishing scene is delivered with a perfect amount of vulnerability and aging grace. Ingram has charm in scenes where he seems most relaxed on screen, but can be compared to a less original Napoleon Dynamite in comedic situations. The acting is clumsy, at times, and the chemistry between the two mains is lukewarm, with their characters coming across as overwritten and under-acted. Bearden maximizes the depth of space within shots, often playing with background objects and using framing techniques to create spatiality and a sense of isolation, a looming theme in the film. Bearden's debut successfully creates an easy to swallow drama-comedy; it's a mixture of innocent charm and grim realism disguised by subtle wit. The DVD lacks any extras, however. (Anchor Bay)