The Real Blonde | Chicago Reader

The Real Blonde

Depression is the name of a fragrance promoted by a self-destructive model in this shallow satire, most of whose characters pursue relationships or jobs in image-oriented industries. Matthew Modine—in the role of an actor-waiter who auditions for a music video in unflattering swim trunks—and the rest of the cast display a broad range of body types and deliver tons of apparently transparent dialogue. Writer-director Tom DiCillo (Box of Moonlight) seems to be trying to say something about the commodification of flesh and the hypocrisy of men's and women's behavior toward each other—unless he's just using issues for laughs he's not getting—but for every stereotypical assumption he tries to debunk, another is validated. When Modine starts kvetching about the discrepancy between the presentation of female and male models in two underwear ads in the morning paper, his girlfriend, on her way to work in a sheer blouse, defends a woman's right to flaunt her body—then gets accosted on the street. If DiCillo had been going anywhere with this, I'd have gladly followed. But setting up petty ironies and pathetic references to Woody Allen seems to be his only goal.

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