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The Real Blonde Review

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Joe is an unemployed actor eking out a living as a waiter in New York. His acting buddy Bob lands a lucrative role in a daytime soap opera, where he quickly becomes involved with his co-star. Stuck in an increasingly frustrated rut, including his lack of sexlife with his make-up artist girlfiend, Joe has a chance encounter with a blonde actress and is soon smitten.

★★★★★

Although it begins and ends in typically quirky fashion (with the travels of a missing pooch), Tom DiCillo's follow-up to Box Of Moonlight - his first dip into romcom waters - is his most mainstream offering yet. That said, The Real Blonde has lost that certain something that earmarked DiCillo's earlier, more offbeat outings, resulting in a film which is pleasant rather than innovative.

Modine is Joe, an unemployed actor eking out a living as a waiter in New York and turning down any thesp jobs liable to send his credibility crashing to the floor. While the best he can eventually muster is a walk-on in a Madonna video, his acting buddy Bob (Caufield) lands a lucrative role in a daytime soap opera, where he quickly becomes involved with his fair-tressed co-star (Hannah). Stuck in an increasingly frustrated rut, which encompasses his make-up artist girlfriend (Keener)'s lack of motivation in the bedroom department, Joe has a chance encounter with a blonde actress (Elizabeth Berkley) and is soon smitten.

Lacking the barbed edge of such offerings as Living In Oblivion (and those who saw that might find Steve Buscemi's brief appearance here a tad familiar), this trots along at a pace which pokes gentle fun at actors and models rather than taking the opportunity to satirise them shamelessly.

The real treat here comes in the snappy script and terrific ensemble playing, with Modine gleefully immature and obnoxious, DiCillo-regular Keener yet again proving her worth as one of the most underrated actresses around, and a whole bevy of cameos (Denis Leary smarmy as a self-defence instructor, Christopher Lloyd inspired as a camp waiter, Kathleen Turner delicious as Joe's sycophantic agent). Nothing ground-breaking, then, but thoroughly agreeable.

Nothing ground-breaking but thoroughly agreeable rom-com fare.

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