Everybody's Famous (2000)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 3, 2001 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Belgium , France , Netherlands   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Todd Kristel

This movie is ostensibly an attack on several aspects of the entertainment industry, including parents who push their children to become performers, managers who treat their clients like commodities, and a society that cares more about packaging than real talent. Instead of eviscerating its target, however, the movie jabs it lightly with a few predictable punches before retreating to the safe haven of sentimentality. Jean and Willy are two of the sweetest kidnappers you'll ever meet, Debbie is happy to be kidnapped by them, and the film sets up the audience to feel likewise. Josse De Pauw does an impressive job of making Jean seem like a decent, well-intentioned person who just got a bit carried away. His dream of making his daughter a star may seem delusional, but you can sense how this ambition has enabled him to cope for years with disappointment in his own life. However, Marva doesn't seem as likeable as her dad, even though she probably should be the more sympathetic character. She doesn't display much enthusiasm for her singing career or for life in general; she also doesn't display much affection for her father or convey how much pain his meddling has probably caused for her. Producer/screenwriter/director Deruddere doesn't seem much interested in what Marva thinks or feels. To make matters worse, the film exploits her physical unattractiveness for humiliating scenes such as her horrendous Madonna impersonation at a talent show. Perhaps these problems would be tolerable if the film's jokes were funny or the music was entertaining, but neither is the case. This movie is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than the vacuous pop culture that it mocks but ultimately embraces.