FBMR - Paparazzi
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

PAPARAZZI (2004) **1/2

Brad and Jenniferís break-up, exclusive photos of their last kiss! Stars without their make-up, see what they really look like! Baldwin and Basingerís newborn, pics inside! Princess Diana, images of her harrowing last few hours! Do you recognize any of these headlines? If you go to the grocery store, surely youíve noticed, perused, maybe even bought one of the many tabloid magazines filled with trashy celebrity gossip, and pictures to support their claims. Iíve never bought one, myself, but I have flipped through a tabloid or two out of curiosity (Wow, thatís what they look like in real life? Photo-shop does wonders!), so I canít say that the paparazzi hasnít done their job effectively. As much as Iíd like to say Iím above that, somewhere in all of us is the desire to know what celebrities really do. Look at the phenomenon in reality television, celebrities allowing their lives to be filmed for the general public (The Osbournes, Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, The Simple Life, The Surreal Life). And as trashy as this kind of television is, people watch (I, too, am not innocent). But these celebrities have given the crews permission to be there. Not every celebrity wants his or her life splashed all over the media. In fact, most want to be able to live their life without every detail recorded for the whole world to see. Imagine if you couldnít leave your house without being followed and hounded by the press and photographers. Imagine your significant other and children have this thrust upon them as well, never able to live a regular life, a private life. This is something that most of us take for granted. Who are we? Why would anyone want to know who we are and what we do? With the exception that these celebrities are in the entertainment business, before they were famous, who would have cared what any of them did?

As much as teachers try to instil the value of respect towards others, as the population grows up some people lose sight of this and focus their attention on money, on greed. In this film, Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser) has become an overnight sensation, the next ďitĒ guy. Once an actor reaches this level of celebrity, it is almost expected that he or she will be caught on camera, wanted or not. Bo, at first, has no problem with this, except when it comes to pictures of his wife and son. He asks photographer Rex Harper (Tom Sizemore) politely not to take pictures of his family. Harper agrees, only to continue a little while later, engaging Laramie in a shouting match where Laramie ends up punching Harper. Of course, all of this was caught on camera by Harper's slimy paparazzi friends, leading to Laramieís arrest. Harper and his gang of unsavories continue hounding Laramie, and even surround him in three vehicles, boxing him in and blinding him with incessant flash photography. In an attempt to evade them Laramie is involved in a violent car crash, injuring his wife, and putting his young son in a coma. And they STILL wonít leave him alone, until he takes matters into his own hands.

I really empathize with Laramie, these photographers wouldnít ever stop, like a pack of ruthless stalkers, documenting and then twisting, doctoring, falsifying, creating stories to suit their pictures. It would be enough to drive you into a clinical condition. I donít agree with how Laramie deals with the situation. But as a work of fiction, it was a nice cathartic release, and anger management classes just wouldnít cut it.

Itís not a great movie, it was just average. Not to mention the plot-hole, more loose ends than a class of kindergarten kids who canít tie their shoes, and scenes that left me asking, "What was that for? It didnít really serve much purpose."

GREAT cameo by Mel Gibson and his journals.