Welcome To Hollywood

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Welcome To Hollywood

You'd be hard-pressed to find two cinematic subgenres with worse track records than the Hollywood satire and the mockumentary. So it's no surprise that reviled screenwriter Joe Eszterhas' fusion of the two, the staggeringly unfunny An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, ranks as one of the worst films of the '90s. Welcome To Hollywood combines the mockumentary and the Hollywood satire once again, and while it's nowhere near as repellent as Eszterhas' puerile bit of self-indulgence, it's also far less memorable. Bespectacled writer-director Adam Rifkin stars as himself, a rising filmmaker who sets out to direct a documentary about an unknown actor's ascent to stardom. After losing his first subject, Rifkin decides to follow the career of over-aged, under-talented Tony Markes (who also co-wrote and co-directed), a genial doofus who can't catch a break. As Markes' career flounders, Rifkin grows increasingly desperate, casting supermodel Angie Everhart (as herself) to play Markes' girlfriend and shuttling the pair off to Sundance and the Oscars before abandoning the project entirely, leaving Markes to complete it himself. An underwhelming cross between Real Life and 20 Dates, Welcome To Hollywood actually suffers from being too nice. Rifkin and company avoid easy attacks on crass, misanthropic Hollywood stereotypes, but their take on Hollywood is no more rewarding, funny, or complex. For reasons known only to the filmmakers, Welcome handles Hollywood with kid gloves, even treating star-studded premieres, supermodels, Baywatch, and Access Hollywood with undue respect. A lack of momentum proves even more damaging: Welcome meanders aimlessly from one limp comic set-up to another, resulting in a tame comedy that, like its subject's acting career, never quite gets off the ground.