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Review: True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet (2008)

Director: Tim Matheson | 87 minutes | drama, comedy, family | Actors: Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque, Shenae Grimes, Ian Nelson, Justin Louis, Lynda Boyd, Jennifer Miller, Melanie Leishman, Leah Renee Cudmore, Valerie Bertinelli, Dayna Devon, Jonathan Higgins, Jonathan Potts, Zain Meghji, Victoria Snow,

A deranged teenage star who wastes partying into the wee hours and roles because she misbehaves on set? It takes little imagination to recognize wild child Lindsay Lohan in Morgan Carter Hollywood. The derailed teenage star has a long and colorful tradition in the land of the stars. For example, the writer of the novel on which ‘True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet’ is based was inspired by the life story of Drew Barrymore. Drew had her first drink when she was eleven and went to rehab for the first time at the age of thirteen. And Valerie Bertinelli, who plays the role of Morgan’s aunt Trudy in ‘True Confessions’, sniffed heavily at the time of her role in the seventies series ‘One Day at a Time’. Fortunately, both Bertinelli and Barrymore have dried up nicely. If you know that ‘True Confessions’ comes from the stable of women’s channel Lifetime, it will come as little surprise that Morgan Carter can also count on a happy ending. Why step out of a limo without panties when you’ve already found true love?

Surprisingly, ‘True Confessions’ is not a very sweet Wednesday night movie. In fact, with a little more spice, the could have been a cast-iron satire about the excesses of celebrity culture. A kind of ‘Clueless’ for the noughties. All ingredients are there: actors who let themselves go in their roles, a scenario that does not take themselves too seriously, trendy music, smooth dialogues, a voice-over that provides dry commentary for all events. However, the film fails on a lack of sharpness. True Confessions is quite funny, but also very safe. As a teenage tyrant, Morgan Carter is on the tame side. She acts like a spoiled brat and occasionally knocks back a glass of vodka, but what teenager doesn’t do that these days? In addition, a reprimand from Aunt Trudy is enough for Morgan to say goodbye to her addiction and her wild lifestyle. True Confessions is a satire trapped in the straitjacket of a conventional dramedy. Had the film been served with a dollop of sambal instead of a sugar coating, it could have been worth it.

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