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Meet Monica Velour


XXX marks the dramatic spot.

Rod Lott August 15th, 2011

Romancing a porn star: If "The Girl Next Door" was the Hollywood fantasy, "Meet Monica Velour" is the grim reality — comparatively speaking, of course.

meetmonicavelour

A self-described dork at age 17, Tobe (Dustin Ingram) escapes his friendless existence by obsessing over his favorite porn star of the 1970s, Monica Velour, whose work include such hardcore skin flicks as "Saturday Night Beaver," "M*U*F*F" and "Pork'n Mindy."

When Tobe notices the now-middle-aged Velour (Kim Cattrall) will be making an appearance at a strip club in the region, he finds a good excuse to make the trip. What he finds is a deeply depressed and divorced woman without custody of her young daughter, living in a trailer park, eating meals of Cheez-Doodles and Twinkies, smoking up a storm, and occasionally partaking of bong hits and a snorted line. Still, he loves her for what she is; she thinks he's "a weird fucking kid." He is, but that kid has got a heart.

Cattrall has worked steadily since the 1970s, but I believe this is the first time I've really seen her truly act, at least free of vanity. It's a terrific, brave performance, nothing short of revelatory. Ironically, having made a career out of taking off her clothes — from "Porky's" to TV’s "Sex and the City" — she keeps them on in the one movie in which she plays the porn star. (She leaves those duties to Jamie Tisdale, playing a period-appropriate Velour in the film's amusing clips of "Frankenbooty Must Be Destroyed!" and a "Star Wars" porn parody.)

Ingram also is terrific. The trailers don't do him justice, making him appear like a one-note "Napoleon Dynamite" rip-off, but he's quite ingratiating and has surprising depth. For someone who's done little more than have a small part in the tween superhero comedy "Sky High," he more than capably carries the film on his not-so-broad shoulders. I hope to see much more of him.

Oh, and you'll also see a side of veteran actor Brian Dennehy ("The Next Three Days") that you've never seen before. Unfortunately, it's the side his proctologist has. —Rod Lott

 
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