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Film Review: ‘Reality Queen!’ Skewers the Celebutante Genre

Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Nicole Ritchie (to name a few) get the satire treatment in Reality Queen!, a hilarious mockumentary about the inescapable reality show genre.

Julia Faye West stars as London Logo, a character obviously inspired by Paris Hilton. She’s rich and famous and has all of the possessions she could ever want, but she’s getting past her sell-by date and the younger generation doesn’t even know who she is. To make matters worse, she’s being shoved out of the limelight by a trio of sisters named Kim (hmm…who could they be?).

L-R: Julia Faye West as London Logo and Kate Orsini in “Reality Queen!”

Reality Queen! is styled as a television documentary focusing on London and the people in her orbit, including her best friend Angelina Streisand (Denise Richards) and her personal stylist, the flamboyant Winston Spritz (Loren Lester).

London is followed around for several days by English television host Diana Smelt-Marlin (Kate Orsini) and her production crew in order to record her day-to-day life. Diana can barely conceal her bemusement as she discovers how shallow, self-absorbed, and just plain stupid London is. For example, when London tells Diana she paid $50,000 for a the world’s smallest dog, Diana blurts out, “You paid $50,000 for a hamster!

Determined to wipe the Kims off the celebrity map once and for all, London decides to convince former bestie Rochelle Ritzy (Shelli Boone) to co-star in a reboot of their reality show that was a big hit in the early 2000s. In a clever plot twist, it’s London who manages to get the last laugh.

Directed by Steven Jay Bernheim and written by eight (!) screenwriters, Reality Queen hits its targets with verve and is very funny. West is game as London, wildly over-made-up and possessing an intellect that makes Kelly Bundy look like a Rhodes scholar.

Richards seems to be having a ball as “serious” actress Angelina, who kowtows to London so much that she is forced to wear a ratty brown wig so that they don’t have the same hair color. Orsini’s reactions to all the overindulgence and idiocy unfolding around her are also hilarious.

Also funny are Boone as the Nicole Ritchie doppelganger Rochelle and Candace Kita as Kristy Kim, who went on a miracle diet that helped her to shed pounds everywhere—except her massive derriere.

Brightly lensed in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita by cinematographer Cody Stauffer and featuring a playful score by Mason Cooper, the film plays bigger than its $5 million budget.

Whether you’re a reality show fan or foe, Reality Queen! will give you lots of solid laughs. It opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, Jan. 10 and will also be available on demand and on DVD.

About Kurt Gardner

Writer, critic and inbound marketing expert whose passion for odd culture knows no bounds.

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