Streaming Releases: Pretty Bad Actress (2018) Reviewed

Derek reviews the new comedy, Pretty Bad Actress

How would you react if you met your celebrity idol?  That is one of the questions posed in Pretty Bad Actress, a film about a young nerdy high school student who encounters her idol, a washed up child actor desperately trying to escape from the shadow of her adolescent fame, and salvage her career as a "serious actress".   

Directed by first time filmmaker, Nick Fituri Scown, Pretty Bad Actress introduces us to Gloria, a former child actress who's only well known acting credit is that of "Trudie", a lovable teen known for her catchy theme song, and bubbly, optimistic persona.  For a good idea of what they're striving for, picture the "Robin Sparkles" character from How I Met Your Mother or Rachael Taylor's "Patsy" from Marvel's Jessica Jones.  Notorious for cliché scandals ranging anywhere from drug abuse to violent confrontations with paparazzi as she has grown from adolescence to adulthood, Gloria attends audition after audition, trying to land a role that will propel her out of B-List stardom, unfortunately even the casting directors can't see past "Trudie".  

Totally not sure what I'm doing here. It was a favor. 

Throughout Pretty Bad Actress we're introduced to Gloria's agent, who has ulterior motives, as well as her assistant, played by Jillian Bell, who unsurprisingly steals the show in the limited screen time we see her in. I'm honestly shocked that a legitimate rising star like Bell even appeared in a film like this.  This is going to sound terrible, but I have a sinking suspicion she did this purely as a favor for a friend, but that's beside the point.

The bulk of the film centers around Gloria trying to make an escape, while a fellow captive, Dawnee, is still enamored by the fact that she's finally face to face with her idol.  As Gloria compels her to help find a way to escape, Dawnee merely comments about how "Trudie" would act in their predicament.  Eventually, the two begin to bond over their similar "outcast" identities, and the story only gets more ridiculous from there.  A series of predictable plot twists swallow up the final act of the film, and we're left wondering what was the point of it all.  

It's sadly ironic that a film about a B actress striving for something better ends up feeling so much like a B film.  A silly, predictable script, along with cheesy acting, and an overall sense of absurdity keep this from being even a little entertaining.  For a runtime of less than 90 minutes, this somehow feels like it last over two hours.  Pretty Bad Actress is, regrettably, a pretty bad movie. 

- Derek Miranda