Lisa Picard Is Famous

Lisa Picard is Famous, directed with scrappy wit by Griffin Dunne, is a mockumentary about the fame game, written by two struggling young actors, Laura Kirk and Nat DeWolf, who play fictionalized versions of themselves. Kirk takes on the title role of Lisa Picard, a budding diva who freaks out when her big-break cameo role on a Melissa Gilbert TV movie, A Phone Call for Help, is edited down to just her voice on the phone. Lisa feels even smaller when her best friend, actor-playwright Tate Kelley (DeWolf), performs way off-Broadway in a one-man show about homophobia that Spike Lee options for the movies. Worse, a documentary crew captures every wince-worthy public and personal defeat that Lisa suffers. Shot on digital video for a paltry $1 million, the film benefits from a delicious turn by Dunne as the documentarian. In 1985, Dunne became famous as the star and co-producer of Martin Scorsese's low-budget After Hours. He knows the drill, as do Lee, Charlie Sheen, Carrie Fisher, Sandra Bullock and Mira Sorvino, the film's co-producer, who each contribute their own canny observations to a satire that succeeds by being as heartfelt as it is hilarious.

From The Archives Issue 447: May 9, 1985
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