Now that actress Jessica Paré is moving up in the world of TV’s “Mad Men,” perhaps she’ll also be able to get better film roles than her recent stint as a random topless blond in a hot tub in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” She’s had a few decent indie gigs in the past decade — in spite of her big teeth, which were mentioned as being non-Hollywood-friendly in last night’s “Mad Men” season finale — including parts in Deepa Mehta’s “Bollywood/Hollywood” and the 2001 boarding school drama “Lost and Delirious.” But I continue to think of her mostly from her lead role in Denys Arcand’s “Stardom,” which should have been her true breakthrough back in 2000. Unfortunately, it was probably too Canadian and even then it was also probably Arcand’s worst-reviewed film ever. Plus, who wants to see a hot 17-year-old in bed with Dan Aykroyd?
I have to admit I thought the film was atrociously bad when I saw it ten years ago, but I also must admit I only saw it during a test screening. I believe sometime before the millennium. This was long before I was a professional critic or blogger about movies (though my then position as a movie theater manager technically might have prohibited me from attending) and I had a whole lot of fun filling up every spare millimeter of the response card. I would pay a lot of money now to get my hands on it and see what sorts of things I wrote. If anyone thinks I’m too negative now, it was much worse when I was naive and relatively uneducated, as well. Anyway, now that Paré is heating up after a season on “Mad Men,” I need to revisit the film — or, see it as it in its finished form, I guess.
In a way, her own life did parallel her “Stardom” character’s, but she’s said to have laughed off all the media profiles championing her as an “it” girl for Canadian cinema. And she apparently puts family and friends before her career. Still, she could have been a big deal in the U.S. if the series “Jack & Bobby” hadn’t been a flop. She was the female lead on the show, portraying a character in two different time periods, including one where she’s the First Lady. Signing on as one of the “Mad Men” secretaries paid off, fortunately, and now she’s to be Don Draper’s “first lady” (sorry, couldn’t resist).
What’s to come next? Talk of superhero movies, like the constant rumors of Jon Hamm being considered for Superman or January Jones co-starring as Emma Frost in the next “X-Men” movie? Will she get the obligatory mention for Wonder Woman — she’s only 6’9″ but shorter ladies have been discussed for the role. Or, maybe she can take some of lookalike Liv Tyler’s offers. Actually, maybe Paré can be the next Betty Ross if there’s ever another Hulk movie with new Bruce Banner Mark Ruffalo?
Anyway, Netflix claims “Stardom” will be available on Instant soon, so maybe I’ll take another look once it does. Here’s the film’s trailer: