‘Maps To The Stars’ Makes Sex, Drugs, and Hollywood Boring

February 26, 2015 3:53 PM

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‘Maps To The Stars’ Makes Sex, Drugs, and Hollywood Boring

I’m not sure at what point in my life I learned that Hollywood was corrupt. I’m pretty sure it was early on, right around the time I learned that “B comes after A” and “I had hands.” The cult of celebrity (whatever that globular phrase means) is an exhausted subject, and the premise of David Cronenberg’s latest, Maps to the Stars. But content is like a vagina: just because it’s been heavily used doesn’t put it out of service. To the director’s credit, the film successfully tries to reinvigorate tired material through a crafty cocktail of genre: melodrama, satire, incest fable. Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you feel. But Maps to the Stars pulls easy punches at Hollywood’s most exposed groins. Despite all appearances, the film is just too enamored with the pain that made its ridiculous story possible.

Satire is one of the hardest genres to get right. Think of the difference between a poetry reading and a stand-up comedy special. No one will ever say that “Billy Collins really bombed tonight” or “Maya Angelou TANKED” (except like, three terrible people I went to college with). It’s a demanding for...

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