What would you do if you had the chance to meet your idol? The person whose posters you plaster all over your bedroom wall, and shell out money for to go and see in concert. When Tobe (Ingram) discovers he has the opportunity to meet his obsession in indie comedy Meet Monica Velour, he grabs it with both hands. Premiering in the UK at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival, it will be released straight to DVD.
After graduating high school, 17 year-old Tobe finds himself in limbo. He has no job prospects, no girlfriend and no solid plans for what he is going to do with his life. He soon comes across a website advertising that 50 year-old ex-porn star Monica Velour (Cattrall) will be making her long awaited come back at a strip club in Indiana. When this comeback fails, Tobe does everything he can to help her out. He eventually realises that things are far from simple, as he’s soon caught up in Monica’s complicated life.
The funniest parts of this indie comedy come in the form of clips from Monica’s films, which range from a pornographic version of Star Wars (complete with phallic shaped storm troopers) to a pornographic 3D version of Frankenstein. There’s also a mix of subtle physical and verbal comedy. It’s just as entertaining watching Tobe and Monica duck for cover when he sets off fireworks for their one week anniversary, as it is listening to his grandfather (Dennehy) fire out one insult after another.
It’s not all comedy, as Monica’s life slowly descends into chaos whilst she’s battling for custody of her daughter. One scene in particular sees her watching her daughter from behind a fence as she stands outside school, slowly breaking down in tears. She’s also unkindly sacked from her job in a strip club and is told she is un-hireable in her town due to her past profession. This inability to escape her past results in the decision to return to the porn industry, which could see her lose her daughter for good. Tobe’s continuous attempts to defend her honour and to save her from obscurity lead to their slow building, unlikely relationship. This relationship is interesting to watch develop; Monica is clearly annoyed by Tobe’s constant presence but continues to put up with him anyway. This is in large part down to his relentless pursuit of her affections as he follows her around like a puppy dog and showers her with gifts. There’s also an element of curiosity on Monica’s part as she continuously declares, ‘You’re a weird kid’.
Cattrall’s role is similar to that for which she is known best: ballsey Samantha Jones in Sex and the City. But it’s only slightly similar, as Monica is deeply disturbed and depressed, which Cattrall conveys effortlessly. She manages to show that whilst Monica is strong on the outside, she is extremely vulnerable on the inside. Ingram’s performance is comparable to that of Jon Heders in cult hit Napoleon Dynamite. His physical appearance instantly links his to the depressed teenager, with his curly hair, glasses and tall, skinny frame. Ingram brings a degree of awkwardness to the sulky, negative teenager, which makes it even harder to believe that Monica would have any interest in him whatsoever.
Meet Monica Velour is a sweet story about the most improbable couple, as one boy’s fascination saves one woman’s downfall. Cattrall’s performance is most definitely a highlight along with Tobe’s ever gawky attempts at wooing his all time idol.
You can order Meet Monica Velour on DVD here