Unbleached Flower

Wry, flyaway Real Blonde uprooted by unconvincing snarls and tangles

The man who could film this scene could hardly be unaware of the irony connected to the whole project: A send-up of male infantilism toward women--and, more particularly, of the packaging of images which appeal to it--is itself packaged under the title The Real Blonde and sold on the basis of its scantily clad, slack-jawed actresses.

Happily, DiCillo has directed all three of his golden girls well. Wilson, who was Adam Sandler's leading lady in Billy Madison, is a surprise--her role is poorly developed, but she gets startling emotion behind her line readings. She appears to be a real actress. And within her narrow purview, Berkley, of the notorious Showgirls, is truly incredible.

Seconds after Berkley meets Modine, she makes him the cordial, friendly offer of a blowjob; in another scene, she seems curiously elated by a sexual rejection. There you have the Real Blonde archetype--vapid, sweet-natured, sexually commodious yet utterly undemanding. Berkley is the perfect embodiment of this fantasy conception, and if that makes her a one-joke comedienne, at least it's a classic joke.

DiCillo makes sure that the joke is on us, not on any of his actresses. If he didn't, The Real Blonde would be insufferable. But these dream girls put the silliness of male dreaming on display. Whatever the color of their roots, none of these blondes is real.

The Real Blonde
Directed by Tom DiCillo; with Maxwell Caulfield, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Marlo Thomas, Bridgette Wilson and Daryl Hannah.


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