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Meet Monica Velour

Meet Monica Velour

Director: Keith Bearden

Cast: Kim Cattrall, Dustin Ingram, Brian Dennehy


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A young man meets his dream woman (and isn't the least bit troubled that she's a washed-up porn actress 30 years his senior) in this independent coming-of-age comedy. Tobe Hulbert (Dustin Ingram) is a 17-year-old high school graduate who is the working definition of a loser -- he's nerdy and socially inept, he lives with his eccentric


A young man meets his dream woman (and isn't the least bit troubled that she's a washed-up porn actress 30 years his senior) in this independent coming-of-age comedy. Tobe Hulbert (Dustin Ingram) is a 17-year-old high school graduate who is the working definition of a loser -- he's nerdy and socially inept, he lives with his eccentric grandfather (Brian Dennehy), his closest friend, Kenny (Daniel Yelsky), is only 12 years old, and he drives a beat-up hot-dog wagon with a giant frankfurter bolted to the roof. Among his other obsessions, Tobe is fascinated with adult movies of the 1970s and '80s, and his favorite actress is Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall), who in her heyday was the hottest star in porn. When Tobe discovers there's a collector living in Indiana (Keith David) who is willing to buy his wagon for a good price and Monica Velour will be appearing at a gentleman's club nearby, he decides fate is smiling on him and hits the road. However, the "gentleman's club" turns out to be a sleazy dive and time hasn't been kind to Monica; when several patrons begin shouting insults at her, Tobe defends her honor and gets beat up for his trouble. Monica gratefully befriends Tobe and lets him stay at the trailer park she calls home; he begins to imagine he might have a chance with the woman of his dreams, but while she sees Tobe as a kindred spirit, she has bigger things to deal with, including a career that's going nowhere, an ugly relationship with her ex-husband, and a contentious battle to win back custody of her daughter. The first feature film from writer and director Keith Bearden, Meet Monica Velour received its world premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Keith Bearden, a former film critic and director of short movies, makes his feature-length debut with Meet Monica Velour, the seriocomic story of a geek who becomes involved with the over-the-hill porn star he's obsessed with. Unfortunately, despite some occasional flashes of insight, Bearden is mostly unable to use the longer running time to say anything meaningful about sexuality or flesh out his characters. The film is so formulaic that it would almost be easier to count the moments that don't feel stolen from other indie dramedies or coming-of-age movies. And worst of all, it also has the least appealing protagonist of any film in recent memory. Granted, if said protagonist is a teenager who doesn't just lust after an aging porn star, but has actually convinced himself that he's in love with her, it is pretty much inevitable that he's going to be portrayed as an asocial loser. However, Tobe Hulbert (Dustin Ingram) acts like his whole personality is nothing but an assemblage of Indieland quirks: he listens to pop songs from the 1930s, wears bow ties, and drives around in a van with a giant sculpture of a hot dog bolted on top. And he has the voice of a Muppet to boot. As the film opens, Tobe is just about to graduate from high school and is looking at some pretty dismal prospects. He's got no job to speak of, no friends other than a 12-year-old kid, and even his father thinks he's pathetic. After an attempt to declare his feelings for a classmate (Han Jee Young) goes disastrously wrong and he's accused of being a Peeping Tom, Tobe decides it might be a good time to take a road trip to Indiana, where a kooky collector (Keith David) has offered to buy his van. Even better, he learns that a nearby strip club will be hosting an appearance by his favorite porn star, Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall), who has disappeared from the public eye since her heyday in the 1980s. After Tobe attempts to defend Monica's honor from a bunch of crude frat boys and is promptly beaten for his troubles, he winds up at her home and becomes her temporary houseguest. Despite their differences, the two desperately need each other -- Tobe slowly inspires Monica to get her life together and fight for custody of her daughter, while Monica gives Tobe his first sexual experience and sets him on the path to becoming (marginally) less geeky and annoying. Cattrall's performance as the title character is easily the best thing in the movie; thanks to her, Monica is a fully realized human being who's disappointed at where her life has ended up but isn't in the least bit ashamed of her past. This emerges most clearly in a touching scene early on when Tobe shows her a scrapbook full of old nude photos and memorabilia of her, and Cattrall gazes at it with a look of nostalgia, surprise, and sad resignation. The movie only really sparks when the script (also written by Bearden) gives her material along these lines, which plays up the tension between her porn career and the angel that Tobe imagines her to be. When he tries to convince her that starring in a new adult movie will derail her attempts to get her life in order, Monica responds with a scathing speech about how men fall for sex kittens and then want to turn them into housewives when they feel threatened. Bearden would have been better off if he had chosen to really explore the ambiguity in their relationship, and the way the men in Monica's life try to force her into a domesticated role that she's clearly not interested in. Instead, Bearden is just going through a checklist of plot points until Tobe and Monica have both rehabilitated themselves and moved on. The other actors are given little to do except drift into the story when they're needed -- David is especially wasted as a font of wisdom for Tobe's romantic hang-ups -- which leaves Meet Monica Velour as little more than a romantic comedy with few laughs and a love story that isn't terribly convincing.

Product Details

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Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
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Special Features

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Keith Bearden and Actress Kim Cattrall; Hilarious Deleted Scenes!

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kim Cattrall Monica Velour
Dustin Ingram Tobe
Brian Dennehy Pop Pop
Han Jee Young Amanda
Daniel Yelsky Kenny
Keith David Claude
Sam McMurray Ronnie
Elizabeth Wright Shapiro Snickers
Jamie Tisdale Young Monica Velour
Gracie Rose Kayla
Tony Cox Petting Zoo Club Owner
Henry Yuk Amanda's Dad
Kyle Hallman Jock
Kwadwo Asiedu Classmate
Lauren Mae Shafer Punk Girl
Paige Frisconi Blonde Girl
Peter Carey Lead Cop
Courtney Dempsey-Burkett Second Cop
Greg Trzaskoma Biker Guy 1
John "Bam Bam" Katinsky Biker Guy 2
Anna Li Chinese Neighbor
Kevin Scollin Commencement Speaker
Joyce Uzelac Old Lady Cashier
John W. Lawson Fireworks
Jay Malack Porn Producer
Jordan Horowitz Porn Director
Bob Duggan Bandito 1
Benjamin Brennan Bandito 2
Chris Dendrios Frat Boy 1
Michael Force Frat Boy 2
Steve Holiday Frat Boy 3
My Ishia Cason-Brown Jazelle
Walter L. Lindsey EMT 1
Emily Rose Merrell Waitress
Christopher Oberto Hands Solo
Dan Pesta Dork Fudgepacker
Rick Carver Frankenbooty Juggler
Nicole 'Jade' Barley Uta
Jason Waugh Frankenbooty Burgermeister
Nicole Stober Greta
Kathleen Moore Store Owner
Ryleigh P. Little Child in Motel Office

Technical Credits
Keith Bearden Director,Screenwriter
Kerry Barden Casting
Rebecca Bentjen Costumes/Costume Designer
Shauna Bogetz Co-producer
Alison Ford Art Director
Naomi Geraghty Editor
Gary Gilbert Producer
Lewis Goldstein Sound/Sound Designer
Andrew Hollander Score Composer
Jordan Horowitz Producer
Season Kent Musical Direction/Supervision
Nicholas Lee Asst. Director
Paul Schnee Casting
Masanobu Takayanagi Cinematographer
Lou A. III Trabbie Production Designer


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