Why Maps To The Stars Is Everything Wrong With Hollywood

My Tuesday started out optimistically, only to go so far south I might as well have been in San Diego. (That's an L.A. joke, haha.) We went to see Maps to the Stars at the Sundance Theater on Sunset, and thank god it was discount Tuesday because that was movie so dreadful I could cry.

Even so, six dollars was still too much to be tortured by that train wreck, and I’m thinking of filing a lawsuit against the writer for making my ears bleed. It truly baffles me that Maps to the Stars currently has a 6.4 rating on IMDB right now, so much in fact, that I’m afraid six out of ten people walking the streets surely are insane.

This piece of garbage was written by supposed Hollywood insider, Bruce Wagner, who’s pretty much only known for writing Nightmare on Elm Street . . . THREE. Doesn’t sound like much of an insider to me. The more interviews I read in fact, the more I realized he’s not an insider at all, but a narcissistic douchebag of epic proportions. A reporter who interviewed him for the LA Times wrote:

“Ambulance-driver-turned-novelist Bruce Wagner, a man of tattooed fingers and wild prose, knows precisely where the hobgoblin of his creativity resides: ‘Failure and anguish,’ he says, an e-cigarette skimming his lips. ‘I feel those are truly golden doors through which … one becomes a kind of pilgrim in a great cathedral’ where the ‘full force of one’s insignificance’ is laid bare.”

Excuse me while I go barf.

The whiny outbursts in Maps to the Stars are supposed to be delivered as satire, but without a coherent narrative or an ounce of intelligence, the script free falls right into the kind of melodrama Wagner tries to make fun of. I’m all for shining a light on Hollywood’s nasty underbelly, but for me, this film did just the opposite. Instead, I’m reminded that Hollywood continues to flounder in a dick-sucking frenzy of self-congratulatory white male directors, writers, and producers.

I feel ya Julianne. (cbsnew.com)

[Which reminds me—thanks for nothing, HBO. When I first heard there would be an opportunity to apply for a writing fellowship, I thought, gee, that’s good of HBO to try including more women and people of color. What’s not good of them is setting a cap at 1,000 applicants so that when the floodgates open at 9:00am, everyone tries to apply at the same time on a funky server from the nineties. So after trying all morning to get my script in, stopping at a Starbucks for Wi-Fi on the way to Palm Desert, and tweeting a firestorm, the gates closed and that was that; HBOAccess denied. I still haven’t heard back about the magical waivers they promised either.

I’m going to keep writing anyway because even if I passed out drunk on the keys and my face produced nothing but an endless line of Js, it would still have more artistic merit than the dribble Wagner passes for dialogue in Maps to the Stars.]

Sorry, I forgot to mention one of the most cringe-worthy parts. Watching it in Hollywood meant having to listen to the guffaws of the audience at the mention of names like “Harvey.” Several sniveling jerks in the audience audibly chortled because they knew that character was talking about obese producer, Harvey Weinstein. You know who Harvey Weinstein is, do you? Good for fucking you. So does just about everyone. The laughs started to taper off, however, when most of the crowd seemed to realize how pathetically Wagner was trying to be salacious. Spoiler alert: Julianne Moore gets her brains beaten out with a golden trophy, and it is not poetic or symbolic or even a little bit provoking. It’s just plain gross.

You know what else happens in Hollywood? My obnoxious buffoon of a neighbor screaming on the phone every morning, shouting things like, “If you want Sheena to be the lead hot bikini girl, fine! But what she said about Anthony Hopkins is just a bold-faced lie.”

And, “I’m going to call Quentin tomorrow.”

Sigh. I guess I’ll just keep shouting everything he says verbatim until he notices me, which may be never because you can’t hear much with your own head up your ass.

But wait! Lest you think I leave you on this fine Friday with nothing but a rant to keep you warm, I offer this hopeful Tinsel Town video by none other than the Upright's Citizen Brigade, written by and starring Madeline Walter, which tackles ageism in Hollywood.

While the omnipresence of Meryl Streep would have you believe that the casting tree is full of ripe, interesting roles that older women simply don’t feel like plucking, this is decidedly not the case.  As male actors age and continue to get roles into their 40s, 50s, and 60s, their female love interests magically hover around the 20-to-30 range. Oh, but maybe that's because from just 2009 to 2013, women directed a mere 4.7% of the feature films released by major studios. 

I don’t know about y’all, but the sexist, ageist attitude plaguing Hollywood grosses me out almost as much as a pair of old, wiry balls.  So go ahead and quell some some rage right here:

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!