The vodka glitters in the starlight as the bottle smashes against the wall of memorabilia in the one-woman dream factory demolition derby Golden Vanity, directed by Max Abram. On April 10th, 1967, in Los Angeles, a radio announcer (Richard Riehle) reports that the presentation of the Best Actress award to the legendary Liz Fontana was disrupted, with the actress ending up going to the hospital. As Fontana started giving her speech, Mabel Montogomery-Mayflower (Melora Hardin) stormed onstage and tried to grab the award from her. A brawl ensues, with Mabel running off with the bloodstained award, eluding police on her way out.
She falls back to her Hollywood home and drunkenly calls her agent, telling him to start booking her some concert performances overseas pronto. While waiting for him to call back, she grabs a reel-to-reel tape recorder and plants herself on the couch with a forest of liquor bottles. She records herself telling her life story and setting the record straight on all the scandals. She talks about the brutality she endured from her stage mother and the real story behind her famous suicide attempt.
“…records herself telling her life story and setting the record straight on all the scandals.”
She spills the tea about being treated like a racehorse in lipstick and the sparkle pills she was forced to take to keep going. She dishes on her nightmare marriages as she drunkenly roams the room brandishing a pistol. Nothing will bring down Mabel Montogomery-Mayflower. She’s so tough she s***s thunderbolts in her sleep.
As it has been and always will be in Hollywood, many hopefuls reach for the stars and instead land in a pool of liquor and drugs. The screenplay by Abram and Taylor Minas dives deep into that pool and doesn’t come back up. If you are like me and this Hollywood Babylon jazz is your bag, you will be wearing a grin and tonic throughout the running time. Abram and Minas use what Judy Garland had to go through as a template but add variations from the atrocities inflicted on other actresses. This conglomeration spawns the mutation that is Mabel, a trainwreck’s trainwreck.
"…you will be wearing a grin and tonic throughout the running time..."