Hollywood.Con is not about websites or some TMZ-style celeb tabloid. In fact, the title makes little sense given the adventure-comedy that the film is. But is its odd name a harbinger of a poor production overall or just a strange one-off?
Actress Mika Boorem makes her feature-length writing and directorial debut with Hollywood.Con. She stars as aspiring actress/social media influencer Mika Harms, who, while on an audition, gets mistaken for producer Veronica Lake (Paige Howard). Seeing a prime opportunity to help her career and get her adventurer father, Ben Harms (Benjamin Boorem; presumably related somehow), back into the good graces of Hollywood. Mika must get permission from a Mayan Priest (Nino De Marco) for this production of a Guatemalan legend to continue.
“…[Mika] is mistaken for an infamous drug runner and is kidnapped by cartel leader El Jade…”
However, upon landing, she is mistaken for an infamous drug runner and is kidnapped by cartel leader El Jade (Tom Arnold). However, his son recognizes her from her social media videos, so now the two will be married. But Mika escapes, searches for her dad, must track down the Priest, and hopes that the studio heads don’t discover her actual identity.
The film’s biggest problem is pacing and tone. The opening sequence is of Mika at her day job. Instead of cleaning the motel’s bathroom as she should be, she’s live-streaming. The owner (manager?) comes in and fires her. She sulks back home to get ready for an audition. The tone of this scene is awkward, as the lines are not ratatat, quick zingers, but it’s edited and acted in a way that implies it is meant to be. This makes it all a bit confusing.
Once home, her double-crossing roommate talks her out of dressing in character for this audition. Their dynamic and leisurely-paced conversation actually sets up the main character, so the first few minutes just feel like a waste of time. Even moreso, because Mika losing her job never really plays a factor in her decision-making or arc. However, the talking-over-each-other absurdity of the Worley Brothers is funny and sets the pace for much of the film.
"…Mika Boorem...makes her character instantly likeable..."