After watching the first 7-minutes of Reality Queen!, one would be forgiven for thinking that Friedberg and Seltzer- of Scary Movie and Epic Movie infamy- had given up all pretense of trying to have a plot. A TMZ-type reporter hounds London Logo (Julia Faye West), talks of her sex tape with Mike Tyson “A Night In London” abound, as do the number of times she accidentally flashed her genitals when getting out a car, a scandal involving a boat (I think), and her not actually going to Afghanistan.
I promise you that all that stuff is referenced or happens in the opening. I also assure you that I just described it more coherently and engagingly than director Steven Jay Bernheim and his seven co-writers proved capable of delivering. To be honest, I was very close to just turning the supposed comedy off and coming back to it at a later date.
Thankfully, I stuck with Reality Queen! as the film turns itself around. See, none of those dumb Paris Hilton gags or bizarre scandal apologies are the plot of the mockumentary. London Logo just wrote a book and wants to prove to herself, her fans, the entertainment industry, and reporters that she has more to offer than just her vapid one-liners and good looks.
“…one would be forgiven for thinking that Friedberg and Seltzer…had given up all pretense of trying to have a plot.”
To that end, she agrees to let BBS1 correspondent Diana Smelt-Martin (Kate Orsini) make a documentary chronicling her everyday life while on her promotional book tour. However, London’s social media influencer rival Kristy Kim (Candace Kita), also wrote and released a book. Now the two are in a contentious match to have the best fans and get more likes on social media. To further complicate matters, Rochelle Ritzy (Shelli Boone), London’s former best friend and co-star of their successful, but canceled after a few seasons, reality show re-enters London’s life.
That is the main thrust of Reality Queen! and it works. While some of the jokes are still the lowest common denominator, this is when the audience gets to know London and those around her honestly. Therefore, even those jokes land better than at the start. For example, an ongoing gag about her “micro-chihuahua” actually being a guinea pig is both dumb but also hilarious. This joke also serves as an excellent example of the depths Bernheim finds in London.
Near the end of the movie, London discusses her micro-chihuahua, and the audience realizes how much of her celebutante persona is real and how much is a performance. London is not the only person to benefit from a screenplay that is more clever than the viewer will realize. At a book signing, in which both London and Kristy Kim are there promoting their respective books, London gets mad over her dorky fans. In contrast, Kristy Kim’s are more of your typical sorority, party-going kind of folks.