Just About Famous (2010)

justaboutfamousI really hope Blue Collar Films manages to re-visit “Just About Famous” someday, because there is at least ninety minutes of entertaining material to be tapped from the lives of celebrity impersonators and their confrontations with people who are convinced they’re the iconic celebrities they resemble. However as a fourteen minute feature, “Just About Famous” is a hysterical and absolutely entertaining documentary about the lives of a small group of celebrity impersonators who resemble some of the most famous people in America, for better or for worse.

Directors Mamula, and Kovacsev set down on a profession that is often deemed as weird and surreal by most people in America who view the folks imitating actors like Robert DeNiro and Whoopi Goldberg as absolute head cases. But both directors completely destroy all pre-conceived notions exploring their obstacles in leading normal lives often being mistaken by awe struck waiters, and eager fan boys, and just like everyone else in America, they have decided to make money off of their assets and build a career out of their talents for mimicking household names.

“Just About Famous” is as surreal as the premise indicates, interviewing folks who bear striking resemblances to Robin Williams, Kenny Rogers, Britney Spears, and the like, all of whom have almost had to deal with sudden fame as the actual personalities have. There is so much great material to be mined here that results in some excellent entertainment that kept me smiling from ear to ear the whole time, including the DeNiro lookalike and his outburst at a waitress who refused to accept he wasn’t actually DeNiro, an Oprah lookalike who, even after showing a fan her ID, had to insist she wasn’t actually Oprah, and a Kenny Rogers lookalike who hurt the feelings of a fan who insisted he was the real Rogers.

And like most documentaries of this ilk, the directors don’t mock or exploit their subjects, but instead depict them as normal folks who demystify their profession explaining that they’re aware they’re not the actual celebrities they depict, are not at all mentally ill, and are just trying to perform and make a dime off of it like everyone else. “Just About Famous” is deserving if a large audience, and a feature length format. It’s one I’d definitely watch again. I hope Blue Collar Films re-visits this territory again someday since “Just About Famous” is worthy of being a feature length comedy documentary that spotlights a rare corner of show business many people roll their eyes and look down on, but very few actually understand. It’s a human, hilarious, and entertaining documentary and one I look forward to seeing run the festival circuit.