Simone (2002)

Viktor Taransky (movie legend Al Pacino  Dog Day Afternoon, The Godfather) is a movie producer who’s basically fed up with uptight actresses and in an attempt to regain his fame, creates a computer generated actress named Simone (Rachel Roberts). But as she becomes famous worldwide, Viktor begins to wonder if he made her famous or if she made him famous. I really enjoyed Katherine Keener’s role as Taransky’s tough ex-wife who also works with him in the studios; she always manages to pull in some good performances in stinkers and excellent films such as “Lovely & Amazing.”

Al, what are you doin’ to us, Al?! What happened to Micheal Corleone? What happened to Tony Montana?! What happened to ya, Ally boy? This is one of the worst most illogical and improbable movie’s I’ve seen in a while, and what makes it worse is that it has these talented actors attached to it such as Al Pacino, Katherine Keener, and Wynona “Klepto” Ryder. The movie attempts to be a spoof and commentary on Hollywood, and the structure of fame, but ultimately fails in this tale. Like a bad Looney Tunes cartoon, Viktor has this incredible artificial character that seems to come to life when no one is around basically driving him nuts and it drove me nuts, too. The scientist that created this computer and character basically gave no real reason to create this program in the first place and when he’s dead, the computer is never taken offline or collected by the studio but is still in tact. Pacino stumbles upon it and decides he can’t work with another actress so he’ll make one. In this world filled with constant ways of seeking information ala the internet, the press, television, newspapers, etc. it is impossible for one man to hide something as big as this.

What makes this tale even more illogical is that everyone is so gullible to Taransky’s act he’s pulling, they never consider maybe this wash up has been is taking us for a ride. There are constant plot devices and plot twists in this movie that come off as just cheesy and completely hard to believe, such as Taransky hiding his actress in a hotel room while the media bustles outside like bees waiting to catch a glimpse of her and he’s holding a cut-out ala “Home Alone” in the silhouette. We’re supposed to believe that all these people never once catch on, and instead believe everything this man tells them? Also in one of the worst scenes in the entire movie, Simone is driving a car beside Keener’s character talking on the phone. As we pull back Pacino’s character is handling the Simone decoy as a puppet. If this star is driving along the road wouldn’t the press be swarming around her? What about people around the highway?

Wouldn’t they notice a wacky man driving a mannequin? What really irritated me to the point of anger was that no one really asked any questions. Pacino’s character would give them a half-assed explanation and they would simply nod and walk off. Pacino looks bored in this movie and he basically acts with his eyes closed, and it’s no wonder he’s bored, because I felt the exact same way. There’s these constant references and attempted spoofs on the media and Hollywood press but it falls flat on deaf ears one after the other and feels very desperate to get the point across. The last twenty minutes of the film is possibly the most daunting and irritating as the daughter and Keener’s character discover the hoax and instead of revealing it in the end, they simply go along with the gag in a vomit inducing sappy ending! Ugh, a tiring and dead in the water satire that fails on all points of plot, characterization, plausibility and realism and basically insults the audience’s intelligence.