Cross “Napoleon Dynamite” with “The Red Shoe Diaries” and you might get something like “Meet Monica Velour,” a comedy that’s neither as edgy nor as funny as it needs to be – or seems to think it is.
This is the second comedy in the past month or so about a dweeb obsessed with a porn star (the other was “Elektra Luxx’) and both of them have failed the ultimate test: They can’t get past the essentially skeeviness of the porn milieu. It’s one of those jokes that just doesn’t keep on giving. If anything, it suffers from diminishing returns the longer you have to think about it.
In this film, newcomer Dustin Ingram plays Tobe, a nerd with bully problems, no mother and a drunken, inattentive grandfather (Brian Dennehy). Obsessed with a porn star from the 80s named Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall), he spots an ad for a personal appearance by Monica (who apparently is coming out of retirement to sign autographs) several states away – and makes it his quest to meet her.
The appearance, however, turns out to be at a strip club, where she is expected to perform just like the younger girls – and when Tobe tries to shut up some insulting patrons, they take him outside and kick his ass. So Monica winds up taking him home. Talk about meeting cute.
She, of course, can’t resist his minimal charms and he becomes a kind of surrogate son – until he admits his dreams of being her lover. Then he gets involved in her custody fight with an abusive ex- for a long-absent daughter and her attempts to earn the money necessary to fight for custody and .. well, we have the opposite of lift-off.
Ingram is a Jon Heder-wannabe, which is not something that anyone should want to be. Cattrall, never a particularly interesting actress, at least reveals a certain lack of vanity here, perhaps because she thought she might get one of those career bumps that go with moving downmarket and playing a “real” person in an independent film.
But here is the bottom line about porn stars and the men who love them: The men love them because they fantasize about having sex with them. While they’re fantasizing about them, they’re masturbating.
No wonder the famous ones don’t want to shake hands with their fans.