Cast: Jessica Simpson, Vivica Fox, Cheri Oteri, Steve Guttenberg; Director: Steve Miner; Producers: Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, George Furla, Joe Simpson; Screenwriters: April Blair, Holly Sorensen; Music: Dennis Smith; Editor: Nathan Easterling; Genre: Comedy; Cinematography: Patrick Cady; Distributor: Millennium Films; Location: ; Running Time: 95 min.;
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
Megan Valentine (Jessica Simpson) is a pampered but naive Hollywood actress who feels stuck in the roles she is given to play. She discovers one day that she is bankrupt, with her estate wiped off by her boyfriend. Totally clueless, she drives aimlessly until she meets an accident which she survives anyhow. Carless and homeless she sleeps outside a US Army recruiting office where she is found by a handsome guy in uniform. Since her loss (of property, bank accounts, etc.) has jolted her into taking a deeper look at her life, she applies to become a soldier, thinking she would then be taken seriously from now on. But life in a boot camp proves too tough for this silver-screen babe; she calls her agent to bail her out of the army but it’s too late. She has signed a binding contract which would constitute a crime to breach.
With a poster showing a glam blonde in military uniform Major Movie Star evokes images of an old Goldie Hawn starrer, Private Benjamin, but the former is not a clone of the latter. Private Benjamin carries a social message laced with humor; Major Movie Star is thick candy floss containing a message of personal transformation inside. It’s a relief to see that while Major Movie Star’s message is noteworthy, it doesn’t come across as heavy, preachy, or angst-laden, thanks to the over-all light-and-fluffy treatment of the whole story. It has light romance and lightweight entertainment, but offers a peep into how soldiers are trained. It is predictable, and with adaptability actress Simpson displays, she just might become—given the right roles—a major movie star in real life.
Somewhere along the 95-minutes of watching Major Movie Star, you could get the feeling that it could be propaganda for the US Army. Although not exactly a class-B potboiler, Major Movie Star seems almost too positive about army recruitment, focusing on wholesome (army) characters or experiences and watering down the nastier elements of training camp life. Nonetheless it tries to say that there are values worth training (or dying) for, like love of country, respect for authority, self-discipline, determination, duty-before-pleasure, maturity, firmness of character, etc. It may be a good movie to examine by young people entering adulthood and beginning to appreciate the value of self-respect. At least, girls can be helped to realize that if they want to be taken seriously, they should reconsider dumping their “hot blonde” or shampoo-model looks and cultivating their more lasting assets.