As a film reviewer/ connoisseur I see most of the films that come out each year. As the decades go on, the pleasure of seeing so many is still there and always will be. There is nothing like seeing a film in the cinema. Even with today’s annoying audiences (cell phones are one of the biggest nails in the cinema experience coffin!), I still love being in a movie theater.
While there are many great films to be seen from year to year, sometimes it is the smaller films that can be something special and different. Even an interesting short film can be more fun than a big-budget Hollywood extravaganza.
“Ready for My Close Up” is a delightful short film that clocks in at just under thirty minutes. Written by Michael Haberfelner from an idea from star Lynn Lowry, this is a funny and clever love letter to B-comedies and horror films.
Lowry is Megs Topplethwaite, a former B-movie actress who is a darkly comedic genre film version of Norma Desmond. Megs now needs home care as she sits amongst the posters and props of her past film career trying not to fade away.
Megs has a quite unhealthy penchant for home delivery foods and the men who deliver them! Is there something sinister going on here? Of course, there is and that is where the film finds its spark and gives its lead actress some truly funny moments to shine.
Lynn Lowry has been a part of some great genre films over the decades. The actress had an important lead role in Randy Metger’s chic 1974 film “Score” where she played a shy newlywed who becomes open to sexual experimentation. One doesn’t usually look for strong acting in the soft-core films of the seventies but Lowry’s work in Metzger’s film always struck me as something special. The actress did a lot with just a glance. It’s quite an impressive performance.
Lowry also had a strong role in David Cronenberg’s 1975 chiller “Shivers” and was a standout by making the most of her one scene in Paul Schrader’s erotic and artful 1982 remake of “Cat People”.
The actress has embraced her genre career and never disappoints. With this role Lowry is comically toasting (and roasting!) her own long career and the careers of her genre peers. Megs Topplethwaite (I just love that name!) relives her past roles by acting them out for bewildered delivery men and, to solidify the memory, killing them in the manner of whichever character she inhabits at that moment, often breaking the fourth wall to let us in on the fun and pointed humor.
Lowry has a blast playing Megs and her commitment to this role is absolutely infectious. Watching her pontificate to her confused delivery men/victims about her acting past is great fun. Seeing Meg’s enthusiasm and energy as she tells how she did her own stunts, how she was once highly respected, and (looking straight at us) arguing the merits of actual film over digital while knowing this film is shot in the later, made me laugh often.
Charlotte Mounter lends great support as a thief who poses as a nurse to gain access to Topplethwaite’s home so she can steal Megs’ film memorabilia. Almost immediately, the thief learns there is much more than cinematic artifacts hidden around the house! Her performance is purposefully silly and manic and complements the film’s tone.
Director Jason Reed has fun with his nods to the B-movie genre (as we are treated to a few scenes of Lowry’s character in her past films) and makes good use of the goofy delivery men who come to Meg’s door.
A lot of fun is to be had in the film’s short running time and the bulk of it comes from Lowry. The actress dives in full force and creates a wonderfully entertaining character that owns every moment.
“Ready For My Close Up” is a robust and fun little film that had me smiling constantly.