6 April 2013 | rooprect
What's the opposite of a narcissist?
A narcissist is one who has excessive love or admiration of oneself. You'd think a person who writes, directs and stars in a movie about himself would fit that definition. But it's the exact opposite.
"Pauly Shore Is Dead" is a satirical, self-deprecating (self-loathing?) autobiography by a man who was once on top of the world but now he's flattened by it. The movie is mostly predictable, with silly gags and one-liners typical of the plastic 80s and early 90s partycoms we loved so much. Pauly stayed true to the genre that made him a hit.
But what I liked were the introspective moments peppered throughout, particularly toward the end, where we see that maybe Pauly could, in fact, be another Robin Williams or Adam Sandler... a typecast slapstick comedian who manages to break out of the mold and become a legitimate actor. The story is superficial, and if you choose to read between the lines--realizing that this movie itself is part of the autobiography--it's a grand experience.
Dozens of great cameo appearances make this film a treat. From the opening scene with arrogant Charlie Sheen, to the clips of angry Ben Stiller, to the scene with penniless Gerardo rapping on the side of the road (remember "Rico Suave"?), to the bit with ditzy Paris Hilton or clueless Britney Spears ("Pauly Shore? Oh you mean the guy who was on MTV *before* I was born!") there's tons of comedic eye candy, especially for the 90s pop culture crowd. I think that's the key to all the fun. You don't necessarily need to be a Pauly fan in order to be entertained, as long as you recognize some of the big & upcoming stars of the late 90s.
"Pauly Shore Is Dead" is not a big budget production, so don't expect polished Hollywood finesse. It seems like a lot was shot on digital cameras, giving it a cheap, homemade feel (deliberately?). The soundtrack is sorta cheezy (again, deliberately?) but with a few big hits like The Cars "Let the Good Times Roll", a tune by Eminem, and ironically a tune by Limp Bizkit, whose singer appears in a cameo handing a demo cd to Pauly and subsequently getting into a fight, yelling "You'll see! My band is going to make it big and we'll never ask you to be in our video!" (the irony being that Pauly has appeared in several).
So brush up on your 90s pop culture, then pop this movie in & have a blast. Movies I would compare this to are "Best in Show" (or any of the excellent Christopher Guest mockumentaries, "Napoleon Dynamite", and a weird, undiscovered dark comedy called "Circus Maximus ".