8 May 2004 | stevek69
farce that is too corny for its own good--only for fans of Camille Gauty
summary: a promising concept is poorly executed, resulting in an uninspired & cliched romantic comedy about a music mogul and a wannabe pop star.
the concept for this made for t.v. film had potential: a farce about how the music industry manufactures, hypes, and sells "pop stars". This film takes the farce further by having the music moguls manufacture the ETHNICITY of our protagonist (Maggie) as well as her image (drawing attention to yet another feature of corporate music: exploiting a fad to maximize profit--in this case the recent "Latin pop music" explosion heralded by Ricky Martin).
Maggie is a Latina struggling in LA, but she is not sufficiently "ethnic" in the eyes of her agent or the music studio--so she is "taught" how to be a "real" Latina by her ethnicity coaches. This is a perverse, but an often accurate depiction of what happens in the music & film industries, in the sense that corporate music & film utilize ethnic stereotypes to sell their products. These corporate images of how a "genuine" Latina, Chicana, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc. acts, behaves and speaks reinforces the stereotype even further. [ASIDE: is the film taking jabs at Christina Aguilera? if so, bravo! one wonders if Christina, like Maggie in the movie, needed to have language coaches to ensure she sang the lyrics correctly on the album she recorded for the Latin market.)
Unfortunately, this film doesn't provide a deep analysis of ethnic identity, or how ethnicity is manufactured and defined by media conglomerates, or how damaging these stereotypes can be. Instead, the film employs the very same ethnic stereotypes it hopes to critique--but perhaps I am being unfair, since it is a farce after all.
Regardless, the film's campy humor falls flat, the dialogue is simply banal and the plot is so cliched that my wife and I were able to predict plot developments (and even dialogue in crucial scenes) with horrifying accuracy. The end result: we were bored to tears.
So why did I continue to watch this film--painful as it was? I confess, I love Camille Gauty. I first noticed her when she was a contestant on a reality tv show (which, ironically, was about "making a girl pop-music group"). Gauty almost made the final cut...the musical act (sans-Gauty) would later name themselves "Eden's Crush" (remember them?). I can't verify this, but I suspect that one of the reasons why Gauty was cast in "30 Days..." was because.... well, because Gauty herself wanted to be a pop music star!
VERDICT: do yourself a favor and watch "COOL AS ICE" instead of "30 DAYS..."--you'll get to see Vanilla Ice (a bonafide pop star instead of a fictional one) in his prime. Ironically, Vanilla, later in his career, would face a dilemma not unlike Maggie faced in "30 DAYS": was he selling himself out when he reinvented himself as a "gangsta" rapper for his comeback album "the funky headhunter"? In "30 DAYS..." Maggie ultimately decided not to sell out and dropped her "Solita" persona. Vanilla, however...