King Kelly is a divisive movie, and it has an uphill battle to fight in order to win viewers.
Why? Two reasons… first, it’s shot (almost) entirely on iPhones. And second, the title character is the most unlikeable creature to hit the screen since Honey Boo-boo.
That uphill battle is one worth fighting though because it’s a movie worth seeing. Louisa Krause plays Kelly, a selfish, narcissistic, oblivious young woman who earns her money by way of a webcam sex show. She treats those around her as tools toward making it big with no thought given to their feelings or situations, she rarely shuts up and she’s a magnet for trouble involving missing drugs, threatening dealers and one highly unstable fan. Thankfully she’s also funny and more than a little sexy.
It’s an admittedly tough sell that needs some nuance to persuade viewers to spare their time and money for the privilege of giving attention to a truly obnoxious character whose only desire is for more attention. And while the characters may appear blatantly and deceptively dumb the movie itself is actually a pretty smart critique of modern day America’s tastes. I found a lot to love when I reviewed it at this year’s SXSW, but unfortunately the latest trailer doesn’t quite get any of that across.
Check it out after the jump. But please note that it’s very Not Safe for Work (NSFW).
So yeah. Please give the movie a chance and don’t judge it based solely on this trailer.
While the film opens with the scene above and Kelly’s career of choice is that of online spank bank, this is really only one element of the film. It’s the most salacious to be sure, but it’s also the least important. There are some fun dialogue exchanges throughout the movie, some crazy story developments and an odd assortment of characters, any of which would be more appealing than the edited glimpse above.
The shot-on-cell-phone gimmick seems jarring at first, but if you let it the film slowly sucks you into its world and that aspect fades from focus. Similarly, Kelly’s persona reveals itself as something far less secure allowing for real emotion to enter the film and add weight where little seems to have existed.
King Kelly starts a limited theatrical release on November 30th and hits VOD starting December 4th.