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angelyne, biographical film, biography, review, biopicf

Angelyne (2022) 

In his book ‘Whose Lives Are They Anyway?’, Dennis Bingham originated the term BOSUD (Biopic of Someone UnDeserving) noting that what protagonists like Ed Wood and Bettie Page shared is an unrelenting belief in themselves. Add to that list Angelyne, a self-proclaimed LA icon who revels in being famous for nothing. Before leaked sex-tapes and reality shows turned wannabees into celebrities, Angelyne resorted the decidedly analog medium of billboards to promote herself. Their sudden appearance on the streets of Los Angeles certainly caught a lot of attention, leading many to ponder… Who is Angelyne? It’s a question this biopic has a lot of fun answering.

Through mock interviews, a journalist’s investigation and a student filmmaker’s documentary, the first few episodes of this limited series reveal as much about Angelyne as she is comfortable disclosing. After an unsuccessful stint as a singer in a punk rock band, Angelyne approaches the oddball owner of a printing business with the idea of plastering billboards across town with nothing more than her image, name and his telephone number. Surprisingly he agrees, much to his family’s growing discontent, and the resultant curiosity sees Angelyne abruptly appearing in magazines, television talk shows and movies. Yet with all this exposure comes the unwanted scrutiny of a public wanting to know … Who is Angelyne?

Wearing a set of prosthetic breasts that make her nipples arrive in a room five minutes before her butt, Emmy Rossum’s comic portrayal of Angelyne seamlessly adapts to this biopics’ overall tone which merrily contrasts character’s different perspectives in its relaxed adherence to the facts. Nevertheless, the final episodes do delve into the reality of Angelyne’s life before her billboard ballyhoo, though the question of who she is remains largely unresolved.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that the story behind the woman famous for nothing… is actually nothing. 

Emmy Rossum, Angelyne, Toby Huss, Hugh Hefner
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The character of Harold Wallach is based on the inventor of Hugo's Amazing Tape, Hugo Maisnik

The character of Wendy Wallach is based on actress Katherine Saltzberg, who starred in the sitcom 'Star of the Family' opposite Brian Dennehy


The character of Max Allen is based on filmmaker Jesse Small

The character of Jeff Glaser is based on THR journalist Gary Baum

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