The Brittany Murphy Story (2014)
Here’s a unique opening for a biopic; the reaction to a title character’s death being conveyed via Twitter. And like those tweets from such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, what follows is just as insightful had the screenplay been limited to 140 characters.
Flashback to 1990, when a teenage Brittany Murphy convinces her mother to move to Los Angeles. Years of commercials and sitcoms follow before her career takes off after landing a major role in Clueless (1995). Yet despite her success, body image issues, tabloid rumours and her mother’s poor health lead to a dependence on anti-depressants. One fan-cum-paparazzo continues to reassure her, but he may not be all that he seems.
Amanda Fuller gives a reasonable performance as the tragic star. She ably portrays the giddy innocence and joy of a young, aspiring actress and the hurt that follows a career decline, but she neither looks, sounds or acts like Murphy. Her one attempt to convey some of the star’s attitude is an annoying head bob and jerk, but this looks more like it could be a symptom of the mysterious illness that took the talented actress’ life.
In contrast to the opening tweets, the final thirty seconds of this biopic consists of five pages of text detailing events after Murphy’s death. They are far more illuminating than anything featured in the preceding ninety minutes.
Movie covers Murphy's short romance with Ashton Kutcher and marriage to Simon Monjack, but makes no mention of her engagements to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz and production assistant Joe Macaluso.
Though not listed in credits, the female director portrayed by Alexis Simpson is Amy Heckerling.
Biopic covers Murphy’s film career via a series of poorly-staged red carpet appearances, each time rushing through her previous, current and upcoming movies. Consequently the closest we get to a scene recreation is a publicity shoot for Just Married and a clip from Clueless.