I love Naomi Watts, but watching Ellie Parker I was at a loss to determine whether she was delivering the most stunningly over-the-top bad performance of all time, or brilliantly nailing her performance as the most stunningly over-the-top bad actress of all time. It may have even been both of these things happening at the same time. Watts is certainly memorable here though I'm 99% certain it's not in a good way as a self-absorbed struggling actor willing to degrade herself in just about every imaginable way in pursuit of that big Hollywood break.
Shittily shot on DV, the movie was apparently some kind of no-budget labor of love for director Scott Coffey, a friend of Watts's who somehow managed to keep her interested in starring in this even as she became a major star. Maybe he thought he was getting some good shit on tape and could blackmail her later, I dunno. Weirdly, he and Watts seem to be proud of their work on this.
Perhaps I just don't like staring at the true ugliness that pervades a lot of Hollywood. The characters in EP certainly look and feel like a lot of people I know in L.A. I don't mind this kind of brutal honesty, but I guess I need the ugliness tempered with at least a tablespoon of real drama, as in the short-lived HBO series "Unscripted."
Check back with me in five years it's totally possible I will suddenly "get" Ellie Parker and herald it as a bold and challenging film. But I guess that would entail having to watch it again. And, like, I don't look at my shit after it leaves my ass, so why would I bother watching this shit again?