Directed by: Bert Marcus
Written by: Bert Marcus
Starring: Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton, Josh Ostrovsky, Kirill Bichutsky, Brittany Furlan, Hailey Baldwin
The world of Internet celebrities follows the lifespan of intense popularity quickly met by some scandal that dissipates their footprint. This kind of celebrity seems to be incredibly fickle and only the most resilient ones seem to be the ones that stick around. The American Meme presents the case of several of these Internet celebrities for the adoration they seek and the fragility of their fame.
Paris Hilton has been someone in the public eye for so long now that it may be easy to forget exactly where her privilege came from. Growing up, I just assumed she was rich organically as some entity. With that privilege, Paris became a brand and from a very young age, she was cast in a light that would follow her for the rest of her career. She has become one of the biggest running jokes about trust fund kids and how they have built a life of opulence without doing any of the work themselves. Everything changed for Paris when her infamous sex scandal leaked and I’m glad this documentary gave her the opportunity to speak about her experience. It succeeded in truly humanizing Paris after she had become this untouchable icon for what feels like decades now. At the very least, I enjoyed that aspect of this film.
On the other hand, the rest of this documentary covered a whole other set of celebrities that made a name for themselves on YouTube or the, no longer in existence, Vine. Paris Hilton became the first person to become a celebrity for doing much of nothing, but the worst thing she did was creating a culture where the rest of these people could reach some semblance of fame. The documentary continued to show the life of these celebrities and the aftermath of the bubble bursting on them. For the most part, I felt that the documentary was very informative but I did find it irritating trying to find sympathy for these folks. For anyone who knows me, that is quite the statement for me to say.
The film lost me when it tried to make me sympathize with these people when they have shown repeatedly that they are incredibly shallow and just not good people. They flaunt their fame when they have it but then ask everyone to cry for them after hinging their careers and self-worth on platforms that had such weak foundations. Gosh, I feel like such an old man writing this review but it speaks to the generational ideologies that we have been led to believe and I refuse to feel bad for folks that garnered fame in such a way. Art is supposed to be manipulative, but when it gets this egregious, it just takes me out of the experience. These people chose to live in a fickle world and then were surprised when their limelight turned off and others didn’t take them seriously.
It’s all par for the course, but the documentary did work in aggravating me, which should be commended in a way. It’s very flashy in the way it displays the lifestyle of these “celebrities” and it gets raw answers out of many of them. Everything with Paris Hilton works and I just wished it focused more on her and the story she wanted to tell the world.