Major Movie StarJanuary 15, 2011
This movie is so good that you’re not allowed to see it. Unless you live in Russia. Or Bulgaria. Major Movie Star, also known as Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous, has been suppressed in the West for reasons the studio has kept secret — until now. Weather Station 1 has screened a rare Russian-dubbed DVD (with Bulgarian subtitles) and can report you you that this is, indeed, the finest movie of the year. Except that it was made in 2008. So, the finest movie of that year, I guess.
Jessica Simpson courageously plays against type as Megan Valentine, a former singer and failed actress. Finding herself at a crossroads, Megan enlists in the U.S. army (From A-List to En-list, eh?) and learns to march around with her chest sticking out. Along with superstars Steve Guttenberg and Cheri Oteri, Simpson brings her unique brand of highbrow comedy to the madcap world of the military.
This is a new take on this kind of story, though. Valentine, at first, has clashes with her drill sergeant and has trouble fitting in. She considers quitting basic training until she meets a cute soldier guy, so she finds a renewed purpose. Eventually, she wins over her fellow recruits and takes a leadership role. Well, that’s what I think happened; my Bulgarian is rusty and I turned the sound off.
(I learned my lesson with the Dukes of Hazzard movie; Jessica was the best thing in that, especially with the sound turned down.)
Come to think of it, I might have been watching Stripes instead.
The studio hasn’t given any official reason for the lack of a domestic release for this film, nor talked about why it was retitled. I believe the new title came after people pointed out that Simpson’s character never becomes a major, but spends the movie getting into mischief with privates.
- UPDATE: A nerd just emailed me to point out that this film was, in fact, released in North America and the U.K. after Simpson went to Cannes to promote it, at which time, she said, she had to refuse to head the jury in order to work on plans for a new reality show. So you’re in luck.