Monday, June 7, 2021

Review: Introducing Jodea: A Charming Hollywood Drama / Comedy That Has More Heart Than Humor

Chloe Traicos	...	Jodea Maxwell Lou Pizarro	Lou Pizarro	...	Nathaniel Monique Yates Jr.	Monique Yates Jr.	...	Mother of fan Tiffany Toney	Tiffany Toney	...	Sandra Asger Folmann	Asger Folmann	...	Steve Frank Krueger	Frank Krueger	...	Director At Studio Nina Rancel	Nina Rancel	...	Natasha Romy Teperson	Romy Teperson	...	Marie Jeff Coppage	Jeff Coppage	...	Zac Kawalsky (as Jeff Thomas Coppage) Sammy Anderson	Sammy Anderson	...	Superman Wannabe Yadira Pascault Orozco	Yadira Pascault Orozco	...	Isabella Rashia Whitlock	Rashia Whitlock	...	Callie (Waitress) Whitney Bacon	Whitney Bacon	...	Marilyn, Make Up Artist Miles Faber	Miles Faber	...	Greg Ryan Pratton	Ryan Pratton	...	Harold Jameson Monaye Moyes	Monaye Moyes	...	Tina Shasta Bell	Shasta Bell	...	Lois

Release date: June 4, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Written By: Chloe Traicos
Directed By: JD Cohen
Starring: Chloe Traicos ("The Righteous Gemstones"), Jeff Coppage ("Ava"), Kent Hatch, and Ryan Pratton

Introducing Jodea explores how a struggling young actress's fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car. Desperate, the actress uses the opportunity to beg the star for a role in his latest movie.

Introducing Jodea definitely feels like a passion project from someone who has lived in the movie scene.  The film has plenty of satirical elements about Hollywood, including diva stars, scandals, the amount of work that is required to break into the industry, and the lengths that people will go to fulfill their dreams.  It has a host of characters that fit all your stereotypical Hollywood types and some enjoyable scenes both on and off the set.  The film is a mix of comedy and drama and tries to thread the line between the two.  And the story mostly focuses on Jodea (Traicos) but also has plenty of scenes with Coppage's character and his charmed Hollywood lifestyle that is anything but.  And as I mentioned, this film does feel like a passion project and I imagine Traicos has heard or seen most of the events in this film.  Some of the Hollywood aspects feel like they could be ripped from real life, and this film should be an entertaining watch for anyone who has tried to make it on the big screen.

However, although Introducing Jodea bills itself as a comedy / drama, I did not find the comedy to be that funny.  There are jokes in there and the actors do a fine job with their performances, but it felt like the film thought it was funnier and more biting than it was.  Notably, it starts with a satirical radio show that tries to make some commentary on Hollywood itself, but the jokes just didn't hit for me.  Maybe I just don't live in that world, but I didn't laugh nearly as much as I expected to from the premise.  The film is much better in its dramatic moments, thankfully, but the comedy is still a large part of the movie.  And despite the interesting premise, the movie does have a ridiculous aspect to it.  I know it is fiction, but the developing relationship in the movie just does not feel genuine and some of the other relationship aspects seem to have been written in for humor and not for dramatic weight.  Overall, this is an enjoyable film, but one that could have been so much better.  I loved the premise, but it seemed to fall flat on execution.

Introducing Jodea has a wonderful setup and an enjoyable cast, in this charming Hollywood drama / comedy about a literal crash into the industry.

Rent it.

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 Introducing Jodea is available in theaters on June 4, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.  

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