Barrymore’s Sweet Black is basically an Adam Sandler-like comedy star, spouting a foolish catchphrase (she’s proven saying “Hit me the place it hurts!” in each function) and awash within the diva-like trappings that include superstar. When she grouses concerning the low-brow materials, her handlers not very reassuringly describe it as “an alternate sort of high quality.”
That involves an finish, considerably abruptly, in what’s precisely described as an on-set meltdown, turning her radioactive in Hollywood and inflicting her to drop out of the general public highlight.
Nonetheless, Sweet is not the one sufferer of her extra, which additionally dried up work for Paula (additionally Barrymore), her stand-in, who harbors her personal goals of stardom when not standing round marking spots for the main woman.
Having fallen on onerous occasions, Paula is especially enthusiastic when contacted about what she thinks can be an appearing half, however which simply seems to be Sweet making a slightly eccentric proposal: That the girl stand in for her at rehab, figuring nobody will discover the distinction.
Paula agrees, however the ruse quickly expands to incorporate all types of private appearances, launching what quantities to an “apology tour” during which Paula seems as Sweet on a sequence of discuss exhibits, with the varied hosts (Savannah Guthrie, Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Seacrest) enjoying themselves.
“You appear to love being Sweet much more than I ever did,” Sweet says.
Giddy over her new-found success, Paula more and more strikes to fill the void, increasing the charade by inserting herself into the one factor that has saved Sweet sane — a brand new, phone-only relationship with Steve (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s” Michael Zegen) — step one in a sequence of occasions that fall someplace between defending what she’s received and revenge.
Directed by Jamie Babbit from a script by Sam Bain, “The Stand In” has its share of clunky moments, however there are pretty amusing asides about how Hollywood works, from a movie director (Holland Taylor) threatening to fireside Sweet and usher in Melissa McCarthy to the feckless nature of Sweet’s assist crew.
“The Stand In” does not ship many laughs, however it does provide a fairly good window into the calls for of stardom, and the way they will change into the final word in velvet prisons. The ups and downs of the 2 girls (OK, one girl) at its core really yield extra surprises than is perhaps anticipated with an idea that sounds so formulaic.
There is a acquainted contact of “Dave” or “The Prisoner of Zenda” in that — the unusual soul who seems to be fairly good at occupying this privileged life — with film stardom presenting one other form of trendy royalty.
As motion pictures go, “The Stand In” definitely is not a headliner. But like its title character, the film and its star get about as a lot mileage as they will out of this chance.
“The Stand In” premieres on digital/on demand and in choose theaters on Dec. 11. It is rated R.