Admittedly I missed the first printing of Karinne Steffans ‘Confessions of a Video Vixen’, but I did manage to catch the documentary about the young woman, ‘Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff’, and as such I now declare myself an expert on the subject of the video vixen. Just hit me up, especially if you’re looking to be a video vixen because I have some special insight. For real. This level of expertise also makes me a prime candidate to view and review director Ty Hodges drama ‘Video Girl’, a solid effort but ultimately done in by cliché and predictability.
Lorie (Meagan Good) looks fabulous, but inside she’s all damaged and stuff. A student of classical ballerina, but one fateful day while out drinking with friends, Lorie was blindsided by a vehicle which shattered her knee and one promising prima ballerina is down for the count. I think some of her girls might’ve died in that crash, but this movie is more concerned about Lorie’s bum knee than her possibly dead friends. Regardless, Lorie’s days are filled with pain, regret, getting brow beaten by her boss ( Lisa Raye) at the bookstore she works at, and yelled at by her grandmother (Ruby Dee) for not going back to school to finish her studies
Then one day while partying with her gangster enabled sister Stacy (La’Myia Good), Lorie runs into an old school chum in Khloe (Haylie Duff), a former video vixen herself who now spends her spare time being a professional groupie, who in turn introduces her to Shark (Adam Senn), the hottest music video director on the planet. I don’t know what it was about that girl, that perfectly round behind, the plump boobies, the pouty lips, but Shark is smitten and even manages to coerce Lorie into showing up on his video set and then talked her into wearing some video vixen gear as the featured model for this particular video… and a career is born.
First thing Chloe does is relocate to Hollywood from wherever the heck this movie was taking place beforehand, much to granny’s dismay, and with Shark guiding her career, and not to mention that she is the girlfriend of the hottest video director in the land, life is going pretty good for Lorie about now. Unfortunately for Lori, happiness and her name
just aren’t synonymous with one another. First there’s the tragedy, then there’s her friend Chloe who fills her head with all kinds of misleading nonsense, next thing you know Shark is going all ‘A Star is Born’ on Lorie, trying to control her life, who she sees, who she works for and what she does. And you know you can’t be a Hollywood Vixen in California on the downslide if someone somewhere doesn’t introduce you to some nose candy somewhere along the line, and Lorie loves her some cocaine. I mean this girl really love her some cocaine.
Naturally, with cocaine in one ear giving Lorie bad advice and Khloe in the other ear stabbing her in the back, it’s not long before Hollywood claims another helpless victim in its cesspool of emotional waste. How do you think the porno industry survives? Hopefully Lorie can make it out of there before it comes to that, but it’s not looking good right now.
While ‘Video Girl’ has some issues to work out, the movie does have some good things working in its favor, primarily a very strong performance from its star Meagan Good. It’s refreshing to see that the young woman has a chance to stretch herself a bit more with the role of Lorie, since most of us who have followed Meagan’s career know that’s she’s usually stuck with the thankless part of the ‘pretty girl’… usually in tight clothes… , which I’m sure pays well and she plays those roles well, but this time we got to see the emotional transition of a character and she pulled it off very effectively. The character probably could’ve been fleshed out a little better considering the only Lorie’s we got to meet was 'miserable Lorie' who soon turned into 'bitchy Lorie', then 'strung out Lorie'. As such I don’t think the audience got to see a side of Lori which should’ve made us more sympathetic to her plight. Not that we wanted to see anything bad happen to her, but the character wasn’t developed enough for our empathy for the character to take hold. Also, as far as performances are concerned, I didn’t know beforehand that La’Myia Good was Meagan Good’s real life sister, but it does go a long way to explain the natural rapport the two women had together because their scenes together were arguably the best thing this movie had going for it. Actually all of La’ Myia Good’s scenes were pretty good as she took that whole ‘gangster girl’ thing pretty far.
But the movie falls into a pattern of movie clichés and predictable moments that director Hodges just couldn’t shake it free from. Certain characters are introduced and we have a good idea of their fate long before it happens to them, or when Lorie finds herself in certain situations, we’re pretty sure exactly how these situations are going to play themselves out. The majority of the characters in this film are more caricatures, slotted in to execute a particular action as opposed to being real, fleshed out human beings, which all adds up to a movie that has a very familiar, seen it all before feel to it.
Nonetheless, despite the shortcomings of ‘Video Girl’ it was a solid effort put forth by director Ty Hodges who has an acute visual eye, and he also extracted a very good performance out his star Meagan Good.