An LA Minute: Reviewed by Paula Ilonze
If there are three things you can take away after watching An LA Minute, it’s that fame can be fleeting, people are superficial and trust no one.
This movie shows America’s most famous author and mega-producer, Ted Gold (played by Gabriel Byrne), crossing paths with the edgy, sexy nomad and performance artist, Velocity (played by Kiersey Clemons), during a botched robbery attempt on Gold by a homeless person.
Ted Gould (Gabriel Bryne) and Velocity (Kiersey Clemons)
Velocity recognizes the famous author, whose recent best-seller is about a homeless serial killer, and begins to ask him about his work and how he came up with the topic. Make no mistake, if there’s one thing that’s synonymous with LA besides Hollywood glamor, it’s homelessness. That reality was depicted well throughout the movie, in that extreme poverty is ever-present, even in nicer neighborhoods.
So, after Velocity bears witness to Gold’s almost robbery, they strike up a conversation, and he asks her if he can walk her home; probably for his own safety since he was rattled from the incident, but also because he found her interesting and enjoyed their conversation. On their way home, Gold learns that Velocity is homeless and was abandoned by her mother as a kid. At this point, you’re still not sure if this is going to be a rom-com or not, no matter how weird that would have been.
Anyhow, being that he’s a writer and movie producer, Gold takes interest in Velocity as a character, having never been around someone like her–brazen and unfiltered–and unafraid to call him on his bullshit.
In that same night of the meeting, he accompanies her to her performance at a small, local theater and is blown away by her raw and explicit act, though not fully understanding it because he jumped on stage to interfere part-way through. In spite of his disturbance, they still continued their night of exploration, driven by Gold’s search for a sentimental piece he accidentally gave to a homeless person earlier that night.
They’ve now been joined by Velocity’s friend, Karen (Brianna Baker), who’s a dominatrix and equally as gutsy as Velocity. It enforces the stereotype that everyone in LA is interesting, cool and grungy. They have dinner with Gold and then Karen departs. After spending the last several hours together, Gold claims he’s already a changed man, which was clearly a hilariously superficial realization, and one that Velocity quickly challenges. She convinces him to sleep on the street with her to truly experience what it feels like to be homeless.
When they got to a popular place where the homeless gather, he met a woman who was kind and welcoming to them and then in a quick twist of fate, she was shot and killed by an irate homeless man shortly after. That scene felt a little too dramatic for some people’s taste, but it was a turning point for the second half of the movie.
The next morning, Gold and Velocity show up to the first leg of his book tour on the Jerry Caulker Show so that he can showcase his new muse. He got up on stage and denounced his own book because he knew that it had given an inaccurate account of homelessness before he had truly experienced it and felt ashamed of himself. And Velocity? Well, Velocity did what she does best: she performed.
She spouted off a monologue with Jerry while demonstrating her craft as a performance artist and ended up baring her breasts on national television. In typical American pop culture fashion, Velocity quickly becomes “in”, and Gold, whom his publicists quickly blacklisted, became “out”. She immediately was brought onto every major daytime and late-night talk show and paraded around as the new it girl. But the worst part about it all is that as soon as she became a sensation, she revealed to Gold that she had only been using him for his connections and wasn’t actually homeless, nor was she a fan of his work.
But like any other fifteen-minute fame, her time ran out as she desperately tried doing click-baity things to keep her audience. And just like that, Velocity is “out”, and Gold is back “in”. All in all, the movie did a good job of subtly picking fun at the fickle nature of Hollywood in both how easy Gold thought it was to live the “disadvantaged” experience and become a changed man, and how quickly his friends and colleagues turned on him when they saw someone more sensational.
It’s not meant to be a blockbuster film or even an Emmy consideration, but it does tell a funny, slightly off base but still accurate story about the City of Angels, and is worth checking out in your downtime.
Co writer Larry Sloman, Gabriel Bryne, Director Daniel Adams, and Kiersey Clemons
An L.A. Minute was directed by Daniel Adams and co-written by Adams and former editor of National Lampoon Magazine, Larry ‘Ratso’ Sloman.
For more information about the film, go to http://anlaminute.com/