BEING CLAUDINE

4 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes
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The lead character of “Being Claudine” could only be described as a female Woody Allen. Claudine Bloomberg (played by Justine Litchman also the film’s co-writer) is a struggling actress who is unlucky in love. Her German boyfriend Hans, kind of like Cartoon Network’s Dexter with an obsession for cartoons, has dumped her. Claudine is crushed and reaches even lower levels of self-esteem when she discovers that Hans has lied to her and did not go back to Germany. She turns to Jack, who she suspects might be Gay. But Jack is covering for his roommate who IS Gay and refuses to come out of the closet.
While the situations Claudine gets herself into are no more complex than a typical episode of “Three’s Company” what makes the film compelling is Justine Lichtman. First of all, she’s incredibly bizarre-looking – in a good way. She’s hot. Justine is strangely attractive, yet her features look as if she were a recurring character living in Springfield on “The Simpsons.” She’s cute and weird. I found myself rooting for her struggles and hoping she would wake up and dump her lame German beau. Her match with Asian boyfriend Jack defies stereotypes and is refreshing. It’s encouraging to see interracial relationships in a film without drawing attention to it. (The major movie studios still don’t have a clue how to handle this. Two recent Warner Brothers movies, “The Art of War” and “Romeo Must Die” each featured Asian and Black leads implying romance, yet without the relationships being consummated. No surprise that the studios still have no balls when it comes to handling interracial romance.)
Justine Lichtman is consistently funny and watchable even when she’s doing nothing. The most inconsequential lines in the movie come off as funny by the way she carries herself. There’s definitely a new star in Lichtman and “Being Claudine” is the perfect vehicle to launch her career. Which is kind of ironic considering that the fictional character Claudine is a loser who will not enjoy the same kind of success.



Posted on July 19, 2002 in Reviews by
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