This is a hard film for me to watch. I agree with the previous reviewer that children should NOT be working and should be allowed to be kids. And so, seeing these nutty and selfish parents pushing their kids or allowing their kids to become obsessed with stardom really irritated me. While I wasn't as irked as I would have been if these had been child beauty pageant contestants, they aren't a whole lot different. Don't these folks have any values or life aside from pushing their kids to become actors?! Look at what they give up in search of this dream. And, how many of these kids really want stardom and how many are just pushed into it by insane parents? The film has many strange yet fascinating moments. A few that stood out for me included:
One family rummaging through trash can for aluminum cans to recycle in order to afford to live out their dream of stardom--as they can barely afford this lifestyle.
Tami Erin--a 38 year-old star with only five IMDb credits. She portrays herself as a great star (her big claim to fame was playing one of the Pippi Longstockings) and talks about her acting school or some such nonsense.
"Crying on Cue Workshop". This is just too amazing to put into words.
Cory Feldman at awards ceremony for child actors! No one seems to see the irony of this even though Feldman is the poster child for the screwed up child actor.
One child acting school touts Brittany Murphy as an alumnus. Murphy died recently from a combination of things--including drugs--at age 32. Sad and VERY ironic.
Families leaving fathers and other siblings back East for months or years at a time.
One mother dabbling in Scientology by taking classes, as it might give them an edge on getting closer to the Hollywood elite!
One lady who insists her child will NOT compromise their values. Later, however, the kid does a reading for a cursing hermaphrodite. The lines the man at the audition reads are SICK--and the man talks about hacking off a person's manhood to this child.
Scams, scams, scams--with talent agencies and photographers making HUGE promises to untalented and unattractive kids.
I know these comments seem harsh, but I just couldn't help think that none of these kids needed to be doing this---they should just be kids. The filmmakers chose, quite wisely, not to narrate or comment on all this--just showing everything and letting the viewer make up their own minds--which, I assume, are about as negative towards these folks as I am. Well made and fascinating--like a very nasty train wreck that I just couldn't stop myself from watching.