Joaquin Phoenix plays himself as a fat, bearded, out-of-shape, drug-sodden, deluded loser in this bizarre faux-documentary directed by Casey Affleck, his real-life brother-in-law. The experiment follows actor Phoenix (Walk the Line, Gladiator) as he quits movie acting to pursue a career as hip-hop performer called JP, despite his startling lack of talent as a rapper. Everybody seems to be in on the gag – a miffed Ben Stiller, dismissive Sean Combs, dejected Edward James Olmos, and Affleck appear as themselves – but the audience gets left holding the bag as Phoenix self-destructs, finally ending his life in a Panama swamp. Can this be for real? And does anyone really care? The hooker and Miami club meltdown scenes approach the best of Andy Kaufman in the realm of cringe-inducing humor. A parody of self-indulgence can still be self-indulgent. Also starring Antony Langdon as Phoenix’s whipping-boy personal assistant (108 min.).
Director: Tom Blomquist
Producer: Geoff Koch
Cast: Geoff Koch, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Kellie Coffey, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Karen Bloom, Linda Raine, Shawn Pennington and Anne Schilling