‘Monica Velour’ oddly attractive

Kim Cattrall plays a middle-aged porn star Monica Velour in 'Meet Monica Velour'.

Kim Cattrall plays a middle-aged porn star Monica Velour in 'Meet Monica Velour'.

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:20 AM ET

Meet Monica Velour is an uncomfortable mix of humour and drama, a hybrid sex farce/coming of age story distinguished by an attractive weirdness.

And an impressive soundtrack.

Tobe (Dustin Ingram) is a misfit high school senior, a nerdy kid who lives with his grandfather (Brian Dennehy) and pursues an interest in cheesy porn from the '70s and '80s. In particular, Tobe is an ardent fan of XXX film actress Monica Velour, a legend in the adult film world, circa 1978.

Circumstances take Tobe from his home in Washington to Indiana, where it just so happens Monica Velour is going to make a rare appearance at a strip club. Tobe is thrilled, but when the object of his devotion turns up, the loutish bar patrons are quick with catcalls and geriatric jokes. Miss Velour has aged some since her heyday, and the hicks in Indiana are cruel.

The porn star way past her best-before date is bored and beefy and played by Kim Cattrall in a performance that should leave her 'Samantha' fans slack-jawed and thunderstruck in the dark. More pounds and less makeup aren't enough to make the ever-luminous Cattrall unattractive, but she'll make you believe she's the foul-mouthed, blowsy, none-too-bright Monica Velour through sheer force of will. She is hard and often unlikable in the role -- and completely vulnerable.

For daring to defend Monica Velour at the strip club, Tobe gets beaten up by the locals and winds up recuperating at Monica's trailer. A strange friendship develops between the teenage boy and the middle-aged porn star.

Turns out that the only person Monica loves is her little daughter, a child who lives with Monica's ex-husband. She wants to take the little girl and make a fresh start in Oregon, and Tobe thinks he can help with that.

Monica quickly disabuses him of any fantasies he might have about starting a life with her. Grow up, she tells him, and she sends him packing.

Ingram, whose Tobe is eccentric, smart and a hopeless romantic, keeps up with Cattrall in Meet Monica Velour. Monica and Tobe's conversations are bizarre and generally very funny; a chat about the redeeming social value of porn is particularly endearing. Talk also veers a bit too close to the melodramatic at times, but never mind. The cast includes Keith David, Jee Young Han and Daniel Yelsky.

Meet Monica Velour is a feature debut from writer/director Keith Bearden. It's a slight, uneven and unlikely project that may struggle to find an audience, but there's something attractive about it nonetheless. That something appears to be Kim Cattrall.


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