The documentary Paris, Not France, finally premiered on MTV last night, and it was like watching pink glitter nail polish dry — except for when Paris trashed a writer who made her career, and got caught using her real voice.
This documentary has long been touted as showing a side of Paris we've never seen before, but it turns out that side must not exist. We already know she was embarrassed about the sex tape, cries when she reads mean gossip about herself, and gets frustrated by the paparazzi. Also, no joke: her cheeks often twitch from smiling so hard on the red carpet. In the clip above, Paris prepares to be interviewed by "a writer (she) hates," who sharp-eyed media watchers will recognize as current bestselling author Paula Froelich, who just left the NY Post gossip column Page Six after a decade of helping people like Paris Hilton have any career at all.
The documentary is a thrown-together mess of black and white montages of Paris in front of flashbulbs while sad music plays as if she's recently died a tragic death; footage of Paris complaining about the paparazzi while driving her car around LA; and arcane commentary by insiders like Page Six's Richard Johnson, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Donald Trump, and Paris's crisis publicist Eliot Mintz, who, with his Botox-overdosed face, lack of eyelashes, and slow creepy voice is a dead ringer for Jigsaw in the Saw movies. The commentators are to be forgiven for the "so 2005" nature of their observations about our celebrity-obsessed culture, because at least some of this movie was actually filmed back then! It's just been sitting on the shelf waiting for a distributor until finally MTV stepped up and paid probably a thousand bucks for it. Because the parts of it that aren't totally irrelevant (its subject, for example) are now time-worn cliches. Only one part of the hour-long movie seemed remotely "revealing," and that was this one moment when Paris used what is apparently her real voice, which, yes, okay, sounds unlike her. But this is the only moment:
At one point, Camille Paglia observes that Paris Hilton has a Princess Di-esque uncanny ability to enchant "the still camera," which is underminer language for "pretty, but with no real personality." Like Princess Diana, Paris Hilton is criminally boring when speaking or moving about the world: only the still camera loves her. But it's not the fault of either lady — they just had the bad luck to never be forced to compensate for an insecurity or flaw by becoming interesting. That's the only way interesting happens. If only those two had had a stutter or a back brace, who knows what enchantingly clever and charming and witty creatures they could have been. And since this documentary puzzlingly treats Paris Hilton as if she were already dead, it seems fitting to say: maybe in the next world.