A sequel to his 2006 Hollywood Dreams, Henry Jaglom's Queen of the Lot again stars Tanna Frederick as Maggie, an Iowa-farm-girl-turned-action-starlet-turned-TMZ-staple. In an obvious nod to Lindsay Lohan, a series of DUIs have left this redhead shackled with a location-monitoring ankle bracelet and a dearth of acting work. Sentenced to lounging around other people's mansions, Maggie wastes her days fretting over the waning interest of douchebag boyfriend Dov (Christopher Rydell), the bad-boy scion of a Hollywood dynasty; wantonly egging on the affections of Dov's brother Aaron (Noah Wyle), a Brooding Writer With a Secret; and feverishly managing her star persona by taking tea with sycophantic journalists, passing out water bottles to the paparazzi, and obsessively Googling herself. Aaron, ostensibly the one cool head in a storm of self-made monsters, wonders, "How can I be attracted to someone so superficial?" To which Maggie exclaims, "You're attracted to me?!?" Which is, you know . . . just about right. If Jaglom's 40 years in filmmaking have taught him anything, it's how to craft a certain kind of soft satire on easy targets: In Queen of the Lot, gags about cell phones and eating disorders and how "everyone's an actor in this town" all seem more or less accurate, but they're never cutting or revelatory. "This girl is the business now!" someone says of talent-light, "natural"-looking, reality-TV-ready Maggie—stating the obvious and turning Queen's thin subtext into literally stated text.
Wyle and Frederick are trapped in Jaglom's old notions of Hollywood.
Opens at Varsity, Fri., Dec. 17. Rated R. 114 minutes.