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Burning question “Is Paris Hilton really a complete airhead 24/7?” earns a qualified “No” in “Paris, Not France.” Unfortunately, this authorized verite docu — stretched thin even at 65 minutes — provides zero evidence that there’s anything truly interesting beneath the overexposed, heavily marketed surface she frets about being trapped by. Flyweight vanity portrait purporting to reveal the “real” Hilton has scant commercial value beyond cable time-filler slots.

All skedded Toronto screenings were canceled midfest save one public preem (at which helmer Adria Petty underlined her depth of inquiry via Q&A responses like, “I just think Paris is so brave for being like a human being!”). Pic endeavors to rep its subject as a hard-working, non-bimbo epitome of contemporary glamour. Indeed, we see her speaking in her natural lower register, humoring paparazzi, waxing philosophic about recent sex-vid and diary-exposure (though not jail-term) scandals. But if she feels oppressed by her empty-calorie image, why promote it so aggressively in sexploitative visual or baby-doll-voiced terms? She admits such exposures “make a lot of money.” But who’s forcing this heiress to coin it? Vacuous MTV-styled docu asks no hard questions.

Paris, Not France

  • Production: A Pablocita production. Produced by Stephanie Bargas. Executive producer, Cary Woods. Directed by Adria Petty.
  • Crew: Camera (color/B&W, digiBeta), Petty; editor, John Gutierrez; music, Crispin Thump. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Real to Reel), Sept. 9, 2008. Running time: 65 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Paris Hilton, Rick Hilton, Kathy Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Donald Trump, Camille Paglia, Michael Musto.
  • Music By: