The 15th film in 35 years written and directed by Henry Jaglom, that love-him-or-hate-him iconoclast of American independent filmmaking, is also one of his warmest, despite the potential for cynicism inherent in its premise—that old saw about a would-be starlet (newcomer Tanna Frederick) living out of her car and scrounging for a gig. The movie buzzes with the quirky rhythms of Jaglom’s patented improvisational shooting style, and those of Frederick herself, whose go-for-broke zaniness recalls that of a former Jaglom ingenue, Karen Black. By the time Black appears here, as an actress musing with a mix of melancholy and acceptance about her former stardom, it’s clear that Hollywood Dreams is something of a walk down memory lane for its own maker. Consider it a wistful contemplation of the fickle nature of movie success.
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