Runtime: 89 Minutes
Director: Amy Goldstein
Stars: Kate Nash, Tom Biller, Linda Burrato, Kate Craig, Jeff Ellis, Emma Hughes, Jarrad Kritzstein, Gary Marella, Marie Nash, Frederik Thaae, Alicia Warrington
By Peggy Marie
Remember MySpace? Yeah, it barely registers on what it was anymore – yet that is where the world found Kate Nash or more to the point – where she found the world back in 2008. From this she essentially became what is commonly referred to as a ‘one-hit’ wonder – and all of it because of a broken leg suffered while working at Nando’s, a fantastically delicious chicken restaurant chain not known in the States.
More recently others may know her as Rhonda Richardson, AKA Britannica, on the critically acclaimed Netflix series “GLOW”. As someone familiar with the latter version of Kate Nash, I didn’t have a clue of the story behind the actress, which makes the viewing experience all the more compelling. Like her character Rhonda, Nash has battled her way out of dire circumstances on more than one occasion, and has found herself at the centre of something extraordinary, both in the music industry and on the screen.
Essentially this is her side of the story of how to be a one-hit-wonder and survive it. This is a documentary about surviving the pop industry after you have been dropped by the record label and savaged by critics, trying to kick-start your music career back into gear by playing to small venues paying it all herself from her savings, which doesn’t go well.
“Like her character Rhonda, Nash has battled her way out of dire circumstances on more than one occasion, and has found herself at the center of something extraordinary.”
Something learned those in the music industry a long time ago is, you don’t make money from touring, the money is made in the merchandise – but we aren’t shown any of that here. We are shown how she gets a major big boost by her new manager who has supposedly has ‘big plans’ for her, that really don’t seem to pan out as we see an awkward little show during lunch hour at a PR company of sorts.
And then somewhere along the line, we also find out that the same manager has been using Kate’s credit card to fund his own wedding. But hold on for a hot minute, has he really been appearing in the filming of a documentary about his artist all the while he was scamming her? What was he thinking?
” While we see family, we really never see friends or boyfriends, or ever know is she is getting support from people in her life besides just her band & family.”
Well, we find out as we see Kate not only be completely devastated by this revelation, but also takes legal action against him and would have gotten a settlement from him had his lawyers not wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And while the outcome of all this is, of course, a sweet story, there is something about this documentary that just misses it’s mark a little.
Whether it’s the part where she decides she wants to be a singer and actress, without any acting training/skills etc.. or where we never really see any of her actual life. While we see family, we really never see friends or boyfriends, or ever know is she is getting support from people in her life besides just her band & family. So it misses the mark there with me not only there but the Nando’s comment at the beginning almost lost me for good right there and then.
As someone who has worked the foodservice industry for many years, it was truly a put-down of spoiled brat pisser comment to me. There are many, many people who are having to work in the fast-food industry and they don’t all have parents to be buy them electric guitars, or the like so note to Kate, be a bit more appreciative of people who didn’t get ‘discovered’ on MySpace, and serve a big purpose in everyone’s lives as we have come to realize, at least I hope you have now.
I think Kate Nash wanted this whole story to fit her narrative about a plucky British girl that fought against the odds to come back. Down to her last penny and got a role in a Netflix show, and viola’! life is good. In that way, it does succeed, unless you look at it deeply, and then it might raise more questions about it being a little bit of fluff. Either way, you look at it, it is worth a watch.
Media Review Screening ~ Courtesy of K.O. PR
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KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL IS AVAILABLE ON ALAMO ON DEMAND