This is Paris

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Two or three things I learned from this made-for-YouTube jaunt through Paris. Her’s might not have been the first celebrity sex tape leaked to an eager public, but credit media personality Paris Hilton for holding the title “Architect of Selfie.” A 24/7 walking fashion show — she’s to blame for the Kardashians “reality world” despoiling — Hilton’s road to success is paved with runways and catwalks, a practice on display every time she exits the house. (If you thought Jerry Lewis’ refusal to re-wear socks and underpants made him a clothing wastrel, our celebrity hotel heiress has never been photographed in the same outfit twice.) Hilton’s goal is to keep working until her bank account tops $1 billion. Her current job as globe-trotting DJ to the masses proves she’s no dummy — she’s the #1 female DJ in the world. If someone is goofy enough to pay the famous-for-being-famous eternal debutante $1 million to mix live, she’s smart enough to know the road to Fort Knox is paved with belly-laughs. She insists that the character we see on TV is just that: a character, yet all the whining, drama, and boundless “pay attention to me” appeals work to the contrary. Not until the conversation shifts to reckless years of teenage insurrection and the grievous comeuppance it wrought do glimmers of compassion begin flashing through the cracks of her public persona. (Having lived a life before a camera, frequently the one in her phone, it’s no surprise that Hilton follows a similar digital path when it comes to therapy.) Remember when bad behavior resulted in mom and dad threatening to ship you off to military school? What slipshod process of elimination did Kathy and Richard Hilton consult when making good on their promise to send their daughter to the Provo Canyon School, an “Emotional Growth School” aimed at helping rich families looking to discourage rebellion among their offspring. The film ends with a reunion of sorts between Hilton and several of her abused classmates. Filming began in October 2019. The cynic in me couldn’t help but chuckle when Hilton opened the pic with, “When I first started this film, I honestly don’t even recognize that person anymore.” One year and the person you once were is suddenly out of focus? Ha! The joke’s on me. This tour of Paris was a necessary journey after all. Alexandra Dean (Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story) goes 2 for 2 with another captivating celebrity biodoc. Watch it free on YouTube. (2020) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 50 minutes
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