Starring: Irena Ferris, Jeff Conaway
Directed by: Jean-Claude Lord
Let’s just get it out of the way: Covergirl is a bad film. You can stop reading the review now and move along. However, the next 750 or so words will go into detail about how Jean-Claude Lord’s movie is a movie destined for the garbage bin. This film has almost no redeeming qualities and is definitely not worth the 92 minutes to watch.
Kit Paget (Ferris) is a struggling model who is bouncing from gig to gig. Her life changes when she has a chance encounter with T.C. Sloane (Conaway) who becomes infatuated with her and buys the modelling company that Kit works for. He takes control of Kit’s career which shoots off towards the moon. However, Kit and T.C.’s rocky relationship eventually goes off the rails and nearly costs them everything.
The story is ridiculously bad. There are scenes that can’t be defended and just make this film an utter waste of time. First off, there’s quite a bit of unnecessary nudity. All the young female characters appear naked in some form (sometimes multiple times) throughout the movie, in stark contrast to all the male characters. When the movie is getting dull, a woman disrobes.
Speaking of appealing to the lowest common denominator, there’s supposed to be a serious scene where Dee (Roberta Leighton) confronts Zara (Tiiu Leek) on giving drugs to a minor. They begin to fight in a bathroom which ends up becoming a catfight in a bubble bath. Other people get involved when they hear the commotion, but the seriousness of the scene is lost when you see people laughing (which may or may not have been intentional because at one point Dee is laughing but then the next cut has her looking pissed). To put the cherry on top, everyone stops fighting when they find out one of the models has killed herself. It was an awkward way to finish the scene and end that storyline for the rest of the film.
Dee is a mystifying character because parts of the movie where she’s a major part of the plot make absolutely no sense. Throughout the movie, Dee has a second job as a prostitute to earn extra money. Kit confronts her and it’s made clear that Dee is not proud of her profession. However, to save the day, Dee must seduce someone and she seems proud of her prior experience as a prostitute. It just lends to the fact that not only does the film not take itself too seriously, but they couldn’t have been bothered to see if the script was consistent.
Surprisingly enough, the lead actor had one of the most consistent personalities in film. T.C. Sloane never wavers in being a scummy guy. He has charm and will go to any expense to impress Kit which explains why she falls for him, but he never stops being a self-obsessed snob. Usually in movies, you see characters have a character arc that has them see the error in their ways and try to remedy the situation. Sloane never really does that. His broken relationships are repaired when he loses everything but that’s because people feel sorry for him, not because he makes any real sacrifice to become a better person.
Another interesting aspect of the film is that the Kit Paget character was written to be a smart and strong-headed woman; especially considering that much of the film is dedicated to women to being in a state of undress. In the era of films like Covergirl, women tend to play second-banana to the male lead. While Ferris is not the first name on the marquee, the film centers around Kit and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. Except when she gets seduced by T.C. (which is ridiculously cheesy couple of minutes), she makes wise decisions and will stand up for herself (including to T.C.) without fear of becoming less popular or losing her man. It’s odd to see a female character written like that in this type of film from the 80s, but Kit Paget bucks the trend of a weak female waiting to be saved by their man.
Even with Kit Paget’s strong woman character, Covergirl is a dumpster fire of a movie. Who knows what Jean-Claude Lord was thinking, but if he seriously thought he was making a good film, then he was fooling himself. This is such a bad movie, if it were walking down the same sidewalk as me, I would take a chance and run into a busy street to avoid it.