Pop Star on Ice
Time Out says
Sundance Channel programmers are counting on you to already have the first cold sweats of Winter Olympics fever, as this slick but self-aggrandizing portrait is essentially a pilot for their new doc series Be Good Johnny Weir. The 25-year-old Weir—a three-time U.S. National Champion in figure skating who got his start on a frozen cornfield in Pennsylvania—is better known for his eccentrically flip personality, razzle-dazzling couture and inappropriate press-conference outbursts. (Weir’s flamboyance was, in fact, the main inspiration for Jon Heder’s baby-faced sparklemotion in the 2007 comedy Blades of Glory.)
Filmmakers David Barba and James Pellerito track Weir’s erratic rise to the world competition stage, complete with training scenes and talking heads like coach Priscilla Hill and club kid-turned-fashionista Richie Rich (who offers up the titular praise). Regarding his sexuality, Weir’s standard reply is “none of your business,” and the film’s most compelling sequence comes in reaction to a journalist idiotically accusing him of damaging his career by keeping his personal life private. The star’s witticisms may ultimately charm you—he’s given all the B-roll he can chew—but if you’re not already a member of the “Johnny’s Angels” fan club, you might wonder why other equally outrageous athletes weren’t bestowed with their own cinematic tributes.