Is looking like a celebrity a blessing or a curse -- and what can you do with that likeness? These are the two main areas of Just About Famous, a far-too-brief look at celebrity impersonators, or "celebrity tribute artists."

In this documentary, directors Matt Mamula and Jason Kovacsev travel to the Sunburst Convention, where professional celebrity impersonators meet from around the globe. Some of these folks could easily pass for "their" celebrity (like an Oprah look-alike who appeared on Good Morning America), while others only capture part of it (such as a Britney Spears who looks absolutely identical -- and speaks with a heavy Russian accent). The impersonators tell their stories, most of which are similar: They don't believe that they are actually the celebrity, they lead normal lives outside of this area of their lives, and most people absolutely refuse to believe that they're not the celebrity. Some have comedy acts (like Clinton and George W. singing together), some perform (like an Elvis impersonator, who'll sing for an hour or two), and others... we don't know.

Just About Famous is an interesting documentary with a truly fatal flaw: It's only fifteen minutes long! We barely learn anything about these people, as we only see them at the convention. Do or can they make a living as impersonators? How do family and friends feel about it? Is there competition among people impersonating the same person? (For that matter, we learn very little about the convention itself. Is there any sort of contest? Can they make business contacts, or is it purely fun? Can anyone go?)

I'd like to see Just About Famous used as the beginning of a documentary, not the whole thing. Follow two or three of these people around for a year, seeing them outside the Sunburst Convention. Are their looks, to quote Adrian Monk, a blessing and a curse? Are they really actors and performers? What does it take to be a professional "celebrity tribute artist?" As it stands, Just About Famous is interesting, amusing, and far too brief to offer any real insight into this potentially fascinating world.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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