Review of Hollywood Dirt from Passionflix

22 Sep

by Elizabeth SaFleur

Hollywood Dirt is Passionflix‘s debut original film based on Alessandra Torre’s novel of the same name. For more than a year we’ve waited anxiously for this romance movie subscription service to launch, and I prayed–PRAYED–the service was going to be good. As for their original films? I really, really, really wanted them to be good. I’m a romance movie and book crackhead. There isn’t enough content in the world to satisfy this girl. Of course, this makes me a Typical Romance Book Lover so I felt some compassion for the Passionflix ladies knowing they had (have) a mighty job to do.

But this mighty job had to be done. I mean, who wants to slog through Netflix, Hulu [name your service] looking for a good movie–one that doesn’t want you to take a valium with a shot of vodka afterward? Last week I endured the movies Academy Award-winning Lion (cried),  heart-wrenching A Dog’s Purpose (bawled), and sci-fi flick Life (was horrified). To say I was ready for a romance was a major understatement.

So last night while husband was out of town, I took the plunge. I got my laptop, poured a glass of wine, logged onto Passionflix, held my breath and hit <play>. Here’s my take: Hollywood Dirt is awesome. Why bury the lede?

The movie is well paced, well written (Hello? Author Alessandra Torre who cannot be bad if she tried), and — thank you Jesus — well acted by actors Johann Urb and Emma Rigby. (Though the lawyer, played by actor Marco Dapper, stole every scene he was in.)

Hollywood Dirt is the story of second chances and finding love in the unlikeliest of places. Mega Hollywood Star Cole Masten, abandoned by his superstar wife, comes to the little town of Quincy, Georgia to shoot a movie — partly to escape and partly to get back on his feet. He hadn’t expected Summer Jenkins, small town girl who has demons of her own, including a past mistake that is heartbreaking, hilarious, brilliant and steal-worthy (ya know, in case anything like that happens to me). They are from different worlds and try to not be attracted to one another. Well, we know how well that works out.

Despite a few, minor moments of over-the-top southern mockery in the very, very beginning, the movie nailed the small Southern Town, which, as it is in real life, is a character of its own. They also had excellent secondary characters and small roles that flavored the film without dissolving into subplot hell.  The movie didn’t try to do too much (I’m looking at you Ron Howard) or too little (Sorry, George Clooney). Hollywood Dirt gave us just the right amount of story, heart, feels and character. Of course, look at the material they had to work with. (Hello again? There’s a reason Alessandra Torre lands on the bestseller lists with some regularity.)

As for the sex scenes?#NailedIt. Some things require watching rather than recounting. This is one of them. Just watch–you’ll see what I mean. (Excuse me while I go turn up the A/C now.) I really want to talk to some about that first sex scene — like what he did with her T-shirt afterward? SWOON. Did that slay you, too?

And, I have to believe the producers and director had fun with some of the actor’s lines, such as a screenwriter who had a bit part and got to deliver the line “A script is not a book!” Well, unless it’s a Passionflix movie. At last year’s RT Booklovers Convention, Alessandra Torres herself praised the Passionflix team on their unwavering commitment to stay true to the book right down to the dialogue and a certain scene involving a knee. (Watch. You’ll see.)

I look forward to Passionflix debuting more original movies, but I also hope they stock other movies in their database more robustly. As a subscription service for romance lovers, they have a large appetite to fill. Right now about 30 available movies is a good start, but given we consume books like oxygen, we need more! And, that’s how I’m ending this. Passionflix, give us more! Your first movie is a hit in this blogger’s eyes.

What’s next? How about a Sylvia Day original? Yes, please.

The motion picture adaptation of Afterburn & Aftershock is coming this November from Passionflix. Summary: Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

That’s a wrap!

While we’re waiting for that next original movie, pick up a copy of Kiersten Hallie Krum’s latest release, SEALed with a Twist.

Debutante. Heiress. Lady.
Skylar Thornquist has been called them all. But when her family insisted she stand as bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to Skye’s ex-fiancé, she rebelled, drowning her public humiliation in tequila and a one-night stand of carnal debauchery with Grant Sisti. To escape her family’s iron grip, Skye now hides out cleaning toilets at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, masking her breeding and identity under a dye job, heavy makeup, and a smattering of fake tattoos while she tries to discover which label sticks to her best.

Doctor. Joker. Warrior.
Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti has been them all. But since he failed to prevent the violent death of his teammate six months ago, Grant isn’t sure he can be any of those men anymore. He’s back at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa for his best friend’s wedding, but Grant knows he’s reaching the end of his rope. A state that isn’t improved by finding the help swimming naked in his private villa’s pool.

Skye never thought she’d get caught skinny dipping by the man who got her through her worst night. But this Grant is a different man than the one who lit up her world back then. And though it takes him too long to remember her, Skye is drawn even more to the wounded warrior than she was to the charming lover.

Grant is fascinated by the puzzle Skye presents, the debutante who cleans toilets and speaks like a queen. She’s the first thing he’s had any interest in since his friend’s death, the first woman in a long time to see the man before the SEAL.

They never expected to find each other again on Barefoot Bay, both hiding from who there were, both wondering who they should be. Until Skye’s identity is compromised and the Thornquist iron grip gets a stranglehold on her new life…only this time there’s a Navy SEAL by her side.


Elizabeth SaFleur is a contemporary erotic romance author and dying-to-retire public relations practitioner who writes, tweets and posts under a pseudonym since her business clients might be (WOULD be) shocked at her second career choice. Her books, the Elite Doms of Washington and Justice series were inspired by her thirty-year career serving D.C. clients where she learned not all power in our nation’s capital is wielded by politicians.

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