Review: The Fash Life

Directed by Rebecca Hu and co-written with creator and star Lisa Valeria Morgan, a look inside the lives of your favourite influencers, see what really happens behind the scenes of that “perfect” Instagram shot and learn the latest fashion, beauty and lifestyle tips and trends. Also starring: Ashley Dulaney, Daphne Blunt, Sheree Ho, Elizabeth Keene, Kali Kirk, Sydne Summer, Maryam Ghafarinia, Mhairi Morrison, Lilian Tahmasian, Linda Kang and Merlin White.

The idea of mixing reality with parody when it comes to the influencer world sounds like the perfect combination, reflecting on the commercialism and materialism while trying to showcase the genuine work that goes into it. However, in trying to bring through comedy, it begs the question of how far can you make fun of something which you’re also trying to show the value of? And ultimately, that’s their downfall. It can’t hit the right tone, it’s sitting so much on the fence that it’s neither funny enough nor relatable enough.

You do get that feeling of authenticity, we’re all aware by now that there’s an abundancy of people who take the job title of influencer and live for creating the perfect picture and brand. Unfortunately, in capturing that reality, it undermines its humour. It leaves you unable to innately detect what they’re intending to be exaggeration, because the lifestyle is typically outlandish. Especially with the atmosphere of being overtly perky and positive, as well as coming from such an insider perspective, it’s hard to approach it without bias. Making it so that it may work most effectively for those with personal experience and that’s a particularly specific audience. For the larger portion of viewers whose social identity does not contain a lot of influencer style content, either creating or following, it may fall somewhat flat.

As it moves forward, the struggle of its comedy becomes more apparent and it starts to feel a touch awkward. There are a few scenes which try a little too hard, which is intensified by the stereotypical stylings to its personalities. The characters, while some real and some fake, all bring a fairly similar energy, one that doesn’t leave a lot of room for individuality or a unique charm. That said, being led by Lisa Valeria Morgan, she gets more time on screen and opportunity to flesh out her character and show her vulnerable side. She definitely has a larger range to add but it’s difficult to make the most of it when the tone isn’t totally consistent.

Rebecca Hu’s direction and choices of framing and angles feed perfectly into the social obsessed atmosphere that it’s building. It lands somewhere between Instagram Live and reality television, with a style that’s familiar but new. The use of colour goes hand in hand with its cheerful vibe, everything is bright and shiny, lending to that strive for perfection. At times it also nicely pulls through the more frantic side of things, juggling different tasks and showing the effort that goes into bringing everything together.

The Fash Life is a solid concept to both explore and poke fun at the influencer lifestyle, to show self-awareness of the outlandish aspects while also respecting the work that goes into it. Sadly, it just can’t strike that balance of comedy and reality, it’s begging to really rip into the parody but doesn’t have the room to do so, while still holding onto that respect. However, it will undoubtedly serve an audience better that has a love of watching people’s lives and fashion choices unfold on their social channels.

Verdict: ✯✯ | 4/10

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