Rev Rank: 3/5
Paris Hilton is famous for being famous. Although, that fame stems from a not so pleasant reality. This documentary reveals an unexpected personal side of the thriving businesswoman.
Wikipedia describes this 39-year-old woman as an American media personality. Her personality is displayed across the media as a spoiled rich girl who thrives on drama and the paparazzi. “This is Paris” left me with mixed feelings of pity and suspicion.
The focus of the film seems to be on Hilton convincing the world to treat her as a human, and this is respectable. However, the number of times she mentions her numerous businesses makes the audience question if her ultimate desired outcome was actually a false sense of respect just to increase her sales. To me, the documentary just seemed a little manipulative.
David LaChapelle, a photographer, said he “made” Paris Hilton. “This is Paris” featured an interview with LaChapelle where he said his paparazzi crew was often paid between $50,000 to a million dollars for a photograph of Hilton in 2004. She became the image of night life after a sex tape of her and her ex-boyfriend, Rick Salomon, was released in 2003, without Hiltons consent. She said sex tapes “almost became a blueprint to become famous,” probably referring to her friend, Kim Kardashian.
“It was like being electronically raped,” Hilton said.
Her past issues displayed to the public that ultimately branded her with a questionable reputation are brought up in the film. Hilton nearly succeeds in humanizing herself with personal explanations as to why she acted the way she did.
“I will not stop until I make a billion dollars,” Hilton said.
Paris Hilton only confirms her greed while repeating her weakness of never turning down a check throughout the film. She ties this need for money with an explanation of past trauma. Her parents created a mortifying childhood for Hilton and before even turning 18, she set out to make enough money that no one could ever control her again.
“I’m not greedy. I just love making money,” Hilton said.
Her attempt of explanation is skeptical yet respectable. Hilton spent most of her teenage years being mentally and physically abused by different correctional institutions. The most noted of these schools was the Provo Canyon School for troubled teens in Utah. Her parents allowed men to pull her out of bed at night and drag her to Provo at 17 years old. After running away from every other correctional school, she was sent to Provo. Her mother said Hiltons notorious love for the club scene, beginning at age 14, was concerning and landed her at these behavior schools.
Hilton said Provo was by far the most abusive school she attended. Workers put her in solitary confinement once she was caught not taking the unknown pills they forced all the children to take. They threatened the children from speaking up about how they were being treated and kept Hilton there for 11 months. She spent her time dreaming of starting her business and making a name for herself.
The film ends with Hilton reconnecting with past roommates from Provo while working together to expose these types of schools. She said the insomnia and nightmares she suffers with comes from Provo. This school blurred the lines of tough love and abusive behavior for Hilton and made it hard to catch early signs of abusive behavior in many of her relationships.
"This is Paris" served as a good reminder that the celebrities we see all over social media are people too. They have lives behind the camera and reasons behind their actions. Hilton was traumatized at an early age and that will forever affect her thoughts and actions. It's easy for us to judge celebrities by the moments that are caught on camera. Everyone has bad days, Paris Hiltons are just made public, with or without her consent.