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Chosen One of the Day: Hollywood Montrose

Contributed by
Apr 10, 2018

The 1987 cinematic opus Mannequin was not exactly a critical smash. It's presently sitting pretty with a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned this searing review from Roger Ebert:

"A lot of bad movies are fairly throbbing with life. Mannequin is dead. The wake lasts 1 1/2 hours, and then we can leave the theater. Halfway through, I was ready for someone to lead us in reciting the rosary."

And yet it made $42 million on a $6 million budget and even earned a sequel, Mannequin 2: On the Move. Both movies featured Hollywood Montrose, and while your mileage may vary on whether he's an '80s gay icon or a human slur of a jelly donut stuffed with stereotypes, many of us fall into the "whynotboth.gif" category of "Yes he's perhaps problematic but also donuts are delicious." What I'm saying is I'm hungry for a jelly donut. Hollywood gets it.

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As portrayed by Meshach Taylor, who was also in the sartorially excellent show Designing Women, Hollywood was a grand and glorious beacon of statement pieces, sass, and PURE EMOTION. Look, everyone in this movie is a mess—Andrew McCarthy is in love with a mannequin and is just grinning the whole movie like "I can't believe they're paying me to do this sh-t," Kim Cattrall is playing an Egyptian princess who prays herself into becoming the titular mannequin because the '80s were a weird time, James Spader is very honestly delivering the role of a damn lifetime, Estelle Getty is too good for this world, G.W. Bailey is routinely outacted by a bulldog named Rambo, and the movie is actually about a war betwixt two malls. Hollywood is actually the closest thing this film has to a grounding force. 

Plus, he cares. About EVERYTHING. In the face of danger (mannequin danger, specifically) his priorities are still very in order and his priority is FANCY CAR.

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And his car, though he loves it, is only at best third on his list. One and two on his list?

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SAME.

Hollywood Montrose as a character contains as many stereotypes as he does accessories. But Taylor's performance and the fact that Hollywood is an actual hero of the movie—a lesser film (lol, calm down Court; it's Mannequin) might have either fully leaned in to the idea of effeminate as weak or used his strength and selflessness as a surprise or punchline—is what has made him a cult icon to this very day.

Mannequin 2 is also a movie. That's all I got on that front.

Anyway. Hollywood Montrose: more than the sum of his sunglasses. His wonderful, wonderful sunglasses.