Don't miss "Born Rich" documentary on HBO tonight

posted by Jason Kottke Oct 27, 2003

Don't miss "Born Rich" documentary on HBO tonight.

Reader comments

JPOct 27, 2003 at 2:03PM

I wonder why the main photo has such a bad case of the jaggies. I know DV can sometime look like this, but you would think they would have polished it before tossing it on the web (& TV, presumably).

SchmeldingOct 27, 2003 at 2:22PM

Everybody all together now (cue orchestra)...

“Boooorrrn Riiiich, as rich as the wind blows...as....”

<sigh /> Never mind.

JimOct 27, 2003 at 3:06PM

If you don't have HBO, here's the transcript:

20 Questions

1) Tell us about yourself.
I'm 18. I'm very close with my family. I have a younger brother, two younger sisters and two almost younger stepbrothers.

2) Describe yourself in three words.
Creative, spiritual, sensitive

3) What makes you happy?
Music and painting and sometimes 60's fashion.

4) How long have you known each other? Why do you think you get along so well?
I've known Jaime for about 3.5 years. Jaime is intelligent and we balance each other out. She understands and respects my quirkiness.

5) Describe each other in three words.
Jaime is thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent.

6) Describe one particular moment you've spent with each other that is one of your favorites.
Testing peanut butter and having long intense conversations.

7) What are your pet peeves about each other (if any)?
When Jaime says, (all the time) "Do you know what I mean?" after every sentence.

8) What are you looking for in a guy? What do you find attractive?
I'm looking for someone who is creative, funny, relaxed and mature. Attractive features to me include a sexy smile and someone who has a unique sense of style.

9) Describe your ideal first date.
I hate dates. But just talking and laughing in a comfortable environment.

10) What's your favorite vacation destination? Where's the one place you're dying to travel to?
My favorite place for vacation is Mystique (been there for 18 years). I'm dying to go to India and Thailand.

11) Have you ever had a job? If so, what was it? What's your dream job?
Yes, I have had many jobs. Mostly producing (a film and two TV shows). I'd love to be an actress, fashion designer and painter.

12) What are your three favorite movies?
The Graduate, Awakenings, and any Woody Allen film

13) What's the best party you've ever been to? Where was it, who was there and what happened?
A New Year's Eve party in Mystique at a really cool house. The whole island was there.

14) Name five hottie celebs that are on your "wish list"?
1) Ashton Kutcher
2) Brad Pitt
3) Josh Hartnett
4) Justin Timberlake
5) Taye Diggs

15) What are you hobbies? What do you do in your spare time/ for fun?
I paint.

16) What items could you not live without? Name some beauty/style items, some accessories and/or clothing items you love.
Chapstick, moisturizer, comfy shoes and hoodies.

17) Who do you admire? Who's your role model? Who would you like to meet if you haven't already?
I admire my father. He is my role model in many ways. If Audrey Hepburn was still alive, I would have loved to have met her.

18) What's the biggest misconception about people with money?
That they are spoiled, bratty snobs--not true for some!

19) What do you hope people will learn from watching the show?
That we are normal, down to earth, fun teenagers.

20) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself either having my own fashion line or being on the big screen.

TXGirlOct 27, 2003 at 11:10PM

Did anyone watch that crap? BOO FREAKIN' HOO you rich whiny a-holes.... as I sit here and wait for my unemployment check so I can eat this week, they whine and moan about being rich? And Ivanka? PLEASE - you probably have never felt real pain - the life and death kind where if you don't get some cash you won't eat and will die. So YES, money does make your life better - if you create your own drama with people, that is just drama, not pain. GET OVER YOURSELVES you snotty little babies. URGH!!!!!!!!

greg.orgOct 28, 2003 at 11:11AM

Sounds like you're the HBO target audience, TXGirl.

Advance reviews and articles about the little scions in the film indicate they don't come off too well at all. The director, Jamie "Johnson & Johnson" Johnson, has been accused of betraying his class.

So spend all your money on entertainment, like we're supposed to, and curl up in front of the tv.

TXGirlOct 28, 2003 at 1:33PM

Greg - sitting in front of the TV is all I can afford to do anymore... and it doesn't cost me a dime. I get HBO for free from my apartment complex.

RainNov 03, 2003 at 12:03AM

Born rich was an excellent documentary...Jamie Johnson brought in a world that few ever get to see and fewer ever get to experience. Disturbing at times with comments like, "my family can buy your family." from one individual, and the naivity of others who believe their struggle in life has been far more difficult than it really is. This rings all too familiar.... However, there are those few, in this documentary, who are trying to make their mark on society in a positive way. For example, Si Newhouse IV who is currently in school with plans to graduate with a Phd; and of course Jamie Johnson who is currently working in the filming/entertainment industry making documentaries (and is now dealing with the repercussionsn of such actions). This really was an eyeopener and a new breakthrough in documentaries. This could have never been done without Mr. Johnson and I just want to say.....Job well done.

TracyNov 03, 2003 at 10:22AM

I just watched this documentary last night and found it very interesting. All of the individuals featured seemed like well adjusted individuals who have gone through much of the same angst as us middle class folk. (drugs, identity crisis, etc...) I also saw a correlation between having money and having good looks. Those on the show only dated within their elite circles to avoid relationships where they never truly know if the individual pursuing them is just after their money. On the flip side being an attractive woman - you KNOW men are only interested in getting you into bed and are not really open to any kind of relationship with you. It doesn't even matter if you are rich or poor - they just want to use you and disgard you.

scotty the bodyNov 07, 2003 at 10:25AM

Great documentary, actually. you really got glimpses into these people's psyches, i thought. i mean, how luxurious is it that Ivank has her teen room fully preserved? she just moved to another house/part of the house. after all she's been through, this says something about her character and this film is full of touches like this that make it good filmmaking.

but to the dirt:

theree were some assholes, obviously (that one smoking guy who sued the creator of the film, the eurotrash model/tailor guy), but for the most part, they seemed just like normal people I went to college with.

The whitney heir guy was really cool, and gets bad treatment in the media. i did a google search to try and see what he does for a living that earns him $50,000/annually, but the best I could find was "finance." Of course, he earns $1M/year from just being him, but that's the point. He learned that he likes to work and so he works. But through my searching, he is quoted and often framed as bragging: "what? doesn't your family have a museum too?" when, in fact, he was saying that as a joke aobut how weird it was to grow up as a whitney.

anyway. i'm out.

JimNov 19, 2003 at 4:22PM

I agree with Scotty. The mix was about 50/50 with half seeming fairly intelligent and introspective, while the other half appeared totally and completely self-absorbed. I think what the latter half needs is a reality coach.

Hey, Jamie, I think it would be a good follow-up project to take one of the more ego-centric of the "Born Rich" group and transplant him/her into the real world with the rest of us. Perhaps it might actually dawn on him/her how truly ridiculous it is to go on about the many uses of an expensive handbag or how a sportcoat lapel, if not made "properly," is vulgar.

jenn jennNov 20, 2003 at 7:37PM

I am african american female and I was raised in a lower middle class background. I liked the documentary. I thought the people for the most part were decent. There was a few who kinda were full of themselves but for the most part everybody else were just normal. Just because a person's rich doesn't have to mean they are automatically mean, rude, and arrogant. I meet and work with poor to middle class people everyday; and yes we have our hangups too. But anyway the guy that worked in Texas for a while is very cute and the guy Jaime is cute too. Jennjenn678@yahoo.com

jennjennNov 20, 2003 at 7:42PM

sorry, jennjenn678@yahoo.com

Lloyd Goldston IIINov 21, 2003 at 12:37PM

I found the documentary amazing. I come from an upper to lower middle class background and have gone from partying on 72' Chris Craft Burgers( that's a yacht for those who arent in the know) to living in a tent outside Santa Barbara for three months when my father was out of work. I grew up between Germany and America, attended private, Catholic and public schools. I have lived everywhere from Nürnberg to Kingman, Arizona. I found this documentary a well balanced look at the young elite, the struggle for identity within society, and the personal quirks that come with growing up wealthy. I know the extreme and while Luke may have come across as arrogant with his snide comment, "I could buy your family", he presents a very real image of someone on top who wants to stay there by whatever means necessary. You dont get into positions of influence and wealth by playing nicely with everyone else. He is the reality of this world and I must say he was also a humorous character. I found it interesting that the women all seemed rather precocious and needy from personal relationships, to shopping in order to please some possessive need, and some interesting work ethics.

I must say though that if there were a prize for anal retentiveness it would go to the fashion king or should I say queen? From his historical Encyclopedia Britannica collection, to lapels, to books, old woman, quilt and sex I have never seen someone so internally conflicted to the point that they must order their world to remain sane. I would like to have seen more of the relative of Kaiser Wilhelm II since he shares some Germanic lineage with me. Im related to Marlene Dietrich after all.

Kudos to Jamie on this one. I think he should revisist this cast once they develop some more maturity.

Lloyd Goldston IIINov 21, 2003 at 12:49PM

I wanted to point out that the diametric view we are presented with comes from a media focus group. The production was edited to fit the solution of that focus group. Just because this individuals came across that way doesnt mean they are necessarily so. If you take my comments from an afternoon of interviews Im sure I could either be made to look like everything from Hitler to Mother Theresa depending on how you edit me. Nuff said.

GeorgeDec 30, 2003 at 12:49AM

Wow, I came up in a decent lifestyel. My dad makes about $400g's a year, but after the big house, big Mercedes (Jaguars, Hummers, and Corvettes), and big vacations, there really isn't much left in terms of inheritances. But I lived a good life and always thought so until I saw this doc. Now I'm depressed. Why couldn't my grandparents invented baby powder!!!

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.