Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Cast: Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Ann Magnuson, Shawntae Harris, Tia Texada
MPAA Rating: (for some sensuality, language and brief violence)
Running Time: 1:42
Release Date: 9/21/01
Review by Mark Dujsik
No matter how criticized the film industry may be, there is no doubt in anyoneís mind that the music industry is far worse. "Sincerity" is a term absent from the vocabulary of the majority of industry professionals, so it is no surprise that Glitter lacks any trace of anything remotely resembling sincerity. On the surface, Glitter is simply a formula rise-to-fame movie, but it so blatantly takes every bit of its formula to the furthermost extremes, it becomes a comedy. Thereís a scene here where two characters, in what can only be called divine intervention, sit in separate rooms in different parts of the city and write the same exact song. Now we could get into the particulars of the odds of something like that happening, or we could just try not to put too much thought into something so absurdly contrived.
Itís times like these that I regret enjoying writing about movies, because it is essentially my job to put too much thought into something as absurdly contrived as Glitter. To make this a lot easier on everyone involved, Iíll start at the beginning. Starting the series of familiar scenes that is Glitter is an introduction where we learn Billie Frank (Mariah Carey) had a mother who was a singer and, therefore, also has a great voice. We know this because her mom calls her up to sing at one of her sets. She also has a drinking problem (the mother, not the daughter), and soon after burning their house down (again, the mother, not the daughter), Billie is sent away. She grows up with the most obnoxious of obnoxious movie-friends and works as a back-up singer. But when she meets D.J. Dice (Max Beesley), that will all change. She goes through the motions of becoming a star, and well, things turn out pretty much how you figure they will.
Example: Billie states early on that her dream is to play Madison Square Garden. Does this give anyone an idea of where a later scene will play? And then thereís the fact that Billie is a woman and Dice is a man, so thereís a romance. How about this for an idea: Letís make a movie where the singer and the producer donít fall in love. And if they do have to fall in love, can we at least get a romance that is only half as pathetic as this one? Their relationship is essentially based on his need to treat her like garbage and her need to be treated like garbage. In this case, Iíd settle for three-fourths as pathetic. Just a thought. There probably is a reason why she lets him treat her so, and it lies in the mother/daughter relationship, but thatís thrown aside as a reason to show how she is stifled as an artist. In its place, we get a conflict between Dice and another producer which at first exists for the sole purpose of conflict and is later blatantly exploited to its furthest extreme.
Iíll be nice on the acting front. There are no memorable performances, which, depending on your perspective, is either a bad thing or a good thing. Itís bad because no one is good enough to stand out, and itís good because no one is offensively bad. Carey isnít given and doesnít offer much, although she does occasionally act, which puts her light years ahead of, say, Whitney Houston. She has a great voice, to be sure, and thatís something you may notice within this tripe. Of course, at the same time youíll wonder why she just doesnít stick to singing as she does it so well. Youíll also wonder how the band knew the song that the lovers telepathically write, seeing as this is the first time itís presented in any form. Itís that divine intervention again. The Lord works in mysterious ways, I guess. Perhaps one day He could defend Glitterís existence.
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.
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