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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Glitter

Starring: Mariah Carey, Max Beesley
Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: September 2001
Genres: Drama, Music, Romance

*Also starring: Padma Lakshmi, Terrence DaShon Howard, Eric Benet, Ann Magnuson, Tia Texada

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie review
2.  Susan Granger read the review no stars
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
4.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

GLITTER, directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall (GRIDLOCK'D) and written by Kate Lanier, who is "credited" with the abysmal THE MOD SQUAD remake, comes DOA to your theaters today. Curtis-Hall does a huge disservice to his star, Mariah Carey, who plays singer Billie Franklin, by quickly cutting away whenever she begins to sing. You can see her singing more in her music videos. Only in an ending number is she allowed to finish a song on stage. Not surprisingly, it is the only even mildly successful scene in the entire movie.

Billie, the daughter of a struggling black singer, is disowned and abandoned by her white father. Once she grows up, she is discovered singing backup by a famous New York DJ who goes by the name of Dice. The overly protective Dice is played by the numbers by Max Beesley, who looks more like Mark Wahlberg's younger brother than does his real brother, actor Donnie Wahlberg. Almost overnight, Billie rocks to the top of the charts, thanks to Dice's promotion.

Carey's exceedingly modest acting talents will likely have her fans advising her to keep her day job. She can't come close to carrying the movie, which is what the weak script and the haphazard directing requires if the movie is to have any chance of succeeding. Hers isn't just a bad performance. It's embarrassing.

Because of the ridiculous clothing choices and silly hairdos -- the film is set in the 1980s, but still -- Billie is a laughable character. It's hard to believe that she achieves stardom. Based on the dive of an apartment she lives in, one wonders where her money goes.

Billie is uncomfortable with what it takes to sell her music. She is shocked when her first music video director boldly proclaims that "sex sells." He wants her to dance around in a skimpy underwear-like outfit while singing. This is a woman who loves showing off her cleavage, so this false modesty isn't convincing. The worst part of the film, however, comes in a manipulative tear-jerker ending that contains a completely unbelievable coincidence. About the only thing that saves the film from being a complete disaster is the aforementioned, concluding song number, but it's certainly not worth waiting for, nor is it worth the price of admission. Skip the movie and catch the inevitable music video of the movie's music.

GLITTER runs a long 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for "some sensuality, language and brief violence" and would be acceptable for kids about 9 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, liked the music but hated the movie, giving it just 1/2 of a star. Among his many negative comments were that the characters weren't worth caring about, the movie flipped around too much and the story wasn't interesting.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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