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The Muse

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Muse

Starring: Sharon Stone, Albert Brooks
Director: Albert Brooks
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: August 1999
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Andie MacDowell, Jeff Bridges, Mark Feuerstein, Steven Wright, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Rob Reiner

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Sharon Stone is an irresistible comedienne in Albert Brooks' slightly surreal send-up of the motion picture business. Taking a whiny cue from Woody Allen, Brooks plays a skewed version of himself - a neurotic middle-aged screenwriter, comparing his job with "a eunuch at an orgy - except that the eunuch can, at least, watch, while the screenwriter is not even allowed on the set." When he receives a Humanitarian Award, he facetiously describes a "humanitarian" to his daughter as "someone who has never won an Oscar." But when he's fired by a weaselly studio exec who claims he's "lost his edge," even his agent agrees. Desperate to save his career, he consults his successful buddy (Jeff Bridges) who admits he owes everything to a Muse - that's Sharon Stone. As a daughter of Zeus, she gets people in touch with their creativity. But she's a pampered muse - demanding a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel ($10,000 a week), limo, and dutiful attendance to her desires. Frantically, Brooks tries to satisfy her capricious whims - as does his wife, earnestly played by Andie MacDowell, whom the Muse encourages to pursue her cookie dream of being the next Mrs. Fields. And it's funny as Martin Scorese, James Cameron, Rob Reiner, and Wolfgang Puck pay Tiffany tributes to the divine diva. Albert Brooks ("Mother," "Defending Your Life," "Lost in America") is an acute and adept observer of the nutty, ruthless Hollywood scene, skewering its self-absorption and gullibility, but his ironic concept fizzles out as he misses some screwball opportunities with the Muse's legendary use of the magical power of sex - and his riff on Steven Spielberg falls flat. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Muse" is a droll, satiric 7. It's wryly amusing, pointing out that people are who you think they are.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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