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
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes