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USA 2001
Directed by
Vondie Curtis-Hall
104 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars


There are broadly speaking two types of film we look for – ones that are good and ones that are so bad they’re good, Unfortunately Glitter, Mariah Carey's feature film debut is neither. Helmed by actor-turned-director Vondie Curtis-Hall the film is simply lacklustre as drama with the music no better despite the fact that Carey also takes a credit as the executive music director and a co-writer of several songs. Ironically the best number is ''Lillie's Blues'' sung by Valarie Pettiford in the film’s opening scene.

Taking the much and much-better filmed "A Star Is Born" template Glitter tells the story of how Billie Frank (Carey) the vocally-gifted daughter of a low rent bar singer (Pettiford) with a drinking problem, rises to pop stardom only to see the man (Max Beesley) who made her career pushed aside with tragic results due to the voracious manipulations of the music industry.

Whilst there is no doubt that Carey can sing and her doll-like face and curvaceous figure have a certain visual appeal, her acting is no more than adequate. What’s worse is that Beesley is even less convincing although Kate Lanier’s script is so ham-fisted that it is hard to believe that anyone could have carried it off with much conviction.

The plot rolls along predictable lines as Billie is molded for stardom by a gaggle of industry lackies who are so caricatural that one wonders for a while if they are intended to be jokes. That, as one eventually realizes, they are not only further undermines what is already routine material.

Only the most devoted of Carey fans will find that Glitter is gold.

Available from: Via Vision - Madman




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