ninth symphony films - movie reviews

GLITTER (2001)

DIRECTOR  -  vondie curtis-hall

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  musical

LENGTH  -  104 minutes

RELEASED  -  21 september 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  20th century fox

OFFICIAL SITE  -  glitter

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $22,000,000
glitter - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from glitter at

buy the dvd from glitter at

a singer dates a dj and gets into the music business.

release of the movie was postponed because of carey's mental breakdown.


picture from glitter

picture from glitter


zero out of four possible stars

The makers of Glitter ask the audience to take their horrid creation seriously, therefore making it impossible to take it seriously. Mariah Carey's performance is laughable in the amount of melodrama she brings to the role. Playing the semi-autobiographical character of "Billie Frank," she straps on the eyeliner and breaks out the hair spray in just about every scene. Although the film does take place in the early 1980's, when the club scene in New York was especially lame, the license the hair dresser took in creating Mariah's bouffant what quite liberal. One has to wonder if the filmmakers chose to tell the story as if it happened two decades ago so that they would have access to the large library of strange outfits and large cans of hairspray.

Some films revel in their mediocrity, making good on their promise to entertain the audience with their bad dialogue, melodramatic acting, and illegible story. But it's obvious that Glitter is a film where the filmmakers want you to believe in and sympathize with the characters. But there is never enough depth in the story or enough feeling from the characters to really lose one's self in the experience of watching the film. In point of fact, the filmmakers and the actors should have gone further in their hilarity if they wanted to create a truly memorable bad film. It's not necessarily the fault of Mariah Carey either, that the picture is not bad enough.

Several singers have made the crossover to films in roles that haven't mocked their real-life occupations. If Mariah had picked a role that didn't so closely resemble her real life, it would have been easier to forget that she was just another big name singer trying to be an actor. Stars like Jennifer Lopez and Ice T have made very credible moves into the film industry, and haven't sacrificed public opinion to do it. It might have been a case of Mariah's not realizing that the picture she chose to star in would so easily open the door for mockery about the film, or perhaps the singer's agent picked the script for her. Even the studios realized that this picture was on the wrong tracks. Columbia Pictures foisted the movie off on Fox for domestic distribution.

The film doesn't look like it will bode well for the supporting cast, either. Max Beesley, unfortunately cast in the role of Mariah's manager/lover, inhabits his role well, but does a poor job with the accent. He's English and the New York drawl didn't come very naturally for him. His dialogue is especially cliché and melodramatic and he doesn't make much of a sympathetic character, which is a failing for nearly everyone in the cast. Da Brat, who made a name for herself by becoming the first woman rapper to release a platinum record, is one of the only personalities in the film that the audience will be laughing with instead of at.

It is possible to dump all of the blame on the screenwriter, given that all the dialogue is quite a hamper on creating any intelligent characters. The events in the story look like last week's garbage as well. Every scene in this film is a virtual copy of any number of weepy melodramatic stories where the "woman must conquer all to silence her demons." There is definitely nothing unique in this story. Kate Lanier, the screenwriter, first got notoriety in the screenwriting world when she wrote What's Love Got to Do With It for that 1993 movie. But since then, her films have been less than stellar attempts, and Glitter is the furthest down that list.

With the awkward screenwriting and the clumsy acting, one wonders where the director sat during the making of this fiasco. Was he deaf to the problems present in many facets of this film? Perhaps he decided that he couldn't go all the way in creating a truly memorable experience for the theater. Whether that experience would have been of a good bad movie, or a truly good movie, was his to choose. But Glitter makes a mockery of whatever talent Mariah Carey may have and refuses to give any of her co-stars a break. It would be obvious to state that Carey should return to her singing roots and stay firmly planted in that art, but it's too late. Carey has already done some work in another film...

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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