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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Almost a Great Film

6/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 December 2016

In Hollywood, the successful TV screenwriter and producer of the "Rock'n'Roll P.I." show Zane (Craig Sheffer) is an insecure and needy man, unhappy with his mediocre work for television with his partner David (Glenn Hirsch). His fiancée Amy (Annette Sinclair) has left him to live with another woman and he has hypnosis analysis with his psychiatrist Dr. Berlin (Orson Bean). Zane is also having problems with the star of his show, Reno (David Cassidy), who is arrogant, temperamental and drug addicted, and his partner in the show Pop (William Smith) is also upset with Reno. Meanwhile the IRS is auditing Zane's investments. When Zane meets the sexy and gorgeous extra Penelope (Chelsea Noble), he immediately becomes obsessed for her. Zane dates Penelope and soon they fall in love with each other. But his insecurity jeopardizes the relationship.

"Instant Karma" could be a great film. There is a criticism to the corny Hollywood productions and how a writer needs to change his work to be commercial to satisfy producers. However, the movie is lost between a romantic comedy and a drama. Zane's sessions with Dr. Berlin are pointless and boring. But the worst is Zane, a non- charismatic and even unlikable character. Penelope is totally out of his league and it is hard to believe how she could feel some sort of attraction for such boring man. The racy UK and Brazilian title is ridiculous and gives a wrong idea of the storyline. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Quase Uma Virgem" ("Almost a Virgin")

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Understandably Obscure

2/10
Author: Eric Chapman (caspar_h@yahoo.com) from Pittsburgh, PA
22 November 2000

Sometimes it's fun to scan the video store shelves and try to find a movie that you've never heard of, but which stars people you have (heard of). For an avid movie-goer like myself, no easy task. But such was my mindset when I rented the very obscure "Instant Karma", starring as it did the reasonably well known and generally competent actor Craig Sheffer, as well as former teen idol David Cassidy, and world class babe Chelsea Noble for good measure.

And after watching it, I have to say, this is something I must never do again.

Since there is no other information posted, besides cast and crew, I'll briefly describe the premise. Sheffer plays a charmless, self-doubting writer-producer of a shlock prime time hit TV show called "Rock and Roll P.I.", who is having great difficulty finding the right woman after his ex-fiancee leaves him for someone else (a woman, as if it matters). Though he drives a cool car and lives in a nice oceanside home, he is supremely unhappy over how his show has been turned into junk by network executives and the show's temperamental, coke snorting star, David Cassidy. To make matters worse, he is being investigated by the I.R.S. concerning years of apparently unpaid income tax. He is also preoccupied with an angelic, beautiful actress guesting on one of the shows (Noble) and struggles throughout the rest of the movie to make a good impression on her.

That's it. Though I think I've made it sound even more interesting than it really is. It would like to be something along the lines of Kevin Bacon's "The Big Picture", a minor but clever satire about the absurdities of the TV/Film industry. It's not even close. The most remarkable thing about "Karma" is how featureless it is; it's like a few faint marks and scratches on an otherwise blank piece of paper. Its director, Roderick Taylor, seems to have no sensibility, no style. Some movies have good rhythm, bad rhythm, so-so rhythm; this has literally no rhythm. Though God knows Taylor tries. There are numerous bizarre, purpose-less camera angles that will have you scratching your head. (I was particularly amused by the overhead shots of Sheffer discussing his financial situation w. his accountant.) Even more excruciating are the series of interminably long helicopter shots of Sheffer driving through the Hollywood hills to the sound of cheesy rock music. This movie is a ridiculously long 102 minutes, especially considering the paper thin storyline, mostly due to some horrible editing.

Practically everything about it is crummy and cramped. Never before has Hollywood been made to look so drab and uneventful. And Sheffer really sets the tone. We are asked to root for a thoroughly charmless, uninteresting, unattractive shlub. We keep waiting for him to have some breakthrough, to show some spark of life but he never does. And this absolutely destroys his scenes with Noble. Not only does he come across as extremely creepy and unlikable when he's around her (due to nerves and shyness, or whatever) he's that way all the time! This is not Jon Cryer in a John Hughes film creepy, where we can see the vulnerability and the personality underneath; he is just a cold fish of a human being who is impossible to identify with or relate to. And yet, after their cringing, awkward introduction, the camera closes in on Noble's sweet face as she is apparently dreaming about starting a family with this oh so dreamy blank page of a human being. The rest of their scenes together are like really really bad improv (though the fault rests mostly with Sheffer, as Noble is an actress who always exudes great warmth).

As for David Cassidy? Well, it's interesting to note that he made 2 movies in 1990: this one and "Spirit of '76". Let's just say it's not terribly surprising that he has not turned up in any films since then.

On a final note, there is a supporting character in this film (the accountant) named Oscar Meyer. And Sheffer's character has the same name (Zane Smith) as a little known, but reasonably successful major league baseball player who pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves.

My question to the filmmakers in my best David Spade tone of voice: And the point of this would be ... ?

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Well-meaning story

Author: Karate Cowboy
5 June 2002

Okay. So the story didn't appeal to anybody who watched it. Personally, I liked it because, however lacking-in-everything that he hero may have seemed, EVERYBODY DESERVES A CHANCE AT HAPPINESS. This movie showed how this guy, who like everybody has his ups and downs, has things turn around for him, in the midst of all other forms of confusion. True, he nearly blows it with his insecurity, but who hasn't at one time or another. The end shows him face-to-face with his dream-girl; presumably, he's about to get another chance as the story ends. I guess it's how the viewer looks at the story.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Instantly forgettable

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
26 August 2003

Zane (Craig Sheffer) is an aspiring author who currently writes and produces a hit television show. Unhappy that the show has gone in a different direction than the one he originally created, Zane feels as though he has sold out to commercialism. However, he does like his Mercedes and his nice apartment. One day on the set of the show, Zane meets Penelope (Chelsea Noble), a guest star. Instantly taken with her looks and sweet personality, he pursues her unremittingly. She responds in his favor and a romance ensues. Yet, things go awry with the couple's happiness and with the television show. Will Zane be able to set things right again?

This is a lukewarm effort in the realm of romantic comedies. Sheffer and Noble are attractive stars but the mediocre script offers them little help in making their characters memorable. David Cassidy, in a rare movie appearance, is appropriately obnoxious in his role as the star of the television show. The pace is somewhat slow yet the ending is overwhelmingly swift, leaving the viewer unsatisfied. Only the most die hard romantics (this viewer included) will be able to keep watching this film until the credits role. Better efforts in the same category include Fools Rush In and Playing by Heart; stick with those for an evening of enchantment.

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Full and Empty

8/10
Author: TedMichaelMor from United States
4 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The superb Roderick Taylor masterwork "Instant Karma" with grace and subtly explores the vicissitude of fame and fortune in a metaphoric tale about Hollywood. It stars the gifted actress Chelsea Noble, wife of Kirk Cameron, and intelligent actor Craig Sheffer. Bruce Taylor and Dale Rosenbloom provided a restrained script around which Dale's father forms the gentle and amusing film.

This work exposes the drabness, mediocrity, and futility of output in much Hollywood production, but without bitterness or meanness. Location shooting in Hollywood itself gives the picture a sense of authenticity. Tom Jewet did the excellent cinematography and Frank Mazzola edited.

This is an unfortunately underrated and forgotten work.

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Soundtrack.

8/10
Author: william gregory (yafapewi93@yahoo.com) from San Antonio, Texas
28 June 2007

Although this movie is for the most part awful I did enjoy the soundtrack. If anyone knows if the soundtrack is available I'd like to know where it can be found. I've seen better movies but this one struck a cord. Chelsea Noble is absolutely beautiful and Craig Sheffer is a competent actor but there talents were not used to full advantage. Outside of that I liked the movie and I own a copy however I would like to find a copy on DVD and so far I have been unsuccessful in that search.If anyone has that info I would also be thankful. I still watch this movie and will continue to do so however cheesy it may be.I'm not a David Cassidy fan but I liked his character and I liked William Smith as well.

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