A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, ... See full summary »
As youths in Azusa, Vinnie, Carter, and Rosie pull off a racing scam, substituting winners for plodders and winning big bucks on long odds. When an official uncovers the scam, they set him ... See full summary »
Upon taking a new job, young lawyer Rick Hayes is assigned to the clemency case of Cindy Liggett, a woman convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. As Hayes investigates the ... See full summary »
Sharon Stone plays a street-wise, middle-aged moll standing up against the mobs, all of which is complicated by a 6 year old urchin with a will of his own who she reluctantly takes under ... See full summary »
What happens when a screenwriter (Brooks) loses his edge, he turns to anyone he can for help... even if it's the mythical "Zeus's Daughter" (Stone). And he's willing to pay, albeit reluctantly, whatever price it takes to satisfy this goddess, especially when her advice gets him going again on a sure-fire script. However, this is not the limit of her help, she also gets the writer's wife (MacDowell) going on her own bakery enterprise, much to the chagrin of Brooks, who has already had to make many personal sacrifices for his own help. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"You've lost your edge"--that's the lethal verdict that Albert Brooks hears as the aging screenwriter hero of THE MUSE, which he co-wrote and directed. In Brooks' trilogy of comic-horror masterpieces--REAL LIFE (1979), MODERN ROMANCE (1981) and LOST IN AMERICA (1985)--he took his own anguish and humiliation and did a frightful chiropractic on them, breaking them open to birth a never-before-seen form of wince-inducing comedy. The three movies that followed--DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, MOTHER, and now THE MUSE--softened the Brooks protagonist, a grinning solipsist who's deaf to the agonies of everyone around him, into a permanently exasperated schlemiel. I suspect Brooks hasn't lost his edge--he's merely had to file its teeth down to get his work produced. But it's a miscalculation: in this era of the Farrelly Brothers and the SOUTH PARK geeks, a comedy that makes the audience unsure whether to laugh or scream would arrive as a revelation. In other words, it would probably make money.
This pleasant, uneventful yarn has fewer laughs in its entirety than REAL LIFE has in one reel, but it has one major asset: Sharon Stone as the hero's muse, a seemingly real actual deity who sparks inspiration in all those who pay homage to her. This muse has the cranky-baby habits of a spoiled movie star who needs a bigger trailer, and Stone is finally both luminous and lovable. This terrain, where she can both milk her old-Hollywood glamour and deprecate it at the same time, is just where she should be. (Her 1.7-second long nude scene here should make everyone forget about THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.) As Brooks' wife, Andie MacDowell reveals that she has mellowed into a warm, ripely seductive, accomplished actor. THE MUSE fails as a funny-scary Brooksian CAT-Scan, but it succeeds in demonstrating the ways in which over-forty broads can be really, really hot.
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