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Albert Brooks's The Muse may be under-rated, but I found it OK. Brooks has always made movies that are good for a feel-food time, and this is a good example. Brooks plays a troubled writer who needs help to get his edge, so he gets a Muse (Sharon Stone is not her best, but good at being annoying) who inspires to do things. Cute comedy has many cameos some movie buffs might find hilarious. I find it entertaining. Cameos include James F. Cameron, Jennifer Tilly, Rob Reiner, Steven Wright (not as himself but he gives the funniest part as Stan Spielberg) and in the best cameo of the year, Martin Scorsese as himself, who interests Brooks in a remake of Raging Bull "Thin and Angry." Worth a gander, but not as many laughs as Bowfinger. A
Albert Brooks at his best. Very very funny. The short appearances of James Cameron and Martin Scorcese are hilarious, but the best laugh I had in years was the short conversation of Albert Brooks (Steven) with Mario Opinato (European man) at the party. Although it already passed 30 minutes from that scene I was still laughing, and still do whenever I think of it. Despite Brooks latter works, The Muse is somewhat inferior, but still hilarious... and what´s the point in a comedy? To make people laugh, and I sure did laugh with this one.
Albert Brooks is funny. He has an interesting and unique way of telling
story with humor, wit and sincerity. He is not afraid of appearing to
be 'un-hip'. Actually that is the charm of most of his work. He has
been compared to Woody Allen but I
think that his work is much more universal. Woody's giant persona gets in the way of his stories whereas Brooks actually becomes a character. He does not
play himself and does not comment of things. He 'plays' characters like a real actor. The Muse is just as brilliant as Defending Your Life and Across America. Andie MacDowell is good when a good script guides her. Sharon Stone was
made for the role of the Muse. Her energy is sexy, ditzy as well as forceful. There are some cameos in this movie that are priceless and lend an air of
authenticity to the side of Hollywood that most people have no access to. I have seen this movie a hundred times and it never fails to make me laugh.
Albert Brooks has long been one of the most underappreciated filmmakers
working in the movie industry today. Less acerbic, but often just as funny
as Woody Allen, Brooks looks at the world through a slightly askew,
charmingly off beat prism, invariably placing himself in the center of his
films as the average Joe persona put-upon by the daily frustrations and
absurdities we all face as we struggle to make it though our often harried
His latest charmer, "The Muse," provides even more of a fantasy insider's view of Hollywood than Steve Martin's recent "Bowfinger." Brooks portrays a fairly successful screenwriter who is suddenly experiencing steady rejection of his most recent script as studio after studio turns thumbs down on the project. Driven by desperation, he enlists the aid of a tempermental Muse, played winningly by Sharon Stone, an actual descendant of Zeus who moves her way around the Hollywood bigwigs, inspiring hit movies as she goes - or so her many devotees think. Part of the fun of the film comes in the latter portion of the film when doubt is cast on the validity of her credentials, which speaks humorous volumes about the state of mental health in that crazy land known as Hollywood.
In fact, the film is at its freshest in scenes in which Brooks gently skewers the crass insensitivity, lack of creativity and general madness of the movie industry itself - and he has enlisted quite a number of major Hollywood big shots to appear in amusing cameo roles that mock their own self-importance and that of the business they are involved in. Despite the occasional thudding one-liner, Brooks' script floats along much like a muse itself, fluffy, amiable and charming. The lovely Andie MacDowell, as Brooks' understanding and supportive wife, adds immensely to this air of breezy likability.
"The Muse," unlike so many modern comedies, manages to captivate and entertain without working itself up into a frenetic frenzy and without breaking into a sweat. This is a film, rather, to relax into and simply let the author take you where he wants you to go. The journey, luckily, is a fun one.
I know that most people are very demanding of the movies they watch.
That being said, I guess I'm not one of them. I have owned "The Muse"
for about three years, and I usually watch it about once a year, after
being reminded of its existence on cable/HBO. I always enjoy it every
time I watch it. I think Sharon Stone portrays her character with class
and humor; not to mention that she is one of the most stunning women
ever to be in motion pictures. While I do think that by the end of this
movie, you'll probably have had enough of Albert Brooks' whiney,
monotonous voice, some of his lines and "sound effects" are rather
funny. Andie MacDowell is a beautiful woman, and while her characters
are never really memorable, I feel she is a good actress, and
entertaining to watch in movies.
This movie is a light-hearted, film of mindless entertainment. Certainly, it is not one for the "Hall of Fame", but if you're looking for an amusing story, with attractive scenery (who doesn't like looking at Hollywood mansions), and a plot you don't have to race to keep up with, "The Muse might be for you.
Catherine Tramelle. Carly Norris. Sally Eastman. May Munro. Ellen the
gunwoman. Nicole Horner. Cindy Ligget. Elizabeth Halperin. Gwen Dillon.
Princess Bala. Ginger McKenna. From Merciless killer to shrewd mistress.
Sharon Stone wasn't much of a comedian. In this "The Muse", I see a
completely different Stone and her talent in comedies. Ever since "Sphere",
Stone has been giving different but good performances. She actually can be
very versatile and has the ability to try different roles. As for the rest
of the actors, Jeff Bridges is better than Albert Brooks and Andie McDowell.
I would say that Sharon Stone's best performance ever is Ginger McKenna Rothstein in "Casino". However, even though I do not consider this one the best film of hers, I do enjoy this very first comedy that she did her best in. The Muse = the intriguing!
There were some parts of Albert Brooks' new film " The Muse" that really amused me. However, there were others that did not amuse. This somewhat creative and witty tale is about a veteran screenplay writer who turns to a Muse for inspiration. Brooks plays the screenplay writer and Sharon Stone is the Muse. My first basic instinct was dubious when I found out that Stone would play this character. However, I do have to admit after watching the film that Stone's performance was very inspirational. Brooks' screenplay is enriched with cleverness and insights into the very competitive writers' hollywood. The one story that the narrative could have done without out was the Muse's role to inspire Brook's wife, dolefully played by Andie Mcdowell, to start up a cookie business. It was just one big cookie monster disaster that is not characteristic of Brooks' ingenious writing. Another drawback was its sudden unrevealing climax that could have been written up a little bit more creatively. Now! Albert don't get neurotic now! Besides these little quirky points, I do give the marginal thumbs up for everyone to cruise and go check out "The Muse." *** Average
Every few years Albert Brooks declares himself God and creates a little
universe in his own image and likeness in the form of a film he writes,
directs and in which he stars. "The Muse", his latest creation is a
harmless jab at the Hollywood filmmaking industry. The story is not
particularly new or fresh, but it is effective satire in Brooks' inimitable
sardonic style. The comedy mostly works, but sometimes falls flat with
excess as Brooks can't seem to judge when a gag becomes too much of a good
Brooks plays Steven Phillips, a veteran writer who has "lost his edge". At least that is what he is being told by everyone else. Upon relating his frustrations to his best friend Jack (Jeff Bridges), Jack confides in him that his career was saved by a muse and promptly offers to set up a meeting with her and Steven. Enter Sarah Liddle (Sharon Stone), muse extraordinaire, who in return for her inspiration requires lavish and continual attention and has an insatiable appetite for luxuries.
Steven becomes her shameless lackey as does his wife (Andie MacDowell) in hopes that she can bring both of them fame and fortune. Ultimately they discover that she is not actually a muse, but something else entirely.
As always, Brooks casts himself in the puling nebbish role, full of self deprecation and sarcastic pokes at everyone and everything. The movie makes the satirical point that everyone in Hollywood is looking for an edge and will do just about anything to get it. In typical Albert Brooks style, comedy is used to make an introspective point. If one looks deeper, the philosophical point is that "the edge" is a perceptual concept. If one is affected by the industry's negative opinion of one's work, the loss of confidence will cause him to lose his edge. This is obvious by the fact that the muse had no real powers, yet she helped every person she met. The only thing that changed was each individual's belief in the talent they had lost faith in.
The story meanders from scene to scene with no real flow and shamelessly throws in dozens of cameos of all Brooks' Hollywood friends. From a directorial perspective, this film show why it is not a good idea for a writer to direct his own material. He is too close to it and can't see the little flaws that make the movie choppy.
The acting was mixed. I'm convinced that Albert Brooks is not really acting when he stars in movies he writes. He is just being Albert Brooks, saying the words he would say if he were in this fantasy situation of his own creation. While his whimpering style can be funny in minor roles as a foil to some other character, a full feature dominated by his whining gets more than a little tedious.
Andie MacDowell never ceases to be fresh in the nice girl role. She just beams with enthusiasm and vitality as Steven's wife who, inspired by the muse, turns her love of baking into a Hollywood cookie empire.
Sharon Stone dominates and energizes the story in her role as the muse. This is the type of role she plays best, the ultimate femme fatale, a siren of fantasy and desire. She exudes feminine superiority and gets her way through guile and manipulation. No one can resist her magic and she makes slaves of them all.
I gave this movie a 7/10. All in all, it was entertaining, with some funny gags and plenty of Albert Brooks ironic jaundice for life. If you can't get enough of Albert Brooks, you will want to see this movie.
Brooks, once a prominent writer who's now neurotic and struggling after everyone starts telling him he's losing his edge, resorts to desperate means and acquires the services of a benevolent but bizarre and demanding muse (Stone) to try and recapture the essence of his onetime brilliance. However, his life is soon turned upside down by all of her awkward, off-the-wall methods of improvement. There's plenty of crisp dialogue, laugh-out loud moments, and amusing cameos to hold your attention, but the film is marred by too many comic gaps in the script. Still, it's a good way to pass the time, and their are some sharp observations of the Hollywood movie process. **½
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Muse (1999): Dir: Albert Brooks / Cast: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell, Jeff Bridges, Mark Feuerstein: Delightful romp showing how much a person may have to give before receiving. It regards inspiration and stars Albert Brooks as a screenwriter rejected by executives. His wife is supportive and recommends that he talk to his award winning friend, played by Jeff Bridges. Sharon Stone enters as a muse who inspired Bridges, now she is set up with Brooks. Eventually she moves into his house where she begins to influence his wife. Funny and surprising with Brooks's touch of placing characters in the midst of reality and exaggeration just as he did with Mother. Stone proves that she can be funny but here she is also intriguing and a complete mystery to those observing her. Brooks is at best with funny dialogue, which he delivers with superb comic wit. Andie MacDowell is great as his wife drawn to inspiration as well. She eventually concludes to Brooks, "Now I know you're not having an affair. You never loved anyone who made you run that many errands." Jeff Bridges rounds out the cast as the advice giving filmmaker sharing the source of his success. Mark Feuerstein plays an executive struggling to get Brooks refocused. Underrated comedy that proves to be one of Brooks's best. Great comedy with hilarious Hollywood insight. Score: 10 / 10
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