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Morton Downey Jr.,
Unimpassioned look at the lives of struggling L.A. scene rock stars follows main character, Gwen, on her quest for the top. Working as an assistant to a film production designer, she tries to steal her boy friend who is a music producer by offering sexual favors. The producer meanwhile is trying to orchestrate a comeback for a former glam band played by Michael Des Barres (of Power Station fame), John Taylor (from Duran Duran), and Martin Kemp (from Spandau Ballet). Rosanna Arquette plays the former movie star wife of the lead singer, who is fretting because she has just been offered the role as the mother of one of the new ingenious. Beverly D'Angelo also shows up as a millionairess who agrees to bankroll the group, but only if she gets a roll in the hay with the lead singer. All of the career problems, including drug proclivity, are represented in this film. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Allison Anders' best movie is a terrific ensemble piece, and what an ensemble! Seemingly playing themselves are ex-Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet members John Taylor and Martin Kemp, X frontman John Doe, Michael Des Barres (whose self-parody here deserves some kind of award), plus great turns from Rosanna Arquette, Beverly D'Angelo, Ally Sheedy, someone named Lucinda Jenney (I love her whoever she is) and a number of other actors who barely seem to be acting, they are so natural and the dialogue so true to life. This is one of those rare movies of perfectly observed little details, with not a false note struck; plus it gives a droll and utterly believable glimpse inside the LA music and production worlds. You care about each character, even the detestable ones (like central figure Gwen) and there are about 20 characters to follow. Reminds a bit of an early Alan Rudolph piece but breezier and less self-conscious. I give SUGAR TOWN 8 stars, or 3 1/2 on Len Maltin's scale. I live for movies this good.
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