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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 <email@example.com>
An amusing little film set in a not-so-amusing industry.
As usual, another Allison Anders film has come into my radar screen, and, as usual, I enjoyed it. Allison has a wonderful way of taking real life and showing it with non-judgmental truth. She takes the old adage of theatre "holding a mirror to life" and puts in on film.
Sugar Town, as with all of her works, creates rich characters in a short time. Despite having so many characters get a significant chunk of the plot, the characters are based on recognizable truisms. You know who these people are quickly enough without it feeling stereotyped or one-dimensional. It gives you the sense that you know them quickly, quickly enough to get into the twisted maze of interconnected lives she weaves for her characters.
The actors cast in this script, while admittedly playing parts written with them in mind, slip into their skins with ease. Noteworthy moments for me include the first time I've looked at Beverly D'Angelo and NOT wondered where Chevy Chase was hiding their vacation plans. Michael Des Barres was deliciously bad, nevermind the typecasting. John Taylor's acting debut surprised me. As a fan of his for a number of years, I'd seen his early "acting" attempts in Duran Duran videos and the odd British sci-fi show "Timeslip". They weren't exactly Oscar material. Here, he proves that he can carry a script as well as a tune, and not get upstaged by a cute kid in the process.
The world will not change because of this movie, nor was I moved to any form of emotional revelation. What I did get was a good laugh and a bit more affirmation that I'm quite glad I let the teenage dream die and never tried to move into the music industry.
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