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Gets funnier every time I watch it
soccin10 July 2009
Brooks is the West-Coast doppelganger of Woody Allen, despite the fact that he's about twenty years younger & takes on characters decidedly white-bread Middle American Gentile. All of Brooks' movies are about him entering a critical transition period of life (or death). Like Allen's films, his variations on this familiar theme range in quality. 'The Muse' is a solid effort. Most Brooks films have funny zingers; this one has a whole filmful plus a clever story to boot, and a big-budget cast. The more you know about Hollywood and the motion picture industry (I recommend 'The Big Picture' by Epstein), the more true-to-life you understand the film to be, and thus the funnier the jokes become.

I'm not sure why it did poorly, and reading others' comments yields little insight. All I can say is that Brooks is never a fully sympathetic character--he is always at least partly to blame for his predicament--never quite the "aw-shucks" underdog. At least this time he and Johnson introduce other characters who are even more sympathetic to generate audience goodwill. Not to mention that the two leading ladies are both stunningly good-looking. Plus the whole Hollywood self-referencing is a lot of fun. Bottom line is, I believe that this is among the best of Albert Brooks' films. It has many winning qualities which permit it to transcend the Brooks formula. It shares a certain affinity with another wry comedy, "Being There"; both are stories about people being drawn in by the mysterious among us.
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Best laugh in years
lamara_andre15 May 2003
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.
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Amusing for movie buffs
Quinoa198430 April 2000
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
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Brooks is brilliant !
luludavis13 December 2004
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.
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Let's celebrate this movie for what it is...
sdtoneymd6 December 2004
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.
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likable, lighthearted comedy
Buddy-5111 March 2000
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 modern lives.

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.
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very funny
blanche-230 December 2016
"The Muse" from 1999 is an Albert Brooks film, starring Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell, Bradley Whitford, Mark Feuerstein, Jeff Bridges, and cameos by the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jennifer Tilly, Lorenzo Lamas, and others.

Brooks plays Steven Phillips, a Hollywood screenwriter who has written 17 films. When he goes to a meeting at Paramount, where he has a deal, he's basically told that they want him off the lot by 5 p.m., his deal is cancelled, he's lost his "edge", and his script is terrible. And by the way, so were the last couple of films.

Discouraged, and at his wife's (MacDowell's) suggestion, he goes and talks to his best friend Jack (Jeff Bridges) who explains that he used the services of a Muse, Sarah Little (Stone) for inspiration. He calls her for Steven and Steven rushes to see her.

Well, this Muse is an earthly pain in the you know what. Anyone who goes to see her has to bring a gift from Tiffany. She wants to be put up at the Four Seasons, have a limo at her disposal, and health foods purchased for her. She spends perhaps five minutes with Steven, who does get an idea for a script. Meanwhile, unable to sleep, she's moved into the guest house/office on his property. She's also turned his wife into the second Mrs. Fields by encouraging her to market her cookies.

Very funny comedy with the hapless Brooks nearly driven out of his mind by this woman. And the film has a delightful twist.

Someone mentioned the party Wolfgang Puck throws for Steven's wife (Puck is serving her cookies). Steven gets into a conversation with a man who can't understand English and misinterprets everything he says. It is hilarious.

This isn't considered Brooks' best, but given for what passes for comedy today, it's practically Pulitzer Prize material. Well worth seeing.
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The film "The Muse" kept me well amused!
serafinogm13 October 2016
It would appear Albert and his writing partner (RIP) have a knack of producing original, freshly entertaining gems that are a joy to engage over and over again. Well done! The main protagonists were superb; Sharon Stone as the eccentric, lovely but spoiled Muse, Andie MacDowell as the temporarily frustrated but soon self-actualized spouse, Jeff Bridges as the successful screen writer who is challenged simply to get a tennis ball over a net but who hooks Albert's character up with the Muse, and of course angst filled Albert's character who teeters on the edge of disaster but somehow pulls it together with some help from the Muse cum studio executive. It's a lovely movie, good clean fun designed to provide escape from our own angst filled existences! Thank you Albert!
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Brooks and Stone are great
philipdavies8 August 2008
I have just discovered Albert Brooks, with his film The Muse. I can see why he is known as a West Coast Woody Allen.

The Muse is both elegantly witty and laugh-out-loud funny by turns.

The notion of a nearly-man so desperate for success that he is willing to suspend all reason, and believe that he can be rescued from his imminent Hollywood screen-writing oblivion by a woman claiming to be the Muse of Greek Mythology made real in flesh and blood, but who turns out to be only a particularly resourceful runaway from the local (shall we say) Home for the Oddly Gifted, is sublime! Sharon Stone s performance as the self- and omni-delusive (her psychiatrists, though amazed and amused, know otherwise!) Muse is outstanding. She effortlessly obliterates the wooden acting of the strangely-featured Andy McDowell throughout.

As madly demanding actress - for that IS what she is doing in reality - and - in the final payoff - harridan Studio head she is just superb, and through her the film s high concept is perfectly - and delightfully - pitched.

I cannot speak highly enough of this team of Brooks and Stone.
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A great "typical comedy"
bzb20012 February 2005
I often think of Albert Brooks as a genius of the "common movie." His films are comedies and they have the feel of your regular, standard comedy but they are so much more. 'The Muse,' a film of his several years ago, was not met with critical or commercial success. As a result, I avoided the film and did not watch until now. I am sad I waited so long.

Brooks stars as an aging Hollywood screenwriter without an Oscar to his credit, just a nomination years ago. His current problem (because you have the feeling with any Brooks movie that his character ALWAYS has a problem) is that he cannot get his recent script made. The studio feels he has "lost his edge," a phrase that follows him from person to person as he attempts to make since of this tragedy.

Brooks visits a friend played by Jeff Bridges who is far more successful than he. Bridges tells him about a woman he sees who inspires his greatest work. The muse, as she is called, is played with great vibrant energy by Sharon Stone. One problem with the muse: she has an expensive appetite - and not just for food. The phrase "high maintenance" brings on all new meaning and each scene is funnier than the next. She needs certain foods in her refrigerator, an expensive bedroom, different paint on the walls, then all new paint over that because it's too bright.

Some of this may seem tired and overused. Albert Brooks, though, is a genius when it comes to movies like this. Take, for instance, a scene when Brooks is caught in a conversation with someone who does not speak the best English. This is a ploy we've seen so many times. In an Albert Brooks movie the timing is perfect and the dialog is pierced with humor. I believe it ends up being the single most funny scene in the film.

Critics talk about the "payoff" to a film. The payoff to 'The Muse' is not entirely genuine and does not live up to the rest of the film. This brings it down a little but not near enough to make the film a retread of other films. It is never boring or overdone or even underdone. Ignore what you may have heard, give 'The Muse' a chance. It may re-enlighten your interest in the common film. ***1/2 out of ****
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Cute, lightweight comedy with Albert Brooks and Sharon Stone.
TxMike16 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Brooks is a moderately successful Hollywood screenwriter, but his scripts recently "have lost their edge", according to his agent and others. Baffled, Jeff Bridges tells him about "the muse" that has inspired him and many others. Lots of cameos by people like Rob Reiner, Marty Scorsese, James Cameron, etc and we are lead to believe she was their inspiration. So Brooks, in spite of his reservations, latches onto her to re-juvenate his writing, after all "he has a family to feed."

some SPOILERS -- This muse is very demanding. She needs her own room in a very expensive hotel, all kinds of special things. She pays for nothing. She eventually moves into their house. She inspires Brooks' wife (Andie McDowell) to market her cookies and soon Wolfgang Puck is featuring them at his restaurant. She has become a muse for the wrong person! Eventually she gives Brooks some ideas and he writes a great screenplay. About that time the doctors come to look for Stone, turns out she has escaped again from the mental hospital. In the ending sequence, Stone has changed hair color, is the new executive who approves scripts, she and Brroks head out for lunch.

So, of course, she was not a true muse, mythical daughter of Zeus, but everyone's belief in her was enough to spark the creative juices already there, just not released. A very funny script for the most part, but Brooks is sounding more and more like Woody Allen in his "mature" years. A lightweight comedy, but still mostly enjoyable.
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Deliciously Funny For The Right Brain
The_Witch8 August 2001
A blocked screenwriter who depends of a neurotic source of inspiration is the perfect plot for this comedy. This is a comedy that requires brains to catch the subtleties of its humor and some knowledge of how Hollywood works to recognize when what seem absurd is actually factual. That explains the reviews that some poor souls have written here.

The movie is great, if your brain qualifies... enjoy.
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Sharon Stone in Great Comedy
roark1836 December 2003
I am not a great fan of Sharon Stone (or Albert Brooks either for that matter). But this movie is her best and this is the one for which she should have gotten an Oscar, instead of her supporting (at best) role in Casino.

This movie shows a completely different side of Ms. Stone, as a comedienne, and generates a hearty welcome from the hard-core, cold, aloof, sometimes promiscuous characters she usually plays. THE MUSE is a truely great comedy and it is made so by Ms. Stone, not Albert Brooks. It is also a great thing to see a comedy not based on romance or some other trite concept for comedy. It is great satire on the bourgeois commnunity in Hollywood.
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I beg not listen to CoenHead!
skad1320 August 1999
A lot of the humor in this movie might be "inside" Hollywood stuff, I grant you. Nevertheless, THE MUSE is one of the most gratifying experiences I've had at a theater this year. After seeing any number of brainless comedies, it's so satisfying to see one with some intelligence behind it. And I have to think that any country with "Entertainment Tonight" as a top-rated show can't be media-savvy enough to enjoy the in-jokes in this wonderful, delightful film. Please, if you enjoy show-biz-type comedy, or if you've even ever had writer's block, go see this won't be disap
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Funny, if a bit below what one expects out of Albert Brooks
KUAlum2625 March 2006
Writer/Director/Star Albert Brooks and co-writer Monica Johnson's somewhat jaundiced view ofachievement and success in Hollywood is the inspiration for this movie. While a bit gimmicky and aimless,it is still quite funny and satisfies in a way he's known for doing(Lost in America,Defending Your Life and Mother spring to mind for me personally).

Writer Steven Miller has won what seems to be his umpteenth Humanitarian award for his work in the industry,and being a longtime veteran of penning scripts that get critical acclaim but receive little or no commercial reward,he finds himself at a crossroads for his career. In a moment of personal breakdown in front of his friend Jack(Jeff Bridges,very good in something just a little bit more than a cameo here) recommends that he use the services of a beautiful and spoiled woman named Sarah(Sharon Stone,very fine here),whose exact job is to be a Muse,or inspiration,for artists to do their most successful work. Reluctant at first,Steven takes the Muse in and,after running through hoops for her in ways that seem not worth the effort,his script inspiration takes a commercial(if not quality)turn for the seemingly better. Things complicate when Steven's wife Laura(Andie MacDowall,who rarely seems different in any role she does anymore)ferrets out Sarah,thinking he's husband is having an affair with her. He isn't,and the two become friends,and Sarah's artistic inspiration rubs off on Laura as well.

A skewering of the Hollywood industry is served up in the first half of the movie,followed by the last half being somewhat of an actualization story. Uneven? Sure. But the material is kept light enough to please anyone's dry grown-up humor,particularly one who value's Brooks' style.
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Humourless whine
Pelakh4 August 2003
Albert Brooks spends two hours whining and feeling sorry for himself, and noone else helps this script. Various semi-celebrities walk in and out of the scenes, for no reason at all - it seems the director was grabbing whoever was walking by to fill in the time. Skip it.
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some great moments
Special-K8822 April 2002
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
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OK But Brooks Has Done Better
gbheron26 August 2001
"The Muse" treads the same landscape as "The Player", contemporary Hollywood in all it's supercilious, shallow glory. But while the "The Player" is a precise skewering of the hypocrisy and cruelty in Hollywood's executive suites, "The Muse" focuses on the problems of a single person, a whiny middle-aged screenwriter. Played by Albert Brooks, his specific problem that he 'has lost his edge', and is fired because of it. Into his life comes one of the mythic Muses, still alive and very real, to help him get it back. This is an interesting set-up, and should have made for a better movie than it is. Sharon Stone's portrayal of the Muse is one of the film's highlights. But the rest of the cast don't fare as well. Albert Brooks' portrayal of the schlub screenwriter is the same as all his characters, and has done much better in other films. Andie McDowell, as Brooks' wife, doesn't add anything, but doesn't take anything away either. It's not a bad movie, and it definitely has its moments. But Brooks has done better.
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A Decent Attempt by Brooks!
namashi_114 April 2014
Albert Brooks makes a Decent Attempt with his 1999-comedy 'The Muse'. Its a light-hearted film, that doesn't tax your brains.

'The Muse' is a comedy about a neurotic screenwriter & his modern-day muse.

'The Muse' is entertaining, but only in portions. While the first-hour is funny & well-paced, the second-hour takes a dip. The Writing isn't tight, nor is the pace. Brooks's Screenplay succeeds in the first-hour, but later-on, everything slows down. Brooks's Direction, on the other-hand, is very well-done.

Performance-Wise: Brooks can never be doubted as an actor. He's exceptional, as always. Sharon Stone enacts the nagging/materialistic chick delightfully well. Andie MacDowell is natural to the core. Jeff Bridges is winsome in a cameo. Martin Scorsese & James Cameron are fun in one-scene appearances.

On the whole, If you want to get Amused...Watch 'The Muse'.
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"The Muse. The Muse. The G#@damn Muse !"
j_graves6820 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have read so many negating reviews of this film, and quite honestly, this film does not seem to age well- so I am in slight agreement. This film is very insular, and does not cater too well to those outside of the entertainment industry with its scope of Hollywood insider jokes that would only range from the Westside to a mile outside of the L.A. basin.

Its premise involves successful screenwriter Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks, who is still able to maintain the same whiny shtick for all these years)slowly losing his "edge" that everyone around him notices but himself. After whining about it to his agent, his wife, and anyone who would listen, he goes to his fellow Oscar-winning screenwriter friend Jack (Jeff Bridges) for advice. Jack refers him to the services of a "Muse" (played by Sharon Stone) in order to help him become "inspired" again. Andie MacDowell plays Brooks's wife in her usual cardboard performance, and the more colorful characters are oddly enough, the supporting actors and the cameos. Josh the studio executive was a slick schmuck and Martin Scorsese's appearance was cool. Hal (Bradley Whitford) as Brooks's agent was nothing more than a token sit-com character, and there was lazy writing in delivering some of the jokes in this film. This is any and every dwindling artist's fantasy that works for a corporation whose purpose is to manufacture creativity.

I saw this in the theatres in 1999 and then rented it on video months later on. And oddly enough, the film began to feel more and more dated like cheap wine quickly turning to vinegar. And when I watched this the other night on cable, I couldn't believe that I really dug this when it came out. Even though this film pokes fun of the entertainment industry, it also seems to succumb to it, invisibly presenting itself as a slave to it. The film is not bad, but in no way is it very memorable. The jokes and humor are passable, but once again, it would appeal more to an Angeleno than it would a Texan.
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A Hollywood movie about Hollywood supported by SHARON STONE
Italy-Wedding29 June 2002
Albert Brooks' new comedy has again big names: Sharon Stone (as The Muse / Sarah), Andie MacDowell (as Laura) and Jeff Bridges (Jack).

The plot: Steven (Albert Brooks), has a difficult period in his life... no, he isn't sick or his marriage isn't breaking down (well not so far...) no, he lost his inspiration and that is what he needs for being a good screenwriter. He needs help and he asks a very good friend (played by Jeff Bridges) to give him a solution. Sarah, one of 9 muses is the best way to give him inspiration, but she is difficult muse, she has her quirks from time to time and sadly for Steven, her quirks are very expensive... but at least she gives him inspiration. Laura, the wife of Steven gets also inspiration from Sarah. She starts a little cookie -company. The rows between Steven and Laura begin to reach its peak. Then begins the fight for "the Muse"...

This movie wasn't great, but it was worth watching... my opinion is that every movie has something special and this also the case for this one...

Certainly the performance of SHARON STONE was wonderful, she is the best muse that I ever saw... I hope she continues to make movies after a stop for 2 years... lets hope that her health is good enough to carry on... ALBERT BROOKS was good as an actor, but sometimes the script didn't please me that much, probably the script that he is writing in the movie is better then the script of the movie. I hope that his upcoming movie with MICHAEL DOUGLAS will be a little bit better. ANDIE MACDOWELL was good to but she doesn't make a lot of movies... but I think it was very difficult to make something remarkable from her personage. JEFF BRIDGES was remarkable too; well he has the talent of his father Lloyd Bridges.

SPECIAL THINGS about the movie: 1. THE CAMEOS from Martine Scorcese (director from "The Gangs of New York) Rob Reiner (director from "The Story of Us" (see my review) James Cameron (director from Titanic) Also Jennifer Tilly and Lorenzo Lamas get a part in the movie as well. 2. The music from ELTON JOHN


Rating: 7,5 / 10 or **1/2 out of ****
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Veritably Hilarious Comedy With Good Performance
hcandersonliu17 May 2002
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!
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Somehow Amusing!
meeza9 May 2000
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
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Lightweight comedy with a point
FlickJunkie-226 February 2000
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 thing.

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.
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Hollywood gets the enigmatic Albert Brooks-treatment
Renaldo Matlin22 March 2002
"The Muse" moves along at a pleasant pace as we follow Brooks' character, a screenwriter in desperate need of inspiration (he longs for an Oscar but ends up writing a Jim Carrey-vehicle!)

Brooks certainly has a way of displaying unique sensibility and "The Muse" has some memorable moments along the way, two of them including Martin Scorcese and James Cameron in hilarious cameos. To top it off Sharon Stone does a wonderful job as the title character.

If you enjoy the wonderful world of Albert Brooks, you're in for a treat.
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