A day in Hollywood, 1972, with young people looking for the 24 hours that will change their lives. Zach will open that night for a British rocker at Whisky a Go-Go; he lives in a canyon and plays impromptu duets with a mysterious guitarist he doesn't see. Tammy is a costume designer, open to quick sex with the various rockers she works with and loved from afar by Michael, a photographer recovering from a case of the clap. His good friend is Felix, a morose, alcoholic songwriter. On hand for comic relief is Marty Shapiro, a fast-talking record producer. Getting ready for the gig at the club, Zach's performance, and the early-morning aftermath comprise the film.Written by
Final film of John Randolph. It was his personal oxygen tank that his character totes around in his scenes. See more »
At the end of the movie when we are told Nick Stahl's character is inducted into the rock 'n' roll hall of fame his name is spelled "Zack". Seconds later in the credits it is spelled "Zach". See more »
"Sunset Strip" raises a number of questions, starting with "Will this movie NEVER end?"
Anna Friel probably wishes she had Rachel Weisz's agent; otherwise she wouldn't have been stuck in the likes of "An Everlasting Piece," "Rogue Trader" (the Nick Leeson biopic which went directly to cable in the US), "Mad Cows" and "Sunset Strip." Barely released in America and never released here, the movie proves yet again that you should beware of anything that gets its sole airings on cable well after midnight and which isn't a porn movie.
Set in 1972 LA, the movie focuses on a day in the life of a variety of people in or linked to the music business - but with the exception of Jared Leto's wild and crazy singer, doesn't gets us interested in any of them. Not Simon Baker's photographer, not Nick Stahl's guitarist, not Adam Goldberg's manager, not Rory Cochrane's songwriter, not even Friel's costume designer. The movie wants a Cameron Crowe feel but never achieves it, except in one scene where Baker and Friel discuss the size of the latter's breasts - and only because "Singles" had something similar and much, much better. (Actually, everything about "Singles" is much, much better.)
Maybe it's me, but there's something wrong when a movie with music at its core has a soundtrack that sucks, both in terms of the score from Stewart Copeland and the songs heard; ironically, this results in one of the rare moments that works, when Stahl's band goes on stage as support for a visiting English band and winds up getting booed off. At that point the movie does capture the frustration of doing your best and finding it's not good enough, but with too few scenes like that, we're left checking the time to see when it ends (and it takes a long time - beware of movies that seem to last an eternity even at less than 90 minutes). The main band, by the way, is supposed to blow the audience away, but they're actually duller than the support.
No one will ever accuse the makers of glamourising LA, but even "That '70s Show" has more convincing period detail; and with no real coherence in its story and a wrapup that makes you wonder if a lot of the plot was left on Fox's cutting room floor, this viewer was left thanking the stars for Anna Friel's declining to wear a bra. Not that it prevents "Sunset Strip" from scoring a 98 on the "Is this boring or what?" scale; this should have gotten lost in its rock and roll and drifted away.
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