Mariah Carey's debut
film 'Glitter' has no shine
Starring Mariah Carey, Max Beesley
* (out of five stars)
20th Century Fox
MPAA rating: PG-13
By Maurice Bobb
Daily Cougar Staff
Having been pushed back repeatedly on its
path to the big screen, Glitter should have been titled "A Star is Bored."
Bruce Macaulay/20th Century
Billie Frank (Mariah Carey)
and her producer-boyfriend Julian Dice (Max Beesley) are greeted by the
press after arriving at a gala event in
Carey's debut film, Glitter. Carey's semi-autobiographical
film also features a soundtrack that contains songs from different eras.
Loosely similar to Mariah Carey's life,
Glitter is quite possibly the worst attempt at making a film since Saturday
Night Live tried to make
two-hour feature films out of 15-minute
The movie begins with Carey's on-screen
persona, Billie Frank, as a child who sings along with her mother, played
by Valarie Pettiford, in a
Tragedy then ensues when Billie's mother
burns down their home and Billie is taken away to a foster home.
Then the film jumps forward to 1983. In
a scene reminiscent of Studio 54, we find a grown Billie disco-dancing
with fellow singer-dancers
Louise (Da Brat) and Roxanne (Tia Texada).
When Billie refuses a deal to sing backup
for hot producer Timothy Walker's (Terrance Howard) tone-deaf lead singer
Sylk (Padma Lakshmi)
and instead opts for DJ Julian Dice (Max
Beesley), her star is on the rise.
Problem is, she already agreed to do a
Milli Vanilli number for Walker, so DJ Dice has to make a shady deal for
100 large for the rights to Billie's
And as cliche would have it, Dice gets
Billie the requisite big break with DMZ Records and she bursts onto the
face of the music world instantly,
much like a last-minute zit on a would-be
16-year-old prom queen.
Next, we're treated to happy-go-lucky recording
sessions that forge a romantic relationship between Billie and Dice.
The rest of the action centers on Billie's
jostled adaptation to the life of a superstar, which unintentionally mimics
Carey's own inability to adapt to
This is confusing, because it shouldn't
have been difficult for a pop star to play a pop star.
Obviously, Carey's own career may actually
resemble Billie's role of spectator -- as if someone else is pulling the
strings as Carey just tries not to
lose her footing.
This results in a lead character who's
more passive than Barney and so lifeless you'd expect to flip her over
and find "Made in China" carved on
The only viable storyline this movie has
to offer is the exchange between DJ Dice and Walker.
This comes as no surprise, considering
Terrance Howard and Max Beesley are the only qualified thespians on screen.
But with Vondie Curtis-Hall's weak script,
both were forced to make the most of impossible roles. Such an overwhelmingly
absurd story line
should have been tanked from the word
go, but since this was Carey's vehicle, it was allowed to "Little-Engine-That-Could"
its way to movie
screens across the country.
It goes without saying that diehards will
go out and see this one.
But when moviegoers leave the theater in
droves with a bad taste in their mouths, this little film will realize
it couldn't and never should have