The Austin Chronicle


Rated PG-13, 120 min. Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. Starring Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Terrence Howard, Tia Texada, Da Brat, Ann Magnuson, Dorian Harewood, Eric Benét.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., Sept. 28, 2001

Report to File of M_____ C______ /// Notes on “Glitter” /// CONFIDENTAL /// Viewed matinee showing of Patient's new film, Glitter, for possible insights into her recent, highly publicized nervous breakdown. After seeing film, conclusion is that Patient's breakdown occurred after viewing film prior to its release. Movie about improbable overnight superstardom of musical pop star Billie Frank purportedly based on an “idea” by Patient and is touted as loosely autobiographical in nature. Alter ego linkage between Patient and film's fictional character unquestionable, given Patient's and Billie's propensity for trashy clothes and excessive lip-liner. Further proof of this relationship demonstrated by fact that both first and last names of Patient and movie doppelgänger contain same number of letters. Ability to concentrate on film content excellent, due to absence of anyone else in movie theatre. First five minutes of film reveal possible root sources of Patient's trust issues – at early age, Billie experiences rejection by absent father figure, loss of home and belongings by fire, separation from alcoholic mother who can't care for her, and placement in child welfare home, all before opening credits are finished. Other possible explanation is that Patient is drama queen. Next scene finds Billie shaking booty at Eighties disco in New York City. Infantile stage of character's mental state demonstrated by her appearance in these scenes: little-girl pigtails, sleeveless satin baseball jersey, gym shorts, support hose, high heels, and cap inspired by Spanky in Our Gang. Supporting character in film accurately characterizes get-up as “street urchin slut look.” Purposeful bad taste in attire clearly a cry for sartorial help. Later scene in which Billie acts modestly during video shoot wearing bikini may provide clue to Patient's inner child/sex symbol conflict, given that Patient's entire career based on exhibitionist tendencies. Think about whether choice of Robert Palmer song “I Didn't Mean to Turn You On” as song that propels Billie's career instantaneously and Billie's bland cover of song further indicate Patient's ambivalence about her midriff, navel, and cleavage. Also, question Patient about mysterious slash of silver paint that appears on various areas of Billie's upper body during course of film – some kind of ancient tribal symbol with Jungian meaning? Billie's relationship with controlling, hot-headed, and jealous boyfriend/manager/producer (nicknamed “Dice,” clearly Freudian in meaning) no doubt modeled on Patient's marriage to former husband/record mogul T____ M______. Explore with Patient whether A Star is Born scenario involving Billie and Dice more than just wishful thinking. Also, if film supposed to be autobiographical, inquire why more diva fits not included in film once Billie reaches the top. Gingerly suggest to Patient that acting technique could stand improvement, assuming there are future film offers after this one. Delicately point out that blinking your eyes is not acting. Last scene in film features saddened Billie, getting out of limo and still wearing evening gown, high heels, and full make-up in broad daylight and walking across front yard of rural Maryland home in those heels for heartbreaking reunion with long-lost mother, whom she loves deeply but never really tried to find. Ask Patient – is this for real? Then assure Patient, who has paranoid delusions about Jennifer Lopez being molded into the new M______ C_____, to rest easy because Lopez has never made a film as bad as Glitter.

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