WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An orphaned girl with big dreams moves to the city, dances and sings her heart out, hooks up with a producer and achieves some notoriety. Unfortunately, her success story comes with some baggage as her boyfriend gets jealous, her friends are left out and her clothes gets skimpier as she gets richer. But alas, 'tis the tale of Mariah Carey and all that glitters, so you know that everything is gonna turn out alright...right...right....wrong!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Mariah Carey has a beautiful singing voice...and oh yeah, this movie sucks! It's funny because even though the trailer and everything else about this movie was screaming "train wreck" from minute one, I honestly expected this film to be even more awful than it was (low expectations will do that to you). I mean, don't get me wrong, this is one bad movie, no doubt about it, but I thought that Mariah Carey would stink up the place even more, when actually, her co-star, Max Beesley (a man who we will hopefully never hear from again) is the worst of the bunch. This guy's phony New Yawk accent is a true mess, and topped alongside his character's extremely idiotic arc, you just wanted to punch this dude whenever he popped up on-screen. The truth is that this movie is essentially just an "ego" project for Carey and whoever thought this would be a good idea. It doesn't really stray much from events in Carey's own life, and one of the reasons her "acting" wasn't necessarily the worst that I've seen is probably because she was just "acting" like herself. She definitely dressed herself in the pic, since every other scene features her in a sluttier dress than the last, and what's up with her sleeping with a guy on the first date?? Is this really the kind of thing that we want to showcase to our kids (dress like a ho and sleep with the producers, kids...it'll get you to where you're going...quick!).
The saddest part about this lengthy music video, intercut with maudlin plot details, is that they actually believed that someone would care about these characters. By the time the film's completely inappropriate and transparent ending comes around, you wonder how anybody could have believed this to be a reasonable project in the first place. Small kudos to director Curtis-Hall for keeping this thing moving, but dude...enough of those helicopter shots from over the city....okay, we get it...you're killing time!! But having said all this, I have to say that I watched this movie with a companion from the fairer sex, and she actually enjoyed it, even tearing up during its bogus conclusion (not sure if that had to do with "that time of the month" as much as the film, but anyway...) So maybe 12-year old girls might appreciate this, but parents beware, this "role model" loves wearing garter belts (in public, yo!), sponges more make-up on her face than Tammy Faye Baker, loves those damn short skirts and believes cleavage to be an accessory in itself! That's right...show us your tits and ass, girls...that's how men really respect you! Ugh.
You gotta respect director Vondie Curtis Hall for one thing, if nothing else...the man actually puts his balls up to the mike and provides a commentary track for one of the worst reviewed movies of the year. It's actually not a bad listen, although Hall does "uuuuuhh" a lot and doesn't address the crappy reviews at all. One thing I did notice is that his slack nature on the film, might have led to some of its problems. On more than one occasion, he mentions how he didn't want a scene in the movie, or how he did want another scene, but that he ultimately didn't get what he wanted (I wonder why?). He also seems to have a decent first instinct about things (he initially turned the movie down because he considered himself to be an actor's director, he didn't want to see Da Brat for an audition because she was just "another singer" and also happened to be Carey's friend, etc....), but always seemed to back down when confronted with others around him, ultimately leading to what you see on the screen. What's ironic is that he mentions how he sees himself as an "actor's director" and yet he ends up working with three musicians as his leads (he even goes out of his way to point out that co-star Max Beesley is an accomplished musician/producer-- was anybody NOT playing themselves in this flick?). Interesting listen only because it provides insight into the bad decisions made by this director, and how other influences might've ruined his initial, what seemed like a, genuine vision.
The disc also includes two music videos by Mariah Carey, one in which she strips down to nothing (yup, once again!) and another one which essentially replicates the final scene in the movie. There are also filmographies, trailers and a pretty kitchy (cool) menu.
A bad project from top to bottom, this feature didn't even try to come up with anything original in its story, its development or its lame conclusion. Top that with pop dance and song sequences, bad acting and a ridiculous ending, this puppy might be worth seeing just to identify a low benchmark from which to compare all other crappy movies. I did however respect director Curtis-Hall for having the cajones to slap an actual commentary track on his turkey (he actually says that one of his goals when he took on this project was to make a "good movie"-- poor guy!), and Carey for showing us as much skin as any PG-13 movie would allow. Thanks for the laughs, everyone....oh, it wasn't a comedy?