Sugar Town

"Weak"

Sugar Town Review


"Sugar Town" is a hastily thrown-together, satirical showbiz dramedy concerning washed up '80s rock stars learning generic life lessons about responsibility, trust, fidelity and aging gracefully, and it wouldn't be interesting at all if it didn't feature a curiously appropriate cast.

John Taylor (late of Duran Duran), Michael Des Barres (The Power Station), Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and John Doe (X) are all uniquely qualified for their roles as four former pop icons trying to stage a comeback with a new band and lousy record no label will touch.

One has become a semi-rural family man, tempted to go back on the road (and to cheat on his pregnant wife) by a sexy Tejano singer (Lumi Cavazos). Another has an acrid, 11-year-old punk in bad '80s make-up (what 11-year-old boy wears makeup?) left on his doorstep by a groupie who claims he's the father. Another has become a small-time drug dealer, and the last is desperately clinging to his faded sex appeal, not realizing how pathetic he looks to the 19-year-old girls he comes on to in bars.

All of them give honest, understated and more than adequate performances -- especially considering the film's trite, simplistic relationships -- and hold their own co-starring with a handful of under-appreciated but powerful actresses (Rosanna Arquette, Beverly D'Angelo, Ally Sheedy).

But "Sugar Town" was scripted in eight days and shot in 15 by co-writers and directors Allison Anders and Kurt Voss, and boy does it show.

The good acting can't cover up the fact that this picture needed some serious finessing that the rushed production schedule didn't allow, and there's no reason Anders and Voss couldn't have slowed down. But they took this tack intentionally, wanting to recapture their days of yore making shoestring budget indies like "Border Radio" and "Mi Vida Loca."

If they succeeded in that, the spirit didn't make it to the screen. The storylines are contrived, the dialogue flat and superficial -- save a few killer lines ("He's practically perfect," says the man-less, esteem-deficient Sheedy. "He's not an alcoholic and he's been in therapy for four years!") -- and once you get a bead on the characters, the picture becomes sadly predictable.

While sentiments are sincere (but shallow), Anders' and Voss' rye showbiz observations have been recycled without being refreshed -- Arquette plays an actress appalled at being offered a part as Christina Ricci's mother; relative unknown Jade Gordon is a talentless, back-stabbing starlet blowing her way to the top -- and ultimately the picture just feels half-assed.

It's as if instead of shouting "Cut!" at the end of each take, the directors said, "That'll do. Let's move on."



Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 10th January 2001

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Production compaines: Channel Four Films, October Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Gwen, Nigel John Taylor as Clive, as Nick, as Jonesy, as Burt, as Carl, as Kate, Marion Moseley as In Utero Baby, Veronica Nommenson as Violet, Elena Nommenson as Rose, as Eva

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Advertisement
Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers...

The Accountant Movie Review

The Accountant Movie Review

While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...

Train to Busan Movie Review

Train to Busan Movie Review

Leave it to the Koreans to reinvent the zombie horror movie and put a high-speed...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.