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

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

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.