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America's Sweethearts movie review
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America's SweetheartsThis film asks the question: If an actor suicided at the film premiere, would it increase the gross takings? And, would the studio think this was a good thing ?
Eddie (John Cusack) and Gwen are America's Sweethearts, or at least they were until Gwen took up with a lisping Spaniard (Hank Azaria) on the set of their last film together.
Now Gwen is staring down the barrel of two flop films and a public who see her as a bitch. Eddie is wallowing in unrequited love at the retreat of a designer-clad swami. He's in his seventh month of the two-week course.
Movie Poster, America's Sweethearts
I'm a paranoid schizophrenic. I am an entourage.: Eddie
Meanwhile, Leigh (Billy Crystal) has his dismissal cancelled when the director of Eddie and Gwen' last film refuses to release the final cut except at the press junket screening.|
A press junket, for the uninitiated, is where the PR people try to dazzle the press with freebies to hide that fact that the interviewers are given a scant few minutes each during which they have barely time to get insincere answers to bullshit questions.
Leigh's attempt to engineer the appearance of a reconciliation between the couple is aided by the faithful Kiki (Julia Roberts). Kiki is Gwen's sister, long-suffering and seen as her recently fat self in flashbacks.
Did we brush my teeth?: Gwen
While America's Sweethearts works well as a romantic comedy, with Roberts leaving the rest for dead in that plot line, it is also a gentle but insightful dig at the Hollywood machine. I haven't been so stared at in a cinema since I developed hysterical hiccups in Wag the Dog. It's always good to see a film that works on more than one level: something for the in-crowd and something for the general audience.
The writers (Billy Crystal) hold up everyone from the studio producers to the would-be auteur directors to the actors-who-would-be-stars to the interviewers torn between affected criticism and slavering fannishness.
The script doesn't so much bite and gently nibble at Hollywood and the way films are made and publicised. The only people who escape are the personal assistants -- it's not a job for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned.
Watch for Cusack's usual interesting performance, he's a little below par but watchable. Catherine Zeta-Jones is completely believable as the spoilt bitch, and Julia Roberts is just wonderful as both the newly-attractive Kiki and the chubby, drab sister.
|by Ali Kayn|
Due for Australian release October
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See also: A Star is Born
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 15-Oct-2001 Last updated: Last tested: 8-Jul-2014 Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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