FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Glitter (2001)


I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Glitter

20th Century Fox / Columbia Pictures

Set in 1982, back-up singer and dancer Billie Frank (Mariah Carey) meets DJ Julian “Dice” Black (Max Beesley) at a night club. While helping build her solo career, they fall in love…

A vehicle for one of American music history’s most successful singers, Glitter lives up to its infamous reputation. What is essentially yet another rendition of A Star is Born (1937; itself remade in 1954, 1976, and 2018), Mariah Carey unsurprisingly sounds and looks fantastic, but her acting is painfully monotone. For a better insight into Carey’s value as an entertainer, see her in Precious (2009) or any New Year’s Eve performance (particularly 2016 and 2017). Max Beesley does his best with undercooked material as Carey’s leading man, and Da Brat and Tia Texada are relatively fun as her best friends.

But there are too many things working against the film to pull Glitter through. The lacklustre pacing is established from the get-go with a dreary and overlong prologue, Vondie Curtis Hall’s direction is considerably pedestrian, Jeff Freeman‘s editing is sometimes annoying, and the costumes and set design don’t always scream the beautiful excess of the 1980s. Furthermore, what appears to be intended as the signature balled, ‘Never Too Far’ fails to deliver the gravitas that Whitney Houston achieved in The Bodyguard (1992) with ’I Have Nothing’ and, of course, ‘I Will Always Love You’.

As a result, Glitter is a considerably dull and pointless vanity project. 1 / 5


Starring: Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Terrence Howard, Da Brat, Tia Texada, Eric Benét, Valarie Pettiford, Ann Magnuson, Dorian Harewood, Grant Nickalls, Padma Lakshmi, Kim Roberts, Bill Sage, Isabel Gomes, Lindsey Pickering, Courtnie Beceiro.

Director: Vondie Curtis Hall | Producer: Laurence Mark | Writer: Kate Lanier (story by Cheryl L. West) | Music: Terence Blanchard | Cinematographer: Geoffrey Simpson | Editor: Jeff Freeman

Available: Blu-ray

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!


I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

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