Monday, February 14, 2011

The Muse

The Muse, Albert Brooks, 1999 (8.1*)
[Happy Valentine's Day]
Who do all the Hollywood movers go to when suffering creative blocks? Why, The Muse, of course - in this film she's played by Sharon Stone. The Greek muse, the daughter of Zeus, gave us the words music and amuse, supposedly inspiring all of the arts. What the filmmakers get from Stone is usually exact advice that will help them move forward and create great cinematic art.

Writer-director Albert Brooks plays a screenwriter with a block, so he needs whatever the muse can offer him. He is told he must give the muse a good gift, so he goes to Tiffany's (but gets their smallest gift, which gets tossed onto a pile of presents by Stone), while wife Andie MacDowell is not sure he's not having an affair, and doesn't quite understand the relationship - how does one explain a personal muse to a jealous wife?

Adding to the hilarity of this situation are the cameos from the truly talented; when Brooks first goes to Stone's cottage, Martin Scorsese is just leaving. Apparently even those of genius status in Hollywood seek out the muse in times of creative doubt. Cybill Shepherd, Jennifer Tilly, and Lorenzo Lamas all play themselves.

There's nothing cerebral here, just another entertaining comedy from Brooks, whose own peculiar brand of low-key comedy may not be for all tastes, but is a welcome relief from all the sophmoric boozing comedies being released nowdays.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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