There's nothing like a major national catastrophe to put the "mental breakdown" of a pop singer into serious perspective. Frankly, I didn't give a shit about Mariah Carey's mental health before the World Trade Center tragedy. I sure don't give a shit about it now. In addition to her collapsing under the hardships of pop stardom, Carey had the misfortune of releasing her new album on September 11. Now she's followed up that monumental feat of timing with this fiasco, which also happens to be her first (and undoubtedly last) film role.
I'll say this about Mariah's acting: She says the words "thanks," "bye" and "hello" with verve. For the first 30 minutes of the movie those are about the only words that come out of her mouth. When she's not repeating them, she looks like a woman who's trying to suck very thick ice cream through a very thin straw. This film does for musical pseudo biopics what "Showgirls" did for stripper films. One can only assume Mariah's lone goal was to further inflate her already bloated ego while her once-faithful entourage cringed at each take. Does anybody on the planet Earth think this woman is important? Does her story mean anything to anyone?
I was told this film was only 86 minutes long and it turned out to be 106 minutes. Boy, was I looking for somebody to beat senseless during that extra 20 minutes. Naturally, because she can't act, Mariah plays herself as she goes from orphan to backup singer to megastar. The apparent theme of the movie is to not neglect those who are close to you, or some stupid, clichéd moral like that. Billie's (Carey) mother leaves her when she's little (watch for the kitten she takes with her to the orphanage) and Billie grows up wondering where poor Mommy has gone off to. Meanwhile, Billie gets discovered and takes on a manager/lover/meal-ticket in Dice. Billie makes it big, Dice outlives his usefulness, and they have a precisely scheduled falling out (after which Billie goes off with the same cat). After Dice is murdered, Billie journeys to find her mother and the camera pulls away into the sky. At this point, wee realize what joy there is in the world when we find love and can, at last, finally escape the theater.
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