Did Albert Brooks ever have an edge?
If it's not "The Muse," it's "Bowfinger." If it's not "Bowfinger," it's "The Player," If it's not "The Player," it's "Swimming with Sharks." If it's not "Swimming with Sharks," it's "The Big Picture." When is the film industry going to learn that "I wish Hollywood would just fall into the ocean" ranks third among L.A. nighttime prayers, just behind "Give me more money" and "Please, let me get laid"? And when is the film industry going to learn that the rest of the world -- that insignificant 6 billion of us with real jobs outside the Smog Belt -- simply doesn't care?
It's ironic that Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks) complains about people telling him he's "lost his edge." This probably has something to do with real people telling the real Albert Brooks that he's lost his edge. Did Albert Brooks ever have an edge? In "The Muse," Brooks is a screenwriter on the outs. He gets a recommendation from a friend (Jeff Bridges) to visit a real-life Muse named Sarah (Sharon Stone). Sarah turns out to be a real pill, running up huge bills and eventually moving in with Phillips and his wife (Andie MacDowell). She does little for Phillips, but convinces Andie to start her own cookie business, which turns into a raging success.
This is one of those films that leaves you constantly asking yourself why you should give a rat's ass about the characters. If you have really low self-esteem, you may assume that you're the problem, that you're the pariah, and that perhaps it's time to hurl yourself into a volcano. Don't despair, this is a typical reaction to an Albert Brooks film.
While Sarah does nothing for Phillips, people like James Cameron and Martin Scorsese visit her, which seems to be Brooks' pathetic attempt to prove that he isn't a complete Hollywood leper, since people like Cameron and Scorsese will stroll through his films without beating him up and taking his lunch money. Well, Albert, if it helps speed you to any conclusions, you're still a loser.
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