Muse, The

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 07/27/00 02:29:16

"An ending would have been nice. Death would have been better."
1 stars (Total Crap)

Perhaps it's just cynical old me, but it always irks me when someone describes a film as harmless fun. "Yes, it's harmless fun," I say, "What did you expect? Harmful fun? Did you think you'd be chased into the loo by ushers armed with chainsaws? Did you expect razorblades in your popcorn?" I never used to think a movie could be harmful fun, but The Muse has changed all that. Within half an hour of this twaddle I had a gun in my mouth and I wasn't afraid to use it.

Tip for aging filmmakers #1 - if everyone is saying you're over the hill as a screenwriter, perhaps it's not for the best to make a film that not only uses your precarious career situation as its base, but demonstrates just how over the hill you are. Albert Brooks' The Muse is a big budget, star-filled acknowledgement that the man is all washed up. It's a eulogy to a guy that still walks this mortal plain. It's a get well card from everyone in Hollywood to a guy who used to be somebody. And it demonstrates that, as an actress, Sharon Stone stinks to high heaven. She could have had a great career as compost.

The Muse follows the story of a hopeless fading Hollywood scriptwriter looking at the end of his career, when a friend recommends he try the services of a muse, a goddess of inspiration. He just happens to have one on hand, which is lucky. Suddenly everyone is bending over backwards to make The Muse's life heavenly, except the writer who moans and moans and moans because his wife wants to bake cookies. Will he write his opus? Will he crack under the pressure? Will he beat Sharon Stone to death with a fencepost?

If only.

Do you remember all the times when someone you really liked got stuck in a crap film and it was just painful to watch? Remember Richard E. Grant slumming it in Hudson Hawk? Remember Dustin Hoffman in Sphere? Anthony Hopkins in Meet Joe Black? Matthew Broderick in everything since Ferris Bueller? Remember that pain? Well you won't feel that pain here, because everyone is utter toilet.

I'm a pretty quiet theatregoer, but there were times during this film when the compulsion to heckle was just too strong to ignore. There were times when all I could do was turn to the person beside me and laugh out loud at the stupidity of it all (five times that I recall, but the pain clouds my memory somewhat).

You name it, in the Muse it sucks. Editing; cruddy. Directing; shoddy at best. Writing; the worst dialogue I have seen since Zombie Nurses 3. And the acting? Just as bad as acting can be. Sincerely disgracefully crap. This is the worst acting since Francine Bullpitt, winner of the 1997 Dubbo Acting Society's Crap Actor Award, said during a production of Romeo And Juliet, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, bro."

People left early. Lots of people. I didn't blame them. In fact, I envied them the freedom they have to leave early, while I was stuck there til the end. You wanna be a film critic? Try sitting through one of these turkeys once every few days and you'll be begging for your old job at Burger King back within two weeks.

Let me put it another way... I would rather eat my own insides out than endure this bollocks again. Your mother would enjoy it. Avoid.

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