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Cinematic Hell Review: Glitter (2001)

Updated on June 24, 2016
Film poster for Glitter. Property of 20th Century-Fox and Columbia Pictures.
Film poster for Glitter. Property of 20th Century-Fox and Columbia Pictures. | Source

Well... I better start my repentance. I mean how hard can it be? I was a filmmaker in my past life and I know there can't be any worse movies out there than mine.

One movie later...


Oh Movie Gods... what did I do to deserve THIS? Was I really this terrible of a filmmaker? Did I really need to sit through one of the biggest box office bombs of all time and one of the worst movies of all time? Come on, it's my first day! Ugh... well I guess I'll begin tearing this movie apart. This is the Mariah Carey fiasco, Glitter.

Glitter was made for only one reason, to make Mariah Carey a movie star. Not only did this ploy backfire, it was also another example of this big cinematic law: Pop stars usually should just stick to what they know. Now there are exceptions to this law, but more than half the time we get these musicians that have no business being on a movie set. And in this case of this film, we have people who shouldn't be near a camera or screenplay as well. Honestly I'm kind of surprised this movie managed to be remembered even as a cinematic joke among critics, movie buffs and the cinematic hell staff room. I mean it's no Battlefield Earth or Xanadu so why is it even remembered as a spectacular failure (aside from bombing big time at the Box Office)? Well.. here goes nothing.

Billie Frank (Mariah Carey) has big dreams of becoming a successful singer. Yes she comes from humble beginnings (apparently her mother loves to interrupt her own performances at a nightclub just so she can show off her daughter's chipmunk voice). Her home burned down, is put into an orphanage (where she meets two other girls that grow up to be annoying comic relief characters) and lives her life with that big dream of hitting it big in the music industry. All grown up now, she does whatever she can to make this dream come true (even if she has to lip synch for some other musician and sleep with her own producer).

So where do I even start? Well let's start with this simple fact... you don't even need to watch this movie. All you need to do is watch the trailer and you've seen the movie. Not only is this movie clichéd, it's beyond predictable. We all know Billie is going to hit it big, we all know her and her dumbass producer/boyfriend are going to have difficulties and of course we all know this movie's climax will revolve around Mariah belting a "I will Always Love you" wannabe ballad. This movie is so cliché and predictable it gets annoying. No surprises, no interesting characters, no character arcs and especially no creativity. So if we all know what's going to happen in this movie... why should we even bother watching it?

So what else makes this movie blow like the box office bomb that it is? Well the characters are either boring, annoying or both. Let's take a look at some of the side characters for a minute. We have Julian Dice (Max Beesley) a DJ and Billie's producer with huge delusions of grandeur. He starts off being just a DJ who likes Billie's singing (after she blows her cover as a ghost singer). Dice then becomes Billie's agent or producer or whatever it's called. After Billie is a huge success (no surprise there) Dice becomes jealous of his girl's fame (again no surprise there). Julian Dice is just a terrible character and really what's worse is the script tries to redeem him toward the end of the movie by telepathically writing the same song Billie is writing (I hope that's as funny to you as it is to me) and even killing him off after he fails to pay a debt to Terrence Howard's character. Um movie... I'm sorry but whenever I see Dice get shot I don't feel sad., I just start applauding because this terrible character is off screen. Oh there is also Louise and Roxanne... yeah long story short whenever they're on screen you wish that they had the debt problem instead of Dice, so yeah moving on.

Now we've come to the second biggest problem with this movie... Mariah Carey. Yeah I know she's always the big target when people watch this movie but it's true. This woman makes Madonna look like a great actress (which isn't easy by the way). Not one line delivery is right and not once does this woman show any emotion or feeling even when she's not saying anything. For instance, there's a scene when Billie and Dice are arguing over... something. There's this moment that I dare you try not to laugh at. And you know what? It's a simple line and Mariah completely butchers it. "You know what? I'm over it". Just that one line delivery makes me piss my pants with laughter. Seriously, if there is ever a reason to watch that movie just skip to that scene. It has to be seen to be believed.

I'll say this last thing, I know the entire cast has no real material to work with when it comes to the script. It's hard to imagine any actor/actress being able to make any of this dialog sound good. The only person who manages to pull off a decent performance is Terrence Howard. But even with the terrible script, Mariah Carey has no excuse for this. She shows no trace of inflection or emotion in any of her lines. The only time the movie ever comes alive is when Mariah does her singing thing. Mind you, these songs are pretty damn terrible but she sings these bad songs well. Aside from that though.. yeah this movie is a huge waste of time, film reels, cameras, cast and just about anything having to do with the word "movie". Nobody saw this movie because there was no reason to see it. The story is clichéd, the acting is spectacularly bad, the dialog is atrocious and even though this movie has a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes it feels so much longer than that. Just stay away form this movie, there is literally no reason to see it... unless you're a bad film director who needs to be punished for his lifetime of terrible films. UGH.... Score: 1/10.

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      Pat Mills 14 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Another bad film I passed on seeing because I'm not a fan of the music. Maybe I can see this one in bits and pieces somewhere online.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for that review. I will certainly stay away from Glitter. Sounds horrendous.