GLITTER (2001)



Glitter is a film I have been trying to watch for some time and I finally got the chance to live my dreams! The film is a basic story of pop star fame but my favorite part is that Mariah Carey is the most famous person in it? It was almost (definitely) like she didn’t want anyone bigger than her on set. The only other star even close, and I’m sure not as big as he is today was Terrence Howard, who plays a sleazy producer. The main love interest is played by Max Beesly who you might know from Torque?…maybe? This idea that it truly was a bunch of Everyday Joes with Mariah Carey in the mix was extremely distracting. The other distracting part of this film was the sliver streak. In I believe every scene, Mariah Carey, has a silver streak on her body? It changes spots but it’s always there. Elizabeth and I tried to look up why but we were unsuccessful so I am going to start the rumor right here that it has to do with her religion that is a mix of 80s fashion with the belief that aliens are our saviours. Mariah Carey is worshipping her alien gods in each scene through the act of painting a silver steak on her torso.

Now of course we did not go into this hoping it was good, more so the exact opposite, but it was only mildly entertaining, so I would not say this is a must-see. Of course I am still trying to get off my Simply Irresistible high so that might have something to do with it.


The pointlessness of Glitter is mind-blowing. When reading a script like this and one asks oneself, “Why do we need to tell this story?” and one does not have an answer, I would like to think that the script would stop there. But, of course, if it did, we wouldn’t have masterpieces of misfortune like Glitter.

The story of Glitter is nothing special, except that it’s just kind of stupid: a mother gives up her young daughter because the mother falls asleep with a lit cigarette and burns down their house. It’s implied that the mother is an addict of some kind, but other than cigarettes, there’s no evidence that she’s addicted to anything. So the girl (and her kitten) goes to some kind of orphanage where she meets two scrappy, racially ambiguous friends that latch onto her forever.

The story lurches forward to 1983, and if they didn’t have that time stamp on the screen, you would never, ever know it’s the 80’s. I would think the 80’s would be one of the easiest and most fun decades to costume a movie for, especially a movie that takes place so much in dance clubs. Instead, everyone, throughout the whole movie, is dressed like it’s 1997. Which begs the question: why the hell did this movie take place in the 80’s and not the 90’s? Or just present day? Was the real-life Mariah Carey too omnipresent in the 90’s to where her fictional counterpart couldn’t possibly inhabit the same era? Or were the filmmakers just fucking lazy? I think we all know the answer.

Another weird problem the movie has: Billie (sometimes spelled Billy), played by Mariah Carey, gets increasingly famous as the movie goes on: a number one single, performing at award shows, and finally selling out Madison Square Garden. Yet, her life does not change at all. No one recognizes her on the streets, she doesn’t have an entourage beyond her producer boyfriend, Dice (Max Beesley) and her label-appointed publicists, and she and Dice still live in the same apartment, with no changes, until Billie/Billy moves out (with her now-cat, the real star of the film) and back in with her racially ambiguous orphan friends and their shitty apartment. Does all of this show how grounded Billie/Billy is, that she is the same person despite mass amounts of fame and fortune? Or does it show, again, just how lazy the filmmakers were? The answer is as clear as the silver streak of paint Billie/Billy always has on some part of her body for some unexplained, not even addressed, reason. (True.)

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