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The Muse

Filthy says:
"It's pretty
fucking bad!"

If you're like my grandmother, you miss "Matlock" and the sorry-ass boring shit he got himself into. Luckily, Albert Brooks has made "TheMuse", a movie that will keep the Matlock crowd from putting any strain on their pacemakers. I mean, this movie has all the excitement of Free Cheese Day at the senior center, with none of the cheese.

Now, before my older readers think I am making fun of them, I'm not. I'm just saying they are old, boring, like to repeat themselves and watch really boring shit on TV about World War I and the big cats of the Serengeti. "The Muse" will delight them with its comatose pacing. I like Albert Brooks, and I highly recommend "Defending Your Life" and "Lost in America", but you're better off renting either of those than paying the Hollywood Film Cartel eight bucks for this mistake.

In "The Muse", Albert Brooks plays a screenwriter who has made a long and decent career out of writing screenplays that get made into movies that are not shown in this one. He's comfortable, lives in a big fucking house in a fancy neighborhood, and has a sweet Mercedes to tool around in. But now he's lost his edge. The studios no longer want his shit. He doesn't know why they don't, but they tell him his career is over.

Brooks' friend, played by Jeff Bridges, introduces him to a real, live muse. Apparently, the original nine muses were some serious mystical shit, inspiring all those old Greek guys who wrote long, unrhyming poems and plays about incest. Sharon Stone is a muse and if Brooks can ingratiate himself with her, he will be inspired to write a great script.

The problem is, to win her favor Brooks must buy her expensive shit from Tiffany's and serve her every whim. This, to mostly unfunny effect, drives Brooks crazy. First, he has to put her up in a suite that costs twice per night what my car costs ($850), and he must be her chauffeur. Then, she decides she doesn't like the hotel, and Brooks has to move his office out of his guest house and put her in there. Finally, she moves into the house and becomes his wife's (Andie McDowell) confidante. All this time, Brooks moans and whines, but he is inspired without hardly realizing it.

Brooks' new script is a success, and it turns out as no surprise to anyone that Stone is an escaped lunatic. We are left wondering whether the movie is a commentary on Hollywood or on mental instability, and either way knowing it didn't tell us anything new.

The good news is that the movie isn't quite as lame as it sounds. It's close, but there are a few moments where I chuckled. They are all almost exclusively when Brooks is taking Hollywood's own shit-encrusted fuck stick and ramming it right back up their asses. First is the grating 22-year old studio exec who looks like he should be pretending he's a hot shot in the screenplay aisle at Barnes and Noble. Second are the funny cameos like Martin Scorsese showing up as a motormouth Martin Scorsese. This is how I have always imagined him, actually, and is why I have never invited him over for dinner. Third is the really terrific scene with Jeff Bridges playing tennis and sucking smelly ass.

The role of the screenwriter in Hollywood has never been protrayed more truly than here, I'm guessing. I always figured it involved more schmoozing and bullshit than actual talent, and that's how it looks in "The Muse". You have to give Albert Brooks credit, he tends to portray things as they actually appear, instead of through all that Vaseline Hollywood likes to put on the camera lens and their dicks.

The bad news is that everything else in "The Muse" stinks worse than a Forest Service Port-a-Pot. We're supposed to sympathize with a man living in la-dee-fucking-da Pacific Palisades, who drives a Mercedes and has had seventeen screenplays made into movies. He's got a shitload of money, a beautiful wife, and nice kids, and his biggest problem is he wrote a bad script and it's caused him to doubt himself. We never even see whether he ever was a good writer or just a lucky fuck, which I imagine is what most screenwriters are. We never see his work, so we never respect what he has lost. So long as I don't know the guy, I feel toward him the way I feel toward all people with Mercedes in L.A.: they can go fuck themselves.

What's worse is that when he is inspired to write a great screenplay, he comes up with a Jim Carrey comedy where he inherits a marine park full of dying fish. It could be the biggest thing he's ever written, we're told. Is this supposed to make us happy for him? It isn't fucking funny, and so we as the audience aren't along for the ride every time some asshole on screen bursts out laughing at the very premise of a seal with a cast on its flipper. From where I sat, Albert Brooks' character looked like a guy who was a hack, is a hack, and always will be a hack.

Sharon Stone has the comedic timing of my eight dollar Rolex. In "The Muse", she makes you laugh about as often as a doctor in a Tijuana free clinic would. Her character is flighty, impetuous and reliable, but not in any way lovable. She's not even likeable when she takes off her clothes and we think for a moment there will be some hot girl-girl action. There isn't.

The scenes drag worse than a 400-pound cross-dresser. Many times, I sat there wondering what the point of an on-screen exchange was. The scene wasn't funny, it wasn't important to the plot, it was just two people eating or making cookies. Perhaps Brooks knows better than us what the senior citizens want, and it's more big-screen cooking. The jokes are mostly lame or lifeless. A lot of times I honestly couldn't tell whether a joke had been told or not. Sometimes that makes me feel stupid, but mostly I just felt smart for not being desperate enough to laugh at anything.

The plot is sloppy and weak. Brooks expects us to believe a lot of shit just because it makes the story work. We are told by some doctors from an asylum that Stone's character is a nut who briefly escapes once every five years. Yet, she seems to know everyone in Hollywood and is responsible for many movies made in the past couple years, like she's been there for

Hey Kids, get Filthy's Reading, Listening and Movie Picks for this week.

ages. Under Stone's tutelage, McDowell goes from homemaker to super-famous cookie baker in about one week's time. And the ending is the type of corny shit you'd expect to find in a clogged toilet at the Iowa state fair. I won't give it away other than to say it is super-lame when Stone disappears only to reappear as a studio exec who buys Brooks' stupid fish movie.

I'm not mad at Albert Brooks, just confused because I thought he was better than this. I'm giving "The Muse" two fingers, and I'll tell Brooks that if he wants us to care about the career of upper-class whiners, he'd better make their predicaments funnier or having to do with naked chicks.

And something else, not related to "The Muse." I heard from a friend that Fran Drescher likes it up the ass.

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